MFV Expositions, casamadre del network BeTheBoss - Franchiseexpo, è pronta a dare inizio ad una nuova stagione di eventi, primo tra tutti il Salone del Franchising di Miami, che si terrà al Miami Beach Convention Center, Florida, dall'11 al 13 Gennaio, 2008
Seguiranno nel corso del 2008 i consueti appuntamenti:
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By Joel Goldstein
It has taken less than a year for word to spread among the franchise community that Miami Beach is the place to be in January. In fact, for some it took only a matter of minutes to realize that the Franchise Expo South (FES) is not your average event.
"It was absolutely the best franchise expo we've ever done," one franchisor told Franchising World magazine after last year's inaugural event. In fact, by the end of last year's show over three-fourths of the exhibitors had already reserved booth space for 2008.
And word has obviously spread.
When the doors open to the second annual FES on Jan. 11 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, well more than last year's crowd of 8,000 prospects are expected to be on hand for the three-day event. And the action inside should be as lively and vibrant as the action outside as they check out the more than 220 franchise concepts on display.
Of course there is no doubt about the reason for the interest and overnight success of the FES. A according to the IFA, Florida is the fourth-largest state in the number of franchised businesses. But it's more than just the local opportunities that have had this event cooking from the start. One of the event's biggest draws is that it serves up terrific access to the increasingly affluent and influential Latin American market.
“From what I saw last year, the Expo attracted a wide variety of people. In addition to the local market we made some very strong connections with many people from other Caribbean islands, Central and South American countries,” says Steven M. Krolak, VP franchise development, for At FransGlobal, whose brands include The Taco Maker, Jake's Over the Top, Mayan Juice and Angel's Great Food and Ice Cream. They are also developers in Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central and South America for Camille's Sidewalk Cafe and Chester's Chicken.
“We met a lot of experienced entrepreneurs as well as a lot of new comers looking for their first business venture,” said Krolak.
Taco Maker recently opened its 107th outlet in Puerto Rico and has 20 more under construction. "That makes us the number one Mexican food QSR in Puerto Rico," he said.
"This show is great for us because we get many attendees from Central and South America," adds PostNet Executive Vice President Brian Spindel. "For example, we met our Master Franchisee for Panama at the show."
That franchisee was expected to open the first PostNet Center in Panama in November.
And while the FES offers franchise companies direct access to prospects from the smoking hot Latin America market, some franchisees also discovered that there is another benefit.
The cellular superstore Wireless Toyz is back for a second run for a simple reason. Chris Burden, the territory developer for South Florida, says that while he is not interested in the Latin America market, they do want to "offer internationals business opportunities in the US.”
Burden also added that as a result of the interest expressed by attendees from Latin America, the company is currently developing a business model for that market.
“It’s just a great show for international sales opportunities,” he said.
Of course the FES is far from just an international event. It is also a way to reach the rapidly expanding southeast marketplace.
"In Florida there is a very large population of Puerto Ricans -- many who actually grew up on our food in Puerto Rico," said Krolak.
In large part due to the excitement created at last year's FES, Krolak says that The Taco Maker, Jake's, Mayan Juice and Angel's now have development agents in place for Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas along with many multiple outlet operators in each of those territories. In fact, they have over 90 outlets under contract in Florida alone.
“Our original goal was to have 150 outlets within five years,” said Krolak. “We will pass that goal early this next year.”
For Harold J. Hill, president and CEO of the Bad Ass Coffee Co. of Hawaii, the area is a perfect compliment to the company and its product.
"Florida is a great market for us already and should be good in the future," said Hill. "The weather, tourism, everything meshes very well with our homeland of Hawaii. We think we will also get people from other markets close to Miami to visit us also.”
Ah yes, then there is Miami.
"Isn’t Miami a hot spot for everything?" says Spindel.
“People come to Miami to do business," adds Krolak, "and that is why we are coming to the Expo."
Wireless Toyz' Burden says that one thing he likes about the show is the diversity of the audience.
“Last year we saw international, local, investor -- a very diverse audience,” he said. “Our booth was very busy and we got a lot of quality leads.”
And, of course, the FES is not just about the bottom line – or even the top line.
“We would like to find some quality franchisees,” said Burden, “But it’s also a great place to brand our name.”
"Brand name recognition is extremely important if you want to grow your business," adds Krolak. "And being at a show like the Franchise Expo South is an ideal way to gain that added exposure while making the contacts needed to expand."
For more information on how you can be a part of the Franchise Expo South, visit franchiseexposouth.com.
Joel Goldstein is the director of marketing for MFV Expositions. He can be reached at email@example.com.