Four Tips for your first visit to a Franchise Expo

After my first visit to the International Franchise Expo, I’ve compiled this list of tips.

  1. Don’t eat before visiting the show.  There were plenty of franchises that offered free food to visitors.  Vocelli Pizza offered several different types of pizza.  Baja Fresh offered tacos (for a dollar).  Wings Over had three different kinds of boneless buffalo wings (the wings were awesome).  Robeks offered fruit smoothies.  One or two booths offered cookies.  Many booths had candy bowls.
  2. Don’t register for the show with your home phone number.  I have a Google Voice phone number as my main business phone number.  That was the number I used to register for the International Franchise Expo.  I was glad I used that number, instead of my cell phone or home number.  Follow-up phone calls from various franchises I had visited started coming fast and furious within 48 hours of my visit.  While all the callers were polite, they were persistant.  To their credit, I haven’t received any more calls from any franchise after telling them that I wasn’t interested in what they offered.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes.  Unless your used to standing on your feet all day, comfortable shoes are a must.
  4. Make a list of companies to visit prior to attending the expo and STICK TO THE LIST. Since this was the first time I visited a franchise show, I felt it was better if I simply wandered around the show and stopped in at various booths that looked interesting.  If I was really serious about buying a franchise, I would do my homework before the show and narrow the list of companies to five or six per day.  Any more than that and you simply won’t have time to get into a good discussion.  Also, having a list of companies to visit and sticking to that list will reduce the likelihood of being drawn into a conversation with a franchise that you have no interest of purchasing.

Got more tips to add?  Add a comment to this post or e-mail your tips to me.

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