A record-breaking number of aspiring entrepreneurs from 48 states and 127 foreign countries gathered in New York City May 31-June 2 for the annual International Franchise Expo (IFE). During the eagerly-awaited expo, entrepreneurs from around the globe had the unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with more than 400 leading and emerging franchise brands and explore the ins and outs of the franchise space.
The International Franchise Association’s latest Franchise Business Economic Outlook report projected above-trend positive growth for the franchise industry this year nearing $451B by year end. The industry is credited for high growth, sales, and for creating more jobs than any other type of business. This uptick in positive economic outlook for the industry has jumpstarted entrepreneurs’ drive to pursue small business ownership.
“Seeing the excitement as thousands of qualified entrepreneurs met with a wide variety of established and emerging franchise brands at this year’s IFE was incredible,” said Tom Portesy, President and CEO of MFV Expositions. “The franchise space is hotter than ever and we are thrilled to have had the opportunity to bring both fresh and prominent faces in the industry together to inspire individuals to be in business for themselves, but not by themselves and to offer life-changing entrepreneurial advice.”
The International Franchise Expo kicked off with a ribbon cutting ceremony led by Linda McMahon, the Administrator of the Small Business Administration and member of President’s Cabinet. At the ribbon cutting, McMahon alongside President and CEO of the International Franchise Association, Robert Cresanti, and successful “I Love Kickboxing” franchisee, Margaret Lewis, came together to welcome all attendees and guests to New York City.
Throughout the weekend-long event, entrepreneurs were able to take advantage of the expansive display of franchise opportunities, meeting face-to-face with executives from more than 400 top tier franchise brands. Attendees also had the opportunity to attend more than 70 educational seminars and 10 in-depth workshops to explore the ins and outs of franchising. They also had the opportunity to take advantage of helpful resources including an “Answer Center” where experienced mentors provided expert advice to set entrepreneurs up on the fast track to success.
With the largest percent of attendees having $100,000-$499,000 to invest in entrepreneurial ventures, the IFE proved to be beneficial not only for entrepreneurs, but for emerging and mature franchise brands as well.
“This year’s show was great, we were very pleased with the turnout. Each day was better than the other,” said Peter Kouronis, CEO of Sign Me Up Signs. “We generated 487 franchise leads at the show this year – that’s 200 percent more than last year. We’ve already had four discovery days with about a dozen people that stopped by our booth at the show. We even made one previously disclosed lead close on their franchise agreement at the show.”
Entrepreneurs looking to continue exploring the franchise space and its opportunities can do so at the next franchise expo, Franchise Expo Midwest, set to take place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL September 14-15. For more information, visit franchiseexpomidwest.com. Next year’s IFE will take place May 30-June 1, 2019 at the Javits Center.
About MFV Expositions
For 25 years, MFV Expositions has been producing the leading franchise events worldwide that consistently bring together franchise concepts, at all investment levels, with the most qualified visitors seeking to own their own business. In addition to quality franchise expos in the United States and overseas that offer face-to-face opportunities to grow a franchise, MFV also offers access to online franchise opportunities through web-based resources.