This year’s National Franchise Exhibition was one of the best to date

More than 150 very different exhibitors attracting thousands of visitors, helped make The National Franchise Exhibition 2010 one of the most successful ever.

Over October 1st to 2nd, the National Franchise Exhibition at Birmingham’s NEC was teeming with enthusiastic visitors researching new careers among the latest and well-established business models and hearing from industry experts how to take those first steps to successfully launch a new career in franchising.

The presentation theatres covered every aspect of franchising, while there were franchises to suit every interest or budget. Exhibitors ranged from Ovenclean and professional house cleaning franchise MOLLY MAID to high street names such as McDonald’s, Subway, Thorntons and Cash Generator.

This year’s exhibition introduced more attractions than ever before. The extensive free conference programme included seminars about many key franchise-related topics such as women in franchising, growing your own business, high level investment franchising, franchise resales, executives in franchising, hands on franchising, and couples in franchising. The free seminars hosted by the British Franchise Association were constantly full and well received.

Expert speakers included Richard Forte, Chief Operations Officer at McDonald’s UK, and Mark Scott, Director of Franchise Development at NatWest. Franchise Development Services’ Managing Director, Roy Seaman, also introduced a number of experienced franchise consultants delivering seminars about How To Successfully Franchise Your Business.

The inspiring Growing Your Own Business seminars featured entrepreneurs and specialists speaking about all aspects of business that an entrepreneur needs to know to be successful, from how to raise finance to marketing. Tim Watts, Chairman of successful recruitment company Pertemps was the keynote speaker.

Cheryl Spencer-Brown, a property restoration franchise owner from Hereford, said: “We were looking for another business to suit a younger member of our family, and found a few. Visiting stands at the show is a very good way to see a real picture of a business and of the opportunities available in the industry.”

Adeel Ashraf, a security CCTV operator from Barking, London, added: “I came to look at food companies and it was valuable to meet them and speak to the principals. I am now much clearer about what is available. The seminars were very good – it has been well worth coming from London for this.”

Among the many companies exhibiting for the first time were Bling, www.hotels.tv, Banana Moon Day Nursery, Ringtons, Flexi Care, Depicool, Jabberjacks and 0800 Repair, each adding a new dimension to the choice of opportunities for visitors. Giving an exhibitor’s perspective, Troy Tappenden, Managing Director of Dream Doors, said: “The National Franchise Exhibition was fantastic and we were inundated both days with visitors interested in joining the Dream Doors network.”

Andrew Parsons, Director of Franchise Development at MOLLY MAID, added: “We have been delighted by the amount of interest we received at this year’s show and are looking forward to following up the many enquiries we received over both days of the show.”

Adrian Goodsell, Franchise Exhibitions Manager from Venture Marketing Group, organisers of the National Franchise Exhibition concluded: “The two days at the NEC showed that the franchising sector continues to be buoyant with lots of new concepts and popular established franchisors attracting plenty of interest, while the stands and theatres were packed with people keen to learn about franchising. The prospects for 2011 look good.”

Reported by Fraser McKay

National Franchise Exhibition