How the IFA 2021 Virtual Annual Convention Sets Emerging Franchisors Up for Success

Exclusive Insights
ifa 2021

By Meg Roberts, CEO & President, The Lash Lounge

Have you ever imagined what opening a franchise during a pandemic looked like? COVID-19 has tested and challenged businesses in unprecedented ways and, while many industries may continue to struggle, franchising gives us an opportunity to not only survive, but thrive in 2021.

If there’s any doubt about being able to find success amid a global pandemic, many U.S. franchises continue to develop their businesses for expansion. The road ahead still has difficult challenges to overcome, but for those of us who are just jumping into the world of franchising, the IFA Virtual Annual Convention is the key to overcoming those challenges by setting us up for success and fueling our growth.

Here are three reasons why I’m logging on and feel this is a must-attend event for emerging franchisors:

  1. Critical updates on the pandemic and beyond.
  2. Education and actionable insights.
  3. Networking and growth opportunities.

Critical updates on the pandemic and beyond.

What have been the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the franchising industry so far? What challenges should we be aware of moving forward? What are the solutions and how do you implement them? We’ll hear from renowned speakers in the public and private sectors about their insights and predictions into what the future holds.

At the outset of a new Administration and new Congress, IFA 2021 is bringing us information straight from a bipartisan group of senators, governors, and the new White House to help our businesses take advantage of COVID relief opportunities and know what’s coming next. We’ll hear straight from the source about potential relief bills, a vaccine timeline and other major developments that could affect how we build our operations.

We’ll also learn about accelerated innovations due to COVID-19 — like the explosion of virtual kitchens and third-party delivery apps — and get a thorough economic outlook, presented by senior leadership of BNY Mellon.

Education and actionable insights.

As we kick-start our franchising journeys, there are educational sessions on every topic that will teach us about the key areas to focus on in order to create continued and sustainable growth.

It’s common for emerging franchisors to face the same challenges and make the same mistakes within the first two years of operation. We’ll review how to focus on the critical pieces to grow past 100 units, address common mistakes, best practices and get equipped with the tools needed to start (and stay) on the right foot.

For those of us in the growth phase, finding the right candidate is integral so we’ll learn how to develop the profile of a successful franchisee for our system, then work on effective communication and relationship management with our franchisees.

Also, don’t forget to register for the pre-event Emerging Franchisor Bootcamp (February 9-10).

Networking and growth opportunities.

In order to thrive, we need to remain connected to peers, be able to share learnings and reaffirm the foundational franchising strategies we learn. Though we won’t be meeting in person in 2021, the IFA is bringing franchising to us virtually through IFA 2021.

There will be plenty of opportunities to meet, collaborate and learn from each other through virtual breakout sessions, roundtables and happy hours. We’ll also be able to meet key contacts and create long-lasting relationships to take us to the next level.

Because the event is virtual, it’s accessible and affordable to your whole team. All the sessions at IFA 2021 will be available on demand (and accessible for three months), meaning there’s plenty of content to binge to ensure you’ve got all the tools you need to succeed.

On the IFA’s commitment to provide emerging franchisors with everything they need to succeed, Kevin Daly, President of TurboHaul spoke highly of the tools provided during the Emerging Franchisor Virtual Conference in November 2020. “The Franchisor Fitness Checklist is great – especially for emerging franchisors. In my opinion, worth the price of admission by itself,” Kevin said.

So, if there’s any doubt in your mind about whether there’s value to be discovered at the event, put the doubt to rest. I’m logging on and looking forward to growing my franchise with what I learn.


To learn more about the IFA 2021 Virtual Annual Convention (February 10-25) and to register, visit