Develop your network in Greece, the Balkans and the Arab Countries

Max Konstantinides, President of KEM SA and member of the Franchise Association of Greece, explains how franchises are continuing to flourish and are looking forward to a highly successful KEM International Franchise Exhibition in Athens

Despite the financial crisis facing Greece, the country is still an evolved market offering a dynamic and growing franchise sector that offers great opportunities for the development of international franchises. It is true that the Eurozone crisis has made people more cautious about making all kinds of investments, however, the Greek franchise sector continues to thrive. Increasing numbers of people in Greece are planning to open businesses, but only as part of a large and established brand.

The organisers of the 14th KEM International Franchise Exhibition, due to take place March 2-5 2012, believe that franchising helps turn a crisis into an opportunity, and the event will provide companies with a platform from which to expand into Greece, the Balkans and the Middle East.

Aiming to present innovative concepts to a broader audience, the KEM Franchise Exhibition will be held under the auspices of the Arab-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and Development, seeking to attract a considerable number of visitors from a number of countries including Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, The United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait.

The 2012 event is being organised with the co-operation of the Chambers of Commerce of South Eastern European countries, and aims to also attract visitors from the Balkans including Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Romania and Turkey, which are displaying great interest in developing franchise concepts in their countries. As a result, the KEM International Franchise Exhibition has become a meeting point for the global franchise market, presenting new and innovative concepts available domestically and internationally.

The exhibition has become a prestigious institution in the franchise industry over the past 13 years, as more than 500 companies have participated and have successfully developed their networks throughout Greece. The efficiency of the exhibition, which has been recognised as a ‘five star’ exhibition by international magazines, has contributed to the growth of the franchise industry in Greece – 650 chains, 185 of which come from the international market, and 19,400 franchise owners.

The 2011 exhibition attracted 5,500 prospective franchise owners from both Greece and abroad, discovering more about the quality franchise opportunities available. This demonstrates that even in times of economic pressures, visitors are willing to invest, but only as a part of a well established franchise brand. It is worth noting, that 18 per cent of the visitors to KEM 2011 were interested in purchasing a brand name with international appeal.

Among the sectors that will be represented by exhibiting companies at KEM 12 are:

Food & Beverage
Health & Beauty
Service Provision
Education & Training
Home Furnishing
Toys & Gifts
Green Energy & Eco-Friendly Products
Car Services
Vending Machines

The 14th International KEM Franchise Exhibition will also be held under the auspices of the National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce, the Franchise Association of Greece, the European Franchise Federation (EFF) and the World Franchise Centre (WFC).