Franchise exhibitions, and their place in the franchisee recruitment process, have changed greatly over the years but they still have an important part to play for both franchisors and their potential franchisees.

The advent of the internet and social media mean that people interested in taking on a franchise can find out a lot more about it before they ever appear on the radar of any of their shortlist of potential franchisors. The things they find out will include the good things and the bad things.

In the old days the first move would have been to send for a brochure or collect one at an exhibition. Prospects would believe everything in that brochure before making an appointment to see the franchisor who may then at some stage have introduced them to other, primed, franchisees. You can now find out everything you need to know about a franchisor, and have contact with their franchisees, before you even let a franchisor know you’re interested.

So the way to get the best out of an exhibition is to sort out the shortlist of ones in which you’re interested long beforehand; research the heck out of them before you attend the exhibition; then have all your questions ready for their staff on the stand. How you and your questions are welcomed and dealt with will tell you a lot about whether these are the kind of people you want to do business with.

Brian Duckett

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