Tips for Convention First-Time Attendees

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By Gabriela Seratt, Franchise Partner, HDG Hotels

Last year was the first time I had ever attended an IFA Annual Convention. As a franchisee, I found the experience incredibly valuable. To anyone who is on the fence about registering for this great event, I assure you that you won’t be disappointed. Here are some tips if you happen to be a first-time attendee at IFA 2020:

  1. Download the app. I downloaded the Convention app and was able to set my schedule in advance. The advance planning was invaluable.
  2. Take advantage of events catered to you. I attended all the franchisee events, including the reception held by the Franchisee Forum. 
  3. Network, network, network. The networking at these events, along with the closing event, allowed me to make some valuable industry contacts in areas ranging from lending to human resources.
  4. Take note of sessions that change your thinking. The session I recall the most was one I attended on Cause Marketing. It was a great session that educated me on partnering with your franchisor to support some of the charitable causes in your community while helping with employee retention and providing a source of free advertising to your business. 

Why am I attending again?

I am attending Convention again this year because there is always something new to learn. This year there are classes for questions franchisees should be asking, building a culture and leadership. These will be amazing, along with great keynote speakers and networking opportunities. 

I’m so glad to be able to attend IFA 2020, and would recommend it to all members of the franchise industry!

Gabriela Seratt is the Director of Engagement and Franchise Partner for Hotel Development & Management Group, LLC. She has worked in all different capacities at the hotel level and has also a background in accounting and finance.