No. 1 ranked franchise consulting company raises the bar with the 2021 IFPG Retreat

IFPG Retreat

Connecting franchise consultants with franchisors is at the heart of IFPG’s franchise broker network

Anyone in business knows that strong relationships are the key to long-lasting success. In franchising, it’s everything. A franchise system’s growth depends on its team’s relationship with franchisees, but there’s another important player franchisors want in their circle: the franchise consultant. “It all starts by building strong relationships with franchise consultants,” says IFPG Founder Don Daszkowski. “This important bond comes into play at the start of the process of recruiting quality candidates. When a franchise consultant fully understands a franchisor’s ideal candidate and business, he can identify the right people to grow the brand.”

So how do franchisors find consultants? More and more, franchisors are working with franchise consulting companies and broker networks like IFPG. IFPG has been in the business of connecting franchisors with franchise consultants for years. At IFPG’s recent annual Retreat, the broker network brought together hundreds of franchisors, franchise consultants, and other franchise professionals in a unique and innovative way. The three-day event held at the Margaritaville resort in Hollywood, Florida, had everything you would expect from a networking conference plus much more.

Speed networking at the 2021 IFPG Retreat. (view more photos)

One of the unique ways IFPG connects its members is through structured speed networking. Similar to speed dating, speed networking gives franchisors and franchise consultants a fast-paced opportunity to get to know each other. Here’s how it works: Tables are set up for each franchisor. At each 8-minute session, franchise consultants sit with different franchisors to learn about their brand and ask questions. At the end of each session, IFPG Consultants are instructed to move to the next table. “This gives our consultants a systematic way to get to know each brand,” says Daszkowski.

Speed networking is one of the ways IFPG connects franchisors with franchise consultants. (view more photos)

Daszkowski says that assigning franchisors and consultants to specific tables helped Retreat attendees maximize their time and exposure. “At typical networking conferences, people tend to sit in cliques, which defeats the whole purpose. We designed our event to prevent that,” he says. “By the time the 3-day Retreat was over, each franchisor had the opportunity to meet face-to-face with just about every consultant… and there were well over 100 consultants attending.”

Besides being assigned to specific speed networking tables, attendees were also assigned breakfast and lunch tables. “This way, everyone sat with different people throughout the event.” He explains that there were plenty of other opportunities throughout the Retreat to mix and mingle with everyone, including a fun rooftop cocktail party and a dinner cruise along the Intercoastal. “It took a lot of planning to get it right, but it was well worth it.”

A dinner cruise along the Intercoastal gave IFPG Retreat attendees a chance to mix and mingle. (view more photos)
The 2021 IFPG Retreat kicked off with a rooftop party complete with a fire show and hula dancers. (view more photos)

In addition to networking, the IFPG Retreat offered many opportunities to learn and share best practices. There were several expert panels that included many of franchising’s top players, including franchise legend John Hewitt, CEO of Loyalty Brands, and IFA President Matthew Haller.

IFPG President Red Boswell moderated a panel discussing the current state of franchising. Expert panelists included Colt Florence, vice president of franchise development, Authority Brands; Gary Findley, CEO, FranXperts; John Hewitt, CEO, Loyalty Brands; Brent Dowling, cofounder and CEO, Raintree; and IRIC Wexler, CDO, Premium Service Brands. (view more photos)
IFA President Matthew Haller shared his insights on the future of franchising with IFPG members. (view more photos)

Daszkowski says that his franchise consulting company has seen explosive growth in 2021. He attributes this success to his team, who is always willing to innovate and try new things. In 2020, IFPG launched two virtual conferences as well as virtual speed networking opportunities. IFPG also received Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2021 No.1 ranking as the leading broker network for the third year in a row. “We had a lot to celebrate this year,” he says.

The theme of the 2021 Retreat was #lifechanger, changing lives one franchise at a time. Daszkowski says that theme was twofold. “We wanted to recognize how much has changed in the last two years, celebrate franchising’s resilience and also highlight what we all do…change lives for the better through franchise ownership,” he says.

The IFPG team celebrated its ranking as Entrepreneur magazine’s No. 1 franchise broker network for the third year in a row. From left to right, Dan Claps, Kelly Tominus, Don Daszkowski, Red Boswell, Amy Comerford and Jill Abrahamsen. (view more photos)
The IFPG Retreat’s #lifechanger theme celebrated what franchise professionals do best: change lives for the better. (view more photos)

Although IFPG thrived through the pandemic, Daszkowski says that the heart and soul of the franchise consulting company is its face-to-face, in-person events. “We are so happy to be able to bring everyone together again,” he says. To see more photos of the 2021 IFPG Retreat, click here.

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Jill Abrahamsen’s career spans more than 20 years in editorial, design, and marketing roles. She serves as editor-in-chief of Franchise Consultant Magazine and FranchiseWire. Through both platforms, Jill reports on franchising news and helps Franchisors spread the word about their brands.
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