Franchising World

By Michelle Lange, IFA


Emerging franchisors and curious entrepreneurs had Big Fun in the Big Easy at the 2023 Emerging Franchisor Conference (EFC). Typical networking and business connections happened with jazz music in the air, and members who came traded in conference rooms and buffet lines for art and fine dining.

Those lucky enough to grab the first 25 seats for the Franchisor Field Trip got an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at a thriving franchise’s operations — a real-world case study in successful franchising.

Conference coaches gathered with their groups throughout the event. People got to know each other and talk about their experiences in franchising over dinner at some of the city’s hottest spots.

Big Fun in the Big Easy

Mixed in with the music and meetings, EFC attendees also got down to business with structured learning during the day. Franchisors attended sessions such as “Brick by Brick: Your 7 Foundational Building Blocks to Franchisor Success,” an essential guide to establishing a strong franchising foundation. “Grow Fast, Further and More Efficiently” was an empowering opening session, setting the stage for what it means to scale up in today’s market and “Getting Ahead of Industry Trends that Impact Growth” detailed the evolving landscape of consumer behavior and technology, and what is working to make money.

Over lunch, the C-Suite FRANHACK offered problemsolving roundtables for tackling real-time challenges and brainstorming solutions. EFC also included a round of “speed dating” in the form of franchise coaching. The Conference Coach Roundtables and Franchise Business Speed Dating event put potential collaborators face to face in rapid succession. There’s nothing like the adrenaline that comes from pitching and assessing under a time crunch. That alone was worth the trip.

Choose Your Path

EFC offered different tracks to address the challenges of the different stages of growth in emerging franchising. From the first few units to 100 or more, attendees were able to meet with their peers to identify opportunities for success and overcome the challenges of growth at every step.

Those new to the franchise game attended sessions like, “Training Plan From Signing to Opening and First 30 Days,” while others with many units and years of experience tackled complex issues like “Leveraging Technology to Drive Franchise Growth.”

The opening and closing sessions covered issues relatable to everyone in the industry, with topics like “The Easy Way Never Pays Well,” a profound reminder of the dedication and hard work required to excel in the franchising world.

Everyone genuinely appreciated the power of meeting face-to-face with the leading minds and brands in franchising at IFA’s Emerging Franchisor Conference. If you were not able to make it, there are more than 300 like-minded entrepreneurs who spent a week in New Orleans to ask.