The Melbourne Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo, held 21-23 August, has been hailed the year’s third successful show, with crowds of business-ready visitors and a record number of exhibitors.
“We are thrilled with the show, and it wraps up another huge year for us,” says Exhibition Manager Fiona Stacey. “The targeted marketing campaign resulted in healthy crowds across the three days. More importantly, our exhibitors are reporting good quality leads to follow up after the show, with qualified visitors serious about investing.”
Event Director Tim Collett agreed. “It was great to see so many people through the doors each day, and feedback from exhibitors has been extremely positive. We are looking forward to even bigger and better shows next year in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, as well as an new show in Perth in May.”
Angie Cooksey, from Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) says, “I think this is one of the best shows we have seen in Melbourne. We have met many potential franchisees seeking information and asking the right questions, and we have also met many potential franchisors doing the research into franchising their business.
“The Melbourne visitors this year have been very well informed and are serious about investing,” she adds. “The show is attracting the right people and the marketing has been spot on.”
Charmaine Cheand from Aussie agrees. “We have met some really great people interested in becoming part of Aussie. There have been a lot of insightful, well thought out questions, particularly from people who are ready to invest in their own business now, and who have clearly done their homework,” she says.
“We have around 45 enquiries so far, but it can also be a long-term thing. Sometimes we get people contacting us again after meeting us a year ago at a show. So it’s always worthwhile being here at the show, you never know who you will meet.”
A flagship event of the Small Business Festival Victoria, the Melbourne Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo featured free seminar sessions that pulled large crowds of visitors keen to be informed, motivated and inspired.
Suzanne Jarzabkowska, CEO of DC Strategy inspired visitors in her panel session “Learn what it takes to build a $50 million franchise business”, detailing how successful businesses such as Boost Juice grew from one outlet to a multi-national chain.
In addition Darryn McAuliffe from FRANdata presented two useful sessions on what banks are looking for when they approve finance for franchises, Ahmet Ali from AA Business Brokers presented tips on buying a resale business, while Casey Reid from Mobile Services International shared his ‘Seven Secrets to Freedom’.
The Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) also presented fascinating daily panel sessions with representatives from a diverse range of successful franchise companies including Endota Spa, First Class Accountants, VIP Home Services, Laser Clinics Australia and 7-Eleven.
“The seminar sessions are an important feature of the show,” Fiona Stacey explains. “We aim for a broad range of speakers and topics, with general overviews on the benefits of franchising as well as more detailed topics such as legal and financial issues.”
On the floor there was plenty of action, including coffees by latte artist Mel Mejia from Gloria Jeans at the Retail Food Group (RFG) stand, a Cinderella-style limo ready to roll at Lux Cars, delicious donuts at Ferguson Plarre, Brendan Burger working the crowd at BK’s Takeaway, free consultations at the Small Business Bus, and some of the most fascinating franchises Asia has to offer at the Malaysian Pavilion.
“For us, this has been the best show of the year,” says Martin Lo Surdo from Pack & Send. “We have taken solid leads, and met very interesting people.
“We like to invite people who have contacted us online to come and meet us at the show – it is better to meet face to face to find out who is serious about a franchise, and for them to get a better feel for the business and the people behind it.”
Other exhibitors that reported great results included Cleantastic, Cafe2U, EmbroideMe, Lenards, Dream Doors, RFG, Aussie Home Loans, Top Cut Lawn Mowing, Jims Shade Sails, Q-Dees, Ferguson Plarre, Aircoat, Lady Bug, The Franchise Shop and AA Business Brokers.
Fiona Stacey says exhibitors have been quick to snap up space in the 2016 Expos to be held in Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne.
“There’s no better endorsement for a show than exhibitors immediately re-booking, and many are seeking an enhanced presence next year, be it a bigger stand or more prominent location. It’s worth talking to our team as soon as possible to ensure your company doesn’t miss out!”
Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo 2016:
Sydney: 18-20 March at Royal Hall of Industries, Moore Park
Perth: 6-7 May at Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre
Brisbane: 23-24 July at Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, South Bank
Melbourne: 26-28 August at Melbourne Exhibition Centre, South Wharf
For more information go to www.franchisingexpo.com.au