The IFA Conference 2016 – San Antonio, TX
The conference yet again attracted large crowds of enthusiastic franchise professionals and industry experts from around the world. The convention was held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and attracted many of the world’s best in franchising. Last year in Las Vegas, attendance numbered 3,880 and over 330 booths, this year in San Antonio was expected to be significantly larger. Some of the shows premium sponsors included PepsiCo, Berlitz, Franconnect, Menchie’s, BDO and other industry advocates.
The conference kicked off with an amazing presentation by Stanley McChrystal, the Former U.S. General. Stan McChrystal commenced the general session with a presentation focused on leadership, team development and our evolving business landscape. Sheryl Connely with Ford Motor Company presented on business trends, the globalization of today’s business environment and overall consumer trends.
The Conference offered a wide variety of mini-super sessions which were full of valuable content and great speakers. One presenter which left a strong impression was Walter Bond who as a former NBA player, presented on Franchise Harmony: Keys to Building A Strong System Positioned For Explosive Growth, his relating business and franchising to his sports career was entertaining and relevant.
FranPAC (Franchising’s Political Action Committee) was involved in the conference and their presence was felt throughout the meetings and convention hall. All involved in the franchise industry are aware and interested in the ongoing joint employer negotiations taking place in Washington. (http://www.franchise.org/franpac)
The franchise round tables were as always a hit and seem to provide some of the most immediate value for franchisors and franchise professionals in attendance. Tables seat 10-12 people and are lead by panelists to keep the discussion open and productive. Topics included sales, operations, strategy, training and other core elements of franchise management. Franchise brands with hundreds of locations shared ideas from a mature brand’s perspective and newer franchisors discussed pertinent issues for start up brands. All together, the feedback for roundtable sessions was again over the top.