Your route to self-employment – London franchise exhibition

The British & International Franchise Exhibition will be held at Olympia, London, on Friday and Saturday, March 11 and 12.

The event will showcase a variety of franchise brands and an extensive seminar programme, where a range of professionals will discuss the required tools and advice to set-up and manage a successful franchise business.

The exhibition is organised by Venture Marketing Group (VMG), whose annual series of franchise shows are the only such events in which the franchisors are accredited by the sector’s self-regulatory body, the British Franchise Association (BFA).

This is important to visitors as it ensures that the franchises on offer conform to the association’s strict code of ethical business practice, particularly in the fairness of their franchise contracts towards franchisees.

Adrian Goodsell, director of franchise sales at VMG, said: “London is a city known for its entrepreneurial spirit, so it is always exciting to hold the exhibition here and help kick start thousands of new careers in franchising.”

Brian Smart, director general of the BFA, commented: “Good franchising continues to deliver serious dividends for Britain’s economy, creating businesses, jobs and wealth for local communities across the country.

“Established trends of strong profitability and very low failure rates over the last 20 years highlight the benefit of self-employment through franchising, a path that more and more individuals are taking.”

The London exhibition provides the opportunity for any aspiring business owners to meet face-to-face with industry experts, who can help them get on the road to starting a business.

To make the most of the show, visitors to the event are invited to use an online pre-booking appointments system via www.franchiseinfo.co.uk. This convenient service enables visitors to plan the day by booking a time to meet with exhibitors that are of interest to them.

Anytime Fitness, the health and fitness franchise, will be sponsoring the event and will be exhibiting, along with Belvoir, Dream Doors, Dyno-Rod, Esquires Coffee, Go Cruise, McDonald’s and Mac Tools.

At the Real Franchise Stories sessions, a panel of successful franchisees, will report on how they chose their franchise and how successful was their franchisor in training them and helping them to open and develop their business.

McDonald’s will be holding Franchisee Recruitment Open Sessions where visitors will be able to meet with McDonald’s staff and learn about becoming a franchisee with one of the world’s biggest brands.

The experts from Franchise Finance will be holding a finance clinic, offering visitors help in raising funds for their new career path. Personal Career Management will also be facilitating a careers clinic. It aims to help visitors establish their skill set and match them to the most suitable opportunities.

The exhibition will also have an  international flavour with a variety of seminars to learn about entering the UK franchise market or taking a franchise abroad.

Appropriately, the Creation Station, which is itself a franchise, will run one of its children’s activity centres to look after visitor’s children, under the supervision of a parent or guardian.

Growing Your Own Business
In addition to franchising, the event will include the Growing Your Own Business seminars and workshops. Entrepreneurs will be offering advice on crowdfunding, social media, SEO trends, publicity generation and how to boost sales.

The exhibition will feature four keynote speakers. Jonathan Newman, chief executive of CHI Ventures will present: The £100m cheque: manifesting success. Newman, a filmmaker and entrepreneur, created the CHI brand in 2010. The company manufactures coconut-based products and are for sale in over 4,000 UK outlets.

John Aizlewood, chief development officer at Pizza Hut, will give an insight into working for one of the largest franchisors for over 20 years. He will share his views on what makes a long-lasting franchise business.

Richard Forte, McDonald’s UK chief operations officer, who has responsibility for the day-to-day running of 1,200 restaurants in the UK, will give an insight into the international brand’s global success and longevity.

International Franchise Conference
The keynote speaker at the International Franchise Conference is Frank Romano, Harry Ramsden’s sales operations and franchise director.

He will present: Harry Ramsden’s – The Next Generation Franchise. Romano will discuss his plans to accelerate the company’s ambitious franchising model, which aims to open over 300 new outlets within the next few years, both nationally and internationally.

To top-off the event for any ambitious entrepreneur, there will be exclusive networking sessions, enabling visitors to connect with international business leaders and professional advisers, to forge and build new relationships with like-minded entrepreneurs.

Visitors can have free admission to the exhibition by registering at www.franchiseinfo.co.uk with the code FWA1. The exhibition will be open from 10am each day, closing at 5pm on the Friday and 4pm on the Saturday.