Emerging Franchisor Conference | International Franchise Association

Take Your Brand to New Heights

Designed for franchisors looking to connect, innovate and evolve their brands to the next level, the Emerging Franchisor Conference is a must-attend. You’ll leave with valuable information and insights from leading franchisors that you will bring back to your business to help you grow and succeed in the future.

Who Should Attend and Why:

Franchise Operations Executives, CEOs, COOs, Presidents, franchise development executives, franchise marketing experts, franchise relations specialists and anyone looking to grow their business!

You will earn 300 Education Credits towards the completion of the Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) accreditation by attending the IFA Emerging Franchisor Conference.

NOTE: This event is for Franchisors and Franchisees ONLY. Supplier companies are only permitted to attend if they are sponsoring the event.


  • Discovering opportunities unique to your growing franchise system
  • Being a part of an interactive learning atmosphere where attendees are engaged with one another
  • Putting your skills to the test by taking part in a case study to showcase best practices learned and make your brand go big



Check back soon to see our 2018 speakers!

Susan Beth, CFE

COO, NRD Capital

Rocco Fiorentino, CFE

President & CEO, PrimoHoagies

Ken Hutcheson, CFE

President, U.S. Lawns

Lisa Merry

COO, Huntington Learning Centers, Inc.


1:00 pm – 6:00 pmRegistration Desk Open

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Bonus Pre-Conference Session

Building a ‘Best in Class’ Franchise System to Maximize Value

Those who are currently building a franchise system, or those who have done so in the past, know it is a monumental task. How do I go about selling new units? What team members do I add when? How much support and flexibility should I offer franchisees? Should I build my own IT system or buy of the shelf? All of these questions and many more certainly cross a leader’s desk every day when in growth mode. Getting the answers to these questions, and others, right will allow you to build a “Best in Class” franchise system that will maximize the value of your brand.

Speaker: Susan Beth, CFE, COO, NRD Capital

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Welcome and General Session

Fundamental Elements – How to Survive and Thrive as a Franchisor

The core to successful franchising is for all parties to profoundly understand their roles and responsibilities as a franchisee and as a franchisor, and hold each other accountable as together you build your franchise network. This session will focus on:

  • Establishing the fundamental roles and responsibilities as a franchisor.
  • Establishing metrics to measure progress –culture/unit economics/brand/growth.
  • Budgeting for success.
  • How to consistently communicate your role as a franchisor throughout the life cycle of the franchisee.
  • Managing the expectations of the franchisee.
  • When things go wrong!
  • Establishing the fundamental roles and responsibilities of the franchisee.
  • Establishing metrics to measure progress –culture/ unit economics/brand/growth.
  • It starts in the sales process.
  • When things go wrong!

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Problem Solving/Team Building Exercise

What is the top issue keeping you up at night that you want to address during this conference? During this session we’ll compile a list of the take-aways you need to go home with to make your investment in the Emerging Franchisor Conference worth your time and money. All attendees will be made to feel welcome and comfortable with discussing the challenges they face and solutions they need to drive value in their attendance at this event.

8:00 am – 5:00 pmRegistration Desk Open

8:00 am – 8:30 amContinental Breakfast with Table Top Exhibitors

8:30 am – 9:30 am

General Session

Quality Lead Generation

Build your foundation the right way by developing your franchisee profile and development plan to bring in the right candidates. Once you know who your ideal franchise candidate is, we will explore lead generation opportunities, including social media and other tried and true measures, to target your candidate and maximize your investment.

9:45 am – 10:45 am

General Session

Five Steps to a Successful Franchise Sales Process

The driving force behind every successful franchisor is a system of healthy, happy and profitable franchisees. The growth of a franchise brand is dependent on a strong system, solid unit level economics, and choosing the right franchisees.

Prepare to learn the steps needed to develop and improve your Franchise Sales Process. During this General Session you will discover how to develop a strong franchise system for continued growth, evaluate your franchise development process for possible areas of improvement, and analyze your franchisee’s return on investment. You will also learn how to manage your prospects as they move through the process, what is necessary to keep them engaged and informed, and when to invite them in for Discovery Day.

Finally, we will discuss the importance of franchisee validation and the valuable insight it provides to the potential franchisee regarding the strength of the system and the level of involvement and support from the franchisor. This may be the difference of awarding a franchise or losing a potential franchisee.

Speakers: David Blue, Co-Founder, Blue Moon Estate Sales; Alan Majerko, VP, Corporate Development, Winmark Franchise Partners; Steve Murphy, President, Franchising, Winmark Corporation

10:45 am – 11:00 amRefreshment Break with Table Top Exhibitors

11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Marketing Programs

Who pays for what? What is the responsibility of the franchisor and the franchisee? Have a strategic plan to be able to take advantage of technology

Field Support Best Practices

12:00 pm – 1:45 pmLuncheon and Featured Presentation

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Unit Level Economics

It’s All About Unit Level Economics: Nothing is more important to an emerging franchisor than an obsession among all stakeholders on the franchisees’ bottom line. If franchisees aren’t making money, then you will not get beyond the emerging stage. During this session we will focus on the following:

  • Describe how to approach unit level economics and what KPI’s should you measure, including the interaction between field support and franchisees.
  • Explain the role that data plays in measuring, analyzing and then driving unit level economics. How has that changed in the last few years?
  • Describe how you identify, track and address customer preferences and changing demands.
  • What does the brand promise mean to unit level economics, and how do you live, breathe and communicate that brand promise?
  • How can you change behavior/get different results when a franchisee is struggling/not moving the needle?

Speakers: Ken Hutcheson, CFE, President, U.S. Lawns; Brian Schnell, CFE, Partner, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP

Training and Supporting Franchisees for Long-Term Success

Finding great franchisees is only the start. Creating a great support program can help them get open and profitable more quickly, more effectively and with reduced strain on your staff and budget. Explore the most innovative and effective practices plus system tools in this lively and interactive session.

Speakers: Lisa Merry, COO, Huntington Learning Centers, Inc.; Mary Ann O'Connell, CFE, President, FranWise®

3:00 pm – 3:30 pmRefreshment Break with Table Top Exhibitors

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

General Session

Scaling Up! What resources should the growing franchisor add to the corporate office and when should these resources be added?

During this session, a panel of franchisors will discuss how they navigated growth within their budgetary constraints of a growing franchise system. This includes:

  • What disciplines to bring internally and what to outsource.
  • How to have team members wear multiple hats effectively.
  • How to prioritize human resources with limited resources.
  • Sharing mistakes made and lessons learned along the way.
  • Incorporating technology to be more efficient from the start.
  • Learning how to balance strategy, people, execution, and cash!

4:30 pm – 5:30 pmReception with Table Top Exhibitors

7:30 am – 2:45 pmRegistration Desk Open

7:30 am – 8:00 amContinental Breakfast with Table Top Exhibitors

8:00 am – 9:00 am

General Session

Digital Marketing

What are the new strategies, costs vs. traditional means of marketing? How do you get buy-in from your franchisees?

9:00 am – 9:30 amRefreshment Break with Table Top Exhibitors

9:30 am – 10:30 am

General Session

Simplifying Financing for Emerging Brand Franchisees

Simplifying the funding process for your franchise candidates is an important but often overlooked component of franchise development. In this session, you will learn how successful franchisors have utilized a variety of strategies to streamline the funding process for their candidates.

Speakers: Rocco Fiorentino, CFE, President & CEO, PrimoHoagies; Dallas Kerley, CFE, President & CEO, Benetrends Financial

10:45 am – 11:45 am

Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Legal Pitfalls in the Sales Process and How to Avoid

Grow Your Franchise Through Social Media: What You Need to Know

Few parts of your business are as dynamic as your social media and online reviews strategy. Learn the very latest best practices on how you can use these tools to grow your consumer business as well as your franchise development business.

12:00 pm – 1:45 pmBoxed Luncheon with Roundtables

1:45 pm – 2:45 am

Closing General Session

Communication Strategies to Enhance Franchisee Engagement and Satisfaction

How best do you communicate with your franchisees? When do you communicate with your franchisees, how does that communication need to change as you grow? The role of your FAC.

2:45 pmIFA's 2018 Emerging Franchisor Conference Officially Adjourns

Hilton Miami Downtown
1601 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, FL 33132

The 2018 Emerging Franchisor Conference will be held at the Hilton Miami Downtown in Miami, FL; located on the Biscayne Bay and only minutes from South Beach. IFA has reserved a block of rooms at the hotel for a rate of $219/night for a single or double standard room. You may reserve your hotel room by calling 800-445-8667 or clicking the below link. The deadline for making a reservation is October 7, 2018 by 5:00pm, or when the IFA room block is filled, whichever is first. Once the room block is sold out, reservations will be accepted on a space availability basis at the group rate.




To contact the IFA Conferences Department, please email events@franchise.org or call 202-662-0763.

Do you have a speaker suggestion for this, or any other IFA event? Let us know!