International Track Agenda - IFA 2022 Annual Convention

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We want you at the most important franchising event of the year – the IFA’s 2022 Annual Convention.

With over 50 compelling sessions and countless networking opportunities, figuring out your daily game plan can quickly become overwhelming. And you’re probably thinking…what’s in it for me?

If you work in international franchising or are looking to expand internationally, this recommended schedule is a great place to get started with determining how to spend your time and get the most value out of your investment in joining us this February. 

Friday 2.25 UD

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM         Concurrent ICFE Special Sessions
Whether you're a new CFE Candidate or a current CFE working towards recertification, ICFE Special Sessions give you the opportunity to gain hundreds of CFE Education Credits in a short period of time. During the two-day Special Sessions, you're in store for a wealth of knowledge through engaging courses. By attending sessions on both Friday and Saturday, you can earn up to 500 CFE credits. For more information on the available courses, please click here. Want to learn more about becoming a Certified Franchise Executive, the industry gold standard? Click here.

Saturday 2.26

8:00 AM – 6:00 PM        Registration Desk Open

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM        International Lounge Open
Want to meet with fellow franchising professionals from across the globe? Need a place to check email or check-in back home? Swing by the International Lounge in between sessions for refreshments and to network with colleagues from all across the world!

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM         Concurrent ICFE Special Sessions
For more information on the available courses, please click here.


9:00 AM – 12:00 PM      Emerging Franchisor Bootcamp
Does your brand have 100 units or less? This exclusive workshop will be a working session that will maximize time spent on problem-solving real issues. Each emerging franchisor will receive mentoring and peer input to a key business problem. This input will also help participants more effectively choose convention sessions and events that will further help them solve important issues. Additional fee applies.

12:00 PM – 4:15 PM       Annual Leadership Conference
Modern Leadership - Embracing New Ways of Being, Knowing, and Doing. The 2022 Annual Leadership Conference will feature franchise leaders who are embracing a new style of leadership to accelerate transformation for the future. From consumer and employee brand relevance, to changing workplace environments, to the necessary evolution of profitability models -- learn what they’re doing and how you too can become a modern leader. Lunch and Reception included. Additional fee applies.

4:40 PM – 6:00 PM         New Member & First-Time Attendee Briefing and Reception
Is this your first time at an IFA Annual Convention? Have you recently joined IFA as a Member? Stop by this briefing on IFA and Convention tips and tricks from veterans and franchising professionals. The briefing will run from 4:40 pm – 5:00 pm and be followed immediately by the New Member & First–Time Attendee Reception with IFA Committee Meet Ups where attendees can learn more about all IFA Member Committees and how to get involved.

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM         2022 Opening Reception
Join us and Cheers! as we kick off the start of IFA’s 2022 Convention with a bang! Don’t miss this first opportunity to network with your peers.

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM         New Member & First-Time Attendee Dine Arounds
Need help taking the first step in forging new business relationships? New this year, IFA will be creating 2 small groups of 10 to dine at a nearby restaurant. Get a taste of San Diego while creating bonds with your fellow attendees. Open to New IFA Members or First-Time Convention Attendees Only. Additional fee applies.

Sunday 2.27

7:00 AM – 6:00 PM        Registration Desk Open

6:30 AM - 7:45 AM         Prayer Breakfast
A non-denominational event, the Prayer Breakfast is a great way to start the day with music, reflection, inspirational speakers and food for both body and mind. Additional signup required.

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM        International Lounge Open

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM       Opening General Session
Our opening general session will celebrate the VetFran 30th Anniversary and the IFA Major Award Winners. This session will include a motivational keynote speaker and franchise veteran speakers

10:00 AM – 10:30 AM    Morning Break in Exhibit Hall
All registered attendees are welcome to come take a look at the latest and greatest in products, services and systems available from our Exhibitors! The IFA Exhibit Hall offers something for everyone. This year, all provided meals will take place in the Exhibit Hall, offering attendees many chances to meet all 2022 Exhibitors.

10:30 AM – 11:15 AM    Education Session
We recommend you attend the below educational session during this time.

Expanding to the U.S.
Why have so few international franchisors successfully grown in the US market? Learn about the legal and financial challenges, success stories and best practices for your U.S. market entry strategy.

Moderator: Eli Bensignor, Counsel, Lathrop GPM
Speakers: Kay Ainsley, CFE, Managing Director, MSA Worldwide; John Evans, President, EverLine Coatings and Services

11:15 AM – 5:00 PM      Foundation Community Service Project
Stop by throughout each day of Convention to participate in this year’s Franchising Gives Back Service Project – no pre-registration required! Service project to be announced soon.

11:45 AM – 12:30 PM    Education Session
We recommend you attend the below educational session during this time.

Avoiding Mistakes in International Expansion
It's surprising how many times the same mistakes are made when franchisors begin to expand beyond their home countries.  This session will cover some of those common errors and how to avoid them.

Moderator: Edward 'Ned' Levitt, CFE, Partner, Dickinson Wright LLP
Speakers: James Goniea, General Counsel, Self Esteem Brands; Roberto Litwak, CFE, COO, Feher Consulting

12:30 PM – 1:45 PM       Networking Lunch with Exhibitors
(Doors open at 12:15pm with lunch service at 12:30pm)

1:45 PM – 3:30 PM         Intensive Summit
We recommend you attend the below Summit during this time.

International Summit
Part 1: International Franchising 101
The International Summit is the Convention’s annual presentation on the fundamentals of international franchising for those who want to expand their franchise system internationally but have not done so before.

Moderator: Beata Krakus, Partner, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.
Speakers: Jim Hartenstein, Former SVP, International, Wendy’s and Little Caesars and Managing Director, Hartenstein Global Consulting, LLC; Tony Padulo, CFE, CDO, School of Rock

Part 2: International Unit Economics & Operations
New this year as part of the International Summit is a deeper dive on the economics of international franchising, including setting international franchise fees and royalties, and the factors that are used to decide the division of fees between unit franchisees, master franchisees and the franchisor.

Moderator: Mark Siebert, CEO, iFranchise Group
Speakers: Rafik Farouk, Sr. Director, Global Business Development, P.F. Chang’s; Marc Mushkin, VP, International Franchise Sales & Development, CKE Restaurants

3:30 PM – 4:00 PM         Afternoon Break in Exhibit Hall

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM         Education Session
We recommend you attend the below educational session during this time.

Supporting Your Brand Internationally
This session will explore how a franchisor can plan for growth on a global scale. What training and support will you provide? How do brand standards remain, or change based on each country? How does a franchisor best support a brand from the United States?

Moderator: Bill Graefe, CFE, Partner, FisherZucker LLC
Speakers: Mark Jameson, CFE, Chief Support & Development Officer, Propelled Brands; David Mesa, EVP, Franchise Division & Chief Development Officer, Ballard Brands

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM         Chairman’s Reception with Exhibitors


5:00 PM – 6:00 PM         CFE Celebration with 2021 & 2022 Graduates
Whether you are a current CFE or celebrating your graduation this year, join us to network with others who have achieved the designation and toast to those who have just completed! Open to all current CFEs and the graduating classes of 2021 & 2022 only.

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM         International Reception
Network with leaders in international franchising to make connections and learn about trends and developments in franchising across borders. Attendees will be key players in international franchising, including international investors, high-level franchisor executives and U.S. Commercial Service staff.

Monday 2.28

7:00 AM – 6:30 PM        Registration Desk Open

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM        Breakfast with Exhibitors

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM        International Lounge Open

8:30 AM - 10:00 AM       General Session
Monday’s general session will highlight 2021 and 2022 CFE graduates, share a franchisor brand story and highlight a keynote speaker with a focus on diversity, equality, and inclusion.

10:00 AM – 10:45 AM    Morning Break in Exhibit Hall

10:00 AM – 5:00 PM      Foundation Community Service Project

10:45 AM – 11:30 AM    Education Session
We recommend you attend the below educational session during this time.

Moving Forward Now – Best Strategies and Best Markets in These Times
This session will explore the 'new' global franchise scene as we adjust to the new normal. How franchisors are adding new countries and growing their business in existing countries? Which countries are the best ones for new growth going forward?

Moderator: Bill Edwards, CFE, CEO & Global Advisor, Edwards Global Services
Speakers: Eric Johnson, CFE, Global Franchising Team Leader, U.S. Department of Commerce; David Oppenheim, CFE, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig; Alberto Vidal, Director, International Business, Ace Hardware Corporation

11:30 AM – 1:30 PM      Networking Lunch with Exhibitors

1:30 PM – 2:15 PM         Education Session
We recommend you attend the below educational session during this time.

Legal Issues in International Expansion, and How to Best Deal With Them, for Non-lawyers
There are no shortage of legal issues to deal with when expanding internationally. The lawyers presenting this session will explain how to make sense of it all, and a strategy to address them as you consider international expansion to any number of countries.

Moderator: Larry Weinberg, Partner, Cassels
Speakers: Ximena Couret, Associate, Baker McKenzie LLP; Kerry Renker Green, Associate General Counsel - Global Franchise, The Wendy’s Company

2:15 PM – 3:00 PM         Afternoon Break in Exhibit Hall

3:00 PM – 5:20 PM         Thought Leadership Roundtables
(Previously known as Business Solution Roundtables)
Hosted by franchise executives and Supplier Forum members, don’t miss this unique opportunity to sit down at a roundtable of 10-12 people and exchange ideas, challenges, solutions and best practices with some of franchising’s most accomplished CEOs, presidents and COOs. Pose questions and listen to their success stories, lessons learned and innovative business solutions.

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM         IFA Block Party
Don’t miss your last chance to network with our 2022 Exhibitors and learn about the products, services and systems they have to help your business.

9:00 PM – 12:00 AM      IFA Unplugged
After dinner, close out your evening with a little dancing or a nightcap at IFA Unplugged!

Tuesday 3.1

8:00 AM – 11:30 AM      Registration Desk Open

8:00 AM – 10:00 AM      Foundation Community Service Project

8:30 AM – 9:45 AM        Specialty Seminars
These are concurrent deep-dive sessions on specific initiatives the IFA and IFA Foundation support. Learn how your business or system can participate in and/or support these efforts! Choose whichever session interests you the most.

  • C-Suite Think Tank & Forum Exchange (Open to Franchisor C-Suite Executives Only)
  • VetFran: Winning the War for Talent: Tapping into the Veteran Pipeline
  • DE&I: Recruiting and Supporting Diverse Entrepreneurs
  • Franchising Gives Back: Integrating Philanthropy into Your Franchise’s DNA

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM    Closing General Session
Our final general session will celebrate the Franchisee of the Year award winners with keynote speaker messages focused on workforce development and engagement.

Want to see all educational sessions and events that IFA’s Annual Convention has to offer?

Questions? Call 202-662-0763 or email