The sun was shining on the West Coast Franchise Expo

More than 70 per cent of exhibit space is already booked for this year's West Coast Franchise Expo (WCFE) based in Los Angeles, following its success in 2007. Exhibitors had the opportunity to meet prospective franchisees on a one-to-one basis and offered visitors the chance to explore nearly 250 franchise concepts

WCFE is situated in an ideal location, as Southern California is an entrepreneurial part of the USA and like all International Franchise Association tradeshows the WCFE continues to attract a high number of qualified domestic and international prospects. Terry McGee, Vice President of Franchise Development for E.Nopi, an educational programme that prepares students for school classes, says: 'I noticed the prospects at WCFE were highly qualified and had done quite a bit of research before arriving at the show. E.Nopi decided to exhibit at this show because it is one of the biggest shows in the United States and so is a great place to meet serious investors.'

The high volume of international and domestic prospects that attend the exhibition is beneficial for companies that have plans to expand either nationally or internationally. Vice President Market Development for ServiceMaster Clean Dave Messenger says: 'ServiceMaster Clean uses exhibitions to target the geographical areas where it intends to grow, at the moment the company is expanding in the West, so WCFE was the prime location for the company to have an exhibition.'

Other franchises like Nexcen Brands focus on creating international connections. Director of Domestic Development Shelby Corliss-Thomas explains: 'The opportunity to meet domestic and international visitors at last year's WCFE helped Nexcen's plans to expand in Latin America. At the exhibition I met with quite a few qualified candidates from South America and Latin America and was able to discuss the company's intentions with them.'

As well as international opportunities, more diverse franchising opportunities for women and minorities were introduced at last year's exhibition. Dave Messenger says: 'I met a variety of people including folks of various ethnic backgrounds and some highly qualified women looking to start a franchise. These prospects are definitely suitable candidates for the company's concept.' LA Sunset Tans was one of the companies to have a display at last year's exhibition and was impressed with the results. 'It was an exciting few days for us,' says Vice President Franchise Development Mark Kienkenapp. 'The company had excellent results and decided to sign up for another booth next year before we even left.'

The 2008 West Coast Franchise Exhibition is scheduled for 7th-9th November and will be held a Los Angeles Convention Centre.

Text: MFV'Director of Marketing Joel Goldstein

Locate the hottest franchise concepts in the West.

Once you arrive, you will discover how to be in business for yourself - but not by yourself. The West Coast Franchise Expo is the premier franchise event in the area. And your perfect opportunity to meet face-to-face with executives from over 200 of the top franchise concepts - at every investment level. You'll be able to sample franchise concepts. Attend free seminars. And find the franchise that's perfect for your skills, interests and budget. If you're searching for the best way to have a secure financial future, set WCFE as your destination.