IFA 2019 - The Latest and Greatest in Franchising

By Nabiha Balala

It’s that time of year again, the premier event specifically for franchise professionals! This year’s annual convention will be held at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas from February 24th through the 27th.

This is the industry’s largest convention focused on business development and personal growth. These several days are divided into many sessions tailored for all attendees; whether you are an old-timer or just beginning to learn about the do’s and don’ts in franchising, IFA has got you covered. We’ve gone through the convention agenda to pick out our five favorite sessions/events and have broken it down for you. See what we think may be a few of the most exciting and insightful sessions and networking events this year!

  1. Opening General Session

This year’s Opening General Session is one for the books. Gary Vaynerchuk, the keynote speaker, is a Belarusian-American entrepreneur. He is originally known for expanding his family’s wine business exponentially (from $3 million to $60 million is sales)! But, in addition to that amazing success story, he’s also a highly sought-after public speaker due to some of the following accomplishments:

  • 5-time New York best-selling author
  • Host of a global top 100 business podcast, The GaryVee Audio Experience
  • Chairman of VaynerX, a modern-day media and communications holding company
  • CEO of VaynerMedia, a full-service advertising agency serving Fortune 100 clients
  • Early investor in companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Venmo and Uber

…and so much more!

As you can see, Gary is a business guru. From growing businesses to its greatest potential, to writing award-winning books all the way to running one of the strongest digital advertising companies, Gary knows it all. Be sure to capitalize on the opportunity to hear from him live during IFA’s Opening General Session and see what his expertise can provide the franchise industry with!

  1. Balancing Heritage & Innovation: What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There (Concurrent Learning Lab)

This topic is particularly exciting. As businesses grow, they often are faced with the challenge of identifying what needs to be done differently to continue success due to changing trends and buying habits, all while sticking true to their foundational roots. This can be a very stressful turning point for many franchisors. Fortunately, panel members will be covering the following topics during this discussion:

  • The biggest hurdles of growth and how they dealt with the challenges.
    • How have they protected their heritage and history?
    • What had to be sacrificed for the company to grow?
  • Specific learnings that include:
    • What would they do different knowing what they know now.

This will be an informative session for any franchisor that wants to focus on new and fresh ideas, while incorporating some of the fundamentals that have brought them to success they’ve reached today.

  1. Generational Shifts Disrupting the Franchise Model (Concurrent Learning Lab)

This is another great session to attend during this year’s convention. As newer generations are getting older and taking on the workforce by storm, it is crucial that we understand their wants and needs so that we can keep franchising thriving and successful. Franchisors must make strategic modifications in their approach to business and address the generational disruption from Millennials. This session will give the audience study-based understanding on how Millennials are changing the workforce and how to make it beneficial for all.

  1. Leveraging Technology to Drive System Performance (Concurrent Learning Lab)

Technology has evolved so rapidly in the last several years, that almost all of the operational activities franchises were doing at the beginning of this decade have been completely altered now with major shifts in technology streamlining several areas of businesses. This is a great thing. But it comes with many challenges, one that includes franchisors that hesitate to change their tried and true ways for something newer. Thankfully, the several panelists during this session will cover some of the following information:

  • How franchisors are harnessing mobile platforms, workflow automation and data analytics to improve efficiencies.
  • How big data, data visualization and machine learning can be used to reveal actionable insights across a system.
  • How emerging technologies will impact business, and how to apply future-forward thinking to give your system a first mover advantage.
  1. The Bash (Networking Event)

Last but not least, if you’re attending IFA, be sure to attend The Bash! This is their annual networking party event that takes place the last full day of IFA. This is a great opportunity to relax, enjoy some great food, dance to some amazing music and just genuinely have a great time, all while connecting with hundreds of people in franchising. Networking is key in learning new and important trends, practices and much more. Capitalize on the opportunity to meet several new people, all in one place.

We are looking forward to seeing all of you at IFA next week. Please make sure to visit us at Booth #320 and allow us to share the latest in franchise management software with you!

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Tags: Franchising, Technology, Franchise Operations Management, franchise management software