#IFA2018 Snapshot: What to Expect in Phoenix

The biggest gathering of the year in franchising, IFA’s 2018 Annual Convention takes place Feb. 10-13 in Phoenix, Ariz. With a theme of “Together, We Are Franchising,” the event will provide ample opportunities to improve your business.


By IFA Staff


IFA’s 2018 Annual Convention is nearly upon us. It takes place Feb. 10-13 in Phoenix, Ariz. For those who haven’t registered yet: What, you might ask, is different this year, and why should you travel to Phoenix? In addition to fresh programming and a lineup of speakers you’re sure to recognize, the key difference this year can be found in the evolution of your business.


What challenges did you and your franchise overcome in 2017? What methods and techniques did you use to improve operations and grow your brand? Who taught you something new and how did business partners help you increase profitability? What tips can you share with others new to franchising? The answers to all these questions help shape what’s different from the last IFA Convention. Your vision, goals and priorities have changed over the past 12 months. This is your chance to reconnect with the franchise family and gear up for what lies ahead.


This year’s Convention is designed to meet your personal needs, whether you’re a franchisor, franchisee, operator, supplier, first-time attendee or just looking for your next opportunity. Whether it’s the ever-popular Business Solution Roundtables, keynote speakers to include Hollywood’s Brandfather Rohan Oza, Shark Tank’s Daymond John serving as a guest judge for the NextGen in Franchising Global Competition, the unique Music Paradigm experience, or engaging events for professional networking — the list goes on — the 2018 Convention will feature personalized tracks for professionals in the areas of field support, finance, franchise development, franchise relations, marketing, international, legal and operations. There’s also specific tracks for franchisees, franchsiors with 100 units or less and general attendees.


What else can you expect? Here’s a snapshot of the speakers, sessions and networking opportunities available at IFA’s 2018 Annual Convention. Find out more at www.franchise.org/convention.


Daymond John at NextGen and Keynote Speakers

• Sunday, Feb. 11 and Tuesday, Feb. 13: CAVU Venture Partners Co-Founder Rohan Oza is the keynote speaker for the Opening General Session on Sunday. Oza is the brand thought-leader behind the transformations of Smartwater, Vitaminwater, popchips, Vita-Coco and Bai Beverages. BrightStar Care CEO and IFA Chair Shelly Sun, CFE, will also provide a “State of the Association” briefing during the opening session with IFA President and CEO Robert Cresanti, CFE. Daymond John, star of ABC’s Shark Tank and Founder, President and CEO of clothing company FUBU, will lead a panel of judges for the final round of the IFA Foundation’s NextGen in Franchising Global Competition. Twenty young entrepreneurs will compete in the first round of the Global Competition on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. The top three will be chosen to compete in the final round on Tuesday.


One-of-a-Kind Experience: Music Paradigm

• Monday, Feb. 12: In search of an interesting experience outside the typical convention panel? Then check out Music Paradigm, an awe-inspiring session with a live professional orchestra that simulates business challenges using music as a metaphor. Led by Maestro Roger Nierenberg, Music Paradigm examines leadership, teamwork, responsibility, effectiveness and unity lessons through the lens of an innovative exercise.


Emerging Franchisor Bootcamp

• Tuesday, Feb. 13: Back by popular demand, the Emerging Franchisor Bootcamp offers up-close access to some of the top thought leaders in franchising, who offer their best tips and lessons learned from missteps along the way. Why go it alone when you can learn from the best? Following an “Innervation Lab” by The Shark Group team and growth roadmap exercises, participants will hear from franchise executives from brands such as BrightStar Care, College Hunks Hauling Junk, Express Services, FASTSIGNS International, FOCUS Brands, Glass Doctor, Great Clips, Tropical Smoothie Café, Merry Maids and PMTD Restaurants. Limited to the first 500 franchisors with 100 units or less who sign up, the bootcamp includes a complimentary CFE enrollment and guide book, and 400 bonus CFE credits.


Business Solution Roundtables

• Monday, Feb. 12 and Tuesday, Feb. 13: Hosted by the IFA Supplier Forum, the Business Solution Roundtables offer the chance to sit down with 10-12 people and exchange ideas, challenges, solutions and best practices with top CEOs, Presidents and Chief Operating Officers. The roundtables start at 3:20 p.m. on Monday and 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday. Be there!


Annual Leadership Conference

• Saturday, Feb. 10: The keynote speaker for this year’s Annual Leadership Conference is Firehouse Subs CEO Don Fox. IFA Women’s Franchise Committee Vice Chair Marisa Faunce of Plave Koch will lead a panel with TITLE Boxing Club’s Susan Buresow, CFE, Camp Bow Wow’s Christina Russell, CFE, and Sean Falk, CFE, with Great American Cookies & Pretzelmaker.


Transformational Stories in Franchising

• Tuesday, Feb. 13: A new General Session format on Tuesday morning will feature rapid-fire, high-energy presentations by franchisors that share “Transformational Stories in Franchising” modeled after the TED Lecture series, with presentations no more than 15 minutes each. Hear from Dale Carnegie’s CEO, Joe Hart; InXpress’ CEO, Dustin Hansen; and Ben & Jerry’s Global Senior Manager of Operations and Training, Colette Hittinger.


Mini-Super Sessions

• Sunday, Feb. 11: Three speakers will lead engaging discussions about franchising and business management at the Mini-Super Sessions, which will feature presentations from Franklin Covey’s Stephen M.R. Covey on “Franchising at the Speed of Trust,” Southwestern Consulting’s Rory Vaden and franchise speaker Walter Bond.


A Chance to Connect

• Saturday, Feb. 10 and Monday, Feb. 12: Get acquainted with others new to the convention at the New Member and First-Time Attendee Reception on Saturday. Kick off the 2018 Annual Convention in style with The Buzz on Saturday night and reconnect with colleagues during The Bash on Monday night at local Phoenix hotspot, The Duce.


For more details, including a full listing of the concurrent sessions, and register for the biggest event of the year in franchising, visit www.franchise.org/convention. We’ll see you there!