May 13, 2016

Franchise Tradeshows: A Thing of the Past or a Necessary Franchise Marketing Tool?

Chris Conner Franchise

In today’s day and age of franchise marketing, the internet has taken on such a significant role in how effective franchise systems are at marketing themselves and recruiting franchisees.  A significant portion of every franchise brand’s marketing budget goes toward SEO, Pay Per Click and web design as the franchise industry, like other business segments has transitioned to a very web-focused lead generation model.  With this transition to web marketing, the focus on franchise tradeshows has seemingly slowed down for many franchisors.  But is this the right move for a modern franchise campaign?  As a franchise consultant, Franchise Marketing Systems sees a significant volume of franchise campaigns from a variety of different brands and from what we’ve seen, the franchise tradeshow is alive and well. 

As a franchisor, when should Franchise shows be considered?  For one, the reason for most franchisors to avoid shows is that they can be significant expenses for one time marketing events.  A franchise show will be a budget expense of between $3,000 to $10,000 depending on the market and the show size.  For a young franchisor, this can be a difficult pill to swallow, but sometimes the cost shouldn’t be the focus as much as the opportunity of exhibiting at the show. 

One Franchise Marketing Systems client’s first marketing campaign was an MFV franchise show where the client took out a 10X20 booth, built an entire ice cream stand and offered out free product to the attendees of the show, the cost was in excess of $60,000 which at the time seemed like an enormous gamble.  Attendance was good, the timing was right and the brand was fresh, attractive and exciting, so all of this played a role in how successful the tradeshow was, but no one expected what happened.  One tradeshow produced 9 franchise sales and the brand quickly took shape as a leading franchise system in the market segment and proceeded to sell 180 franchises over the next twenty four months.  Literally, the franchise show launched the franchise campaign for this brand and positioned the organization for significant growth. 

In other cases, franchise shows still carry enormous value where the brand is focusing on specific markets to recruit new franchisees.  For example, the Franchise and Business Opportunities group puts on regional shows in most U.S. and Canadian markets which provide excellent opportunities for franchise brands to market in targeted areas. ( 

A franchise tradeshow booth should be professional, clean and present with the appropriate messaging needed to sell your brand.  (Franchise Tradeshow Booths)  The mistake we see frequently is that many people seem to have forgotten how to work a tradeshow effectively.  No matter how much you spend on your booth or invest in making your banners look pretty, someone needs to work the show and be aggressive in connecting with buyers on the show floor.  The activity and level of engagement is critical to how effective a franchise show will be and what the ROI is on the marketing investment. 

For more information on how to Market Your Franchise, Contact Us:


Share on social media: