Recently, I attended a local franchise opportunity expo. I wanted to see some new brands and meet some old contacts. The show was only a short 30 minute drive from my house and the fee was only $5, with free parking. So I figured it would be a good way to spend a Saturday morning.
After paying the entrance fee, I quickly got my bearings of the floor layout and proceeded to walk through the exhibitors. As I was maneuvering through the maze of concepts, each with eye-catching booths, knowledgeable representatives, free pens and candy, I was thinking that someone who was attending for the first time would be completely overwhelmed. So I thought it would be a good idea to share some tips on how to get the most out of attending a show.
Know your goal for attending: Make sure you know why you are going. Is is to see new brands, meet brands you’ve already heard about? If you’re looking for new brands, remember you wont be able to get full information from every booth at the show. There simply is not enough time.
Research what companies are exhibiting: Visit the website of the exhibition sponsor and get the list of the franchises that are attending. Then go through the list and highlight the brands you want to visit. Break the list into A, B and C priorities. Make sure to visit your A priorities first, because once you start talking with the representatives, time can get away quickly. If a 2-day show, then you can revisit the B priorities on day two.
Have a follow up plan: After the show, you’ll have an armful of literature and a pocketful of branded pens, now you’ll have to sort through everything. Make a list of the brands you want more information from and either call or email the representative. Keep track of the information you receive, I’d suggest a spreadsheet.
By having a plan, you can make the best of your time at a franchise opportunity expo. Plus, you’ll have enough pens to last a lifetime.