Hosting a conference is a valuable opportunity for any franchise, and is one many companies fall short on. When franchisees have a dedicated time and space to come together with fellow franchise owners, it creates a unique environment. This environment can benefit both the franchisor and franchisee. It has been found that many advantages can be gained by hosting a conference for your franchisees, which we have outlined below:
It is a place where training can be delivered, and high-performing franchisees can be rewarded. It also has the potential to be a morale booster and a much needed break for those who invest countless hours into your brand.
Hosting a conference for your franchisees can achieve a range of outcomes in a short and impactful timeframe. Along with providing training, conferences can deliver company updates, encourage motivation, and refresh attitudes and direction for the company. Bringing your teams together from across the country helps to foster a committed team environment for the franchise. As the franchisor, you can use the conference to set the tone and the company culture to drive excellence. Simon McGrath from Accorhotels has said “[their] Franchise Conference was a wonderful occasion and a great barometer of how well our franchise network views what we are doing… and it is important we recognise the value our franchisees bring to our business and recognise our employees and the teams behind some of the best hotels in our portfolio.”
The main reason for a franchise conference is to bring people together. The chance to network with other franchisees and employees should not be undervalued. Sometimes it can be as simple as putting a face to a name for the support staff that may interact with the franchisees on a daily or weekly basis. This can become important as it gives the franchisees a chance to build friendships with fellow franchisees. It also provides the opportunity to cement relationships with head office staff members, who they may need to contact in the future. San Churro Chocolateria said that their annual conference “provides an opportunity for Franchise Partners to come together and shares experiences and to provide valuable feedback.”
A conference is the perfect environment to deliver standardised training to the franchisees. You can retouch on support given throughout the year and use it to delve into specific topics that need attention. Question your franchisees prior to the conference to see what they are interested in learning, and bring that to the table for them. Take the opportunity to provide training in formats that aren’t usually possible when you’re speaking with your franchisees out in the field. Offer expert panel discussions and engaging workshops that provide memorable and useful content.
Recognise and reward successful franchisees. It has been found that celebrating success motivates high-performing teams to continue working hard and demonstrates what is possible for others. Awards evenings and recognition helps to reinforce success as a part of the company culture.
A franchise conference can also be used strategically on behalf of the parent company. When your business owners are sharing space it’s possible that natural leaders will emerge. They may be active, successful and making the most of the company messages. Foster good relationships with these brand champions and create opportunities for them to lead and spread their positive outlook. Conversely if you identify franchisees that are struggling or have less encouraging attitudes it is a great opportunity to provide assistance and redirect them toward success.
A successful conference is one that has communication flowing between the franchise company and the franchisees. It can be a strategic choice to create a controlled environment for concerns or clarifications. Use it as an avenue to collect feedback from franchisees about what’s working and what’s not with their customers.
Of course, it’s important to get it right. The success of the conference will have a direct impact on the image of the company. A poorly executed event can have repercussions for morale and overall trust in the brand. It’s a good idea to have a team on board to manage the logistics and provide professional infrastructure so you can concentrate on your messaging. When the scaffolding is taken care of there is more time to invest in delivering a quality training and celebratory experience.
Franchise conferences offer a powerful opportunity to recognise the successes of your teams, explore new products and have some fun. It’s the perfect avenue to lift morale and provide high-quality training. The franchisees should be able to return to their businesses with new ideas that can be implemented straight away.
You can easily save yourself the stress of conference planning.
For more information on Nectar CC and how we can help create a successful conference for you and your franchisees, please contact Peta on 1300 878 815 or firstname.lastname@example.org.