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Thousands attend largest franchise exhibition of the year leading to packed aisles full of visitors who left well informed

“I’ve been so impressed by some good ideas that I am going to come back tomorrow with my wife!” Dominic McNeillis, a software sales specialist from Hagley near Birmingham certainly had a day to remember at the recent National Franchise Exhibition held at the NEC in Birmingham. He was one of the thousands of enthusiastic visitors there searching for new careers and investment opportunities among the vast range of business concepts on show, who discovered valuable information and ideas at the event.

Michael Douglas from Birmingham, a social work project worker for a local authority, was another who left with a lot of new information and ideas. He thought that “the seminars were brilliant” as well as adding that he was “going away with some good ideas to investigate further.” The crowds created a lively and busy atmosphere, packing out the theatres and stands and spilling into the aisles during the presentations. The UK’s largest franchise exhibition of the year saw UK and international companies in attendance, including concepts from Australia, Italy and France.

There were plenty of brands to explore and advisors from lawyers, banks and consultants to meet, as well as an array of different conference sessions to attend across six theatres. The free seminar series, hosted by the British Franchise Association and representatives of reputable franchise companies, were constantly busy.

The event’s keynote speakers included England rugby’s World Cup winner and former captain Phil Vickery, now a director of SureLet, and Keira O’Mara who created and launched Mama Designs children’s and mum’s clothing. The Real Franchisee Stories sessions continued to be very popular as Jon Eley, a logistics supervisor in the healthcare industry from Derby, observed: “Speaking to franchisees has been valuable in gaining a real picture of the businesses.” The crowds certainly kept exhibitors well occupied. Ruth Holroyd of Anytime Fitness said: “We’ve been so busy that we’ve been stretched to speak to everybody who wanted to talk to us.” There were many new opportunities not previously seen in the UK giving aspiring candidates the chance to be one of the first UK franchisees. Anytime Fitness was one of many new franchise concepts exhibiting for the first time, along with businesses such as Guinot, La Pataterie, Mica DIY, Sharkey’s for Kids, sKids and Oven Rescue that were either recently launched opportunities or entirely new to the UK altogether.

Andy Taylor, director of Leisure Leagues observed: “There has been a high standard of visitors from all over the UK and overseas.” Steve Emmerson, from TruGreen, also spoke highly of the visitors: “We’ve met quite a few visitors who were wellprepared and researched ready to meet us and talk seriously.” The importance of visiting the exhibition, rather than relying on telephone conversations and written information was appreciated by Onkar Nardra, already a franchisee in Birmingham, who said “I’m looking for additional franchise opportunities as investments. It’s good to talk face-to-face – you get a clearer impression.”

Adrian Goodsell, Franchise Exhibitions Manager of Venture Marketing Group, organisers of The National Franchise Exhibition, commented: “Many people came to the event ready to take a step forward in their plans to become franchisees. They found exhibitors ready to do business and banks ready to lend and all the legal and support advice they need to make the important decision to proceed. When they find the right opportunity for them – they are ready to go!”

Future franchise exhibitions supported by the bfa include:

British Franchise Exhibition 16 & 17 June 2017, EventCity, Manchester

National Franchise Exhibition 13 & 14 October 2017, NEC, Birmingham

National Franchise Exhibition 16 & 17 February 2018, NEC, Birmingham

British & International Franchise Exhibition 09 & 10 March 2018, Olympia, London

For further information on our Franchise Exhibitions visit franchiseinfo.co.uk