EXPO returns with even more franchise opportunities on the USA's West Coast

EXPO returns with even more franchise opportunities on the USA's West Coast

The West Coast Franchise Expo (WCFE), which celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2009, will once again bring franchisors quality leads and a chance to speak face-to-face with many potential franchise owners over the three-day event.

While the economy continues to struggle, tradeshows remain one of the soundest investments available to franchisors as well as offering a wealth of opportunities to budding franchise owners.

Tom Portesy, President of MFV Expositions, producer of West Coast Franchise Expo, as well as Franchise Expo South and the International Franchise Expo, said the quality of the visitors to WCFE are always impressive.

He added: "Only serious prospects travel to downtown Los Angeles on a Saturday or Sunday and spend their valuable time visiting with franchisors. These are people who are serious about investing in a franchise."

The 2010 West Coast Franchise Expo will see the return of the debut of the Discovery Day Theater, which made its debut at last year's event. Discovery Day Theater enables franchisors to present their concepts in a theater-like environment, including time for in-depth discussion and a question and answer session with those looking for franchise opportunities.

The presentations give visitors a valuable insight into franchise opportunities and a conference programme offers an educational experience for everyone attending the event. Seminars and conferences range from basic how-to sessions to advanced in-depth examinations of the franchisor/franchise owner relationship.

Cody Sorenson, Southern California Area Developer for Always Best Care Seniors, a repeat exhibitor at the event, said: "West Coast Franchise Expo delivers exactly what its producers promise. That's serious people interested in franchising and ready to start their own business. From there it is our job to sort through these leads, pique their interest and develop those relationships."

Mr Sorenson added that he had yet to find a source of leads that delivers the high number of qualified potential candidates, in a face-to-face environment as quickly and cost efficiently as the WCFE Expo does.

"MFV delivered the people and now we have quality leads that we are working through. It looks like we will exceed our goals from the show," he added.

To increase networking opportunities, show producers also host an Exhibitor Networking reception at the Convention Center. Nearly 300 exhibitors attended the 2009 event which was sponsored by CallCap, Greenbaum Marketing, Entrepreneur Magazine, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. While there are always many returning exhibitors to the Expo, last year's event saw 32 new concepts and 11 new suppliers made their debut.

Kevin S. Drudge, CFE for Valpak, said: "We exhibited for the first time at the West Coast Franchise Expo and the results were fantastic.

"We spoke to hundreds of people over the three days who were truly interested in business opportunities and many directly interested in Valpak. As a result we are already in serious discussions with several people for franchise opportunities."

Exhibiting at MFV Expositions events, which are also sponsored by the International Franchise Association, also prove beneficial to suppliers in the industry.

Jon Carlston, Director of franchisor development for Process Peak, said: "These franchise shows provide an invaluable opportunity to network face-to-face with potential and existing clients. I'm able to develop much stronger relationships through these events than I can over the telephone and email." Jeff D'Arcy, host of The Franchise Show, an online radio programme dedicated to the franchise industry and which broadcast live from last year's event, said: "The West Coast Franchise Expo is a tremendous opportunity to not only interact with literally thousands of franchise shoppers, but franchisors and suppliers from throughout the franchise industry."