Hear From Our Exhibitors
We look at our trade show participation over the course of the entire year. We participate in FES, IFE and WCFE. When we close 2 deals over the course of the year from prospects we meet at the expos, we consider that a home run. The bottom line: it costs approximately $30,000 in advertising and lead generation to close one deal.
Goddard has perhaps the highest initial investment of any concept here at the expo. The franchise events offer a much lower cost per lead and lower cost per acquisition.
Director of Franchise Sales
Franchise Expo South has worked wonders for our business here at Choice Hotels. We exhibit not only at FES, but also at West Coast Franchise Expo as well as the International Franchise Expo. Over the last three years I have secured six franchisees that have come on board at Choice. That simply makes it worth exhibiting at these great events. We've already booked our booth spaces at all the franchise expo events into 2011 and look forward to a continued relationship. Every type of lead generation tool we use plays an important role to achieve our goals. But once you can stand face to face and have a conversation with a prospect - someone who is looking to have their questions answered - that is the best way to qualify a lead. We don't pre-judge anyone. Access to capital is one of the obstacles in this business, but one that I've found, especially here at Franchise Expo South where there are people that have the liquidity and the net worth to open a Choice Hotel brand here in the south. We find the quality of the visitors at the expo is what we are looking for. The organization puts on a great show. The venues, how they treat both exhibitors and attendees, it just stands to reason that you can expect MFV to consistently deliver quality visitors who will see a variety of concepts at all investment levels. At the end of the day, visitors will find company representatives who are ready to take the time out to speak with them and help them learn what they'll need to do to start their own business.
Director, Emerging Markets
Choice Hotels International
We're here at FES showing our concept, which is an auto repair facility, complete car care centers. We've been franchising in the United States about 4 years ago and now have 45 stores here in the US.
My goal as a master franchisor is to sell 30 units in South Florida and I have sold eight so far in one year's time. It looks like we'll sell an additional three units as a direct result of exhibiting at Franchise Expo South. Every time we exhibit at FES we sell at least one or two franchises. In fact, one of the franchisees we brought on board from last year's show broke even 30 days after opening his store.
We decided to exhibit at FES because we have our end game in mind. Our goal is populate the south with units and we're here to meet these great prospects and sell. All we need to do is sell one unit here at FES.
As for our lead generation efforts, there's no comparison to meeting prospects face to face. You get to interact with candidates here at the expo in a much more substantial way than any other form of lead capture.
Master Franchisor, Florida
We spoke with over 150 candidates on the first day of FES and found the quality of these prospects to be excellent. There's no question that we'll close several deals as a result of exhibiting at FES. Our other brands, including EmbroidMe and Plan Ahead Events saw similar results were extremely satisfied with the quantity and more important, quality, of the leads from the expo.
VP of Sales
United Franchise Group
We actually had closed our books and exhausted our budget when we received a call from Rich at FES. He essentially talked us into it. We asked for three references and heard great things about FES and MFV Expositions. FES has been an extremely positive experience. This is our first expo experience. We've met folks walking the show looking for a great concept and have also spoken with some very hot leads including a teacher that's ready to leave the classroom. This particular prospect was well informed and asked all the right questions. These are serious candidates who have access to funding. There's nothing better than the one on one direct feedback you get from face to face conversations.
Beatrice and Randy Hair
Salisbury Tutoring Academy
We met with quite a few candidates interested in taking our concept international, which is a perfect fit for us because one of our goals is international expansion. We spoke with folks with Asia, Brazil, Venezuela and even a few folks from Haiti. Face to face discussions allow us to qualify a prospect in a much more efficient way than any other type of lead acquisition we do. We decided to exhibit at FES because in addition to international growth, we seek to open units in the southeast, specifically here in Florida. We are very happy with the attendees that visited and our exhibiting experience.
The Learning Experience
It's all about quality, not quantity when you exhibit at a franchise event. We've exhibited at FES previously, and when you have good results, well, don't fix it if it isn't broken. We've spoken with folks from the corporate world looking to break away and have also had great discussions with current franchise owners who are looking to diversify and get into additional businesses. We're already signed up for 2011 - we wanted to get a better booth location! We're one of the fastest growing sports nutrition chains in the country and we're excited to continue our expansion. We're confident that the prospects we've spoken with have the financial wherewithal to invest in our type of offering. Compared with other tools we employ for lead generation versus exhibiting here at the expo is apples and oranges. The internet is analogous to a casting a wide net - we catch a lot of fish, perhaps not the kind we're looking for. Exhibiting at the expo is like line fishing - going precisely after the prospect that is showing serious interest - these are very motivated candidates.
Max Muscle Sports Nutrition - 150 units nationwide
We decided to exhibit late in the game - we came on board just a few weeks before the show started. We have not been at FES for several years. In today's economy we have to be aggressive in our growth. We are controlling the lease, we are financing the franchise, and we have extremely low cost of entry. When visitors walk through the expo, it's not the same as it was four years ago. We have a product that is right with the time today - lower costs and available financing.
Senior Vice President