Ah, the Valley of the Sun. Seems like the kind of place you daydream about this time of year, doesn’t it?

Well, for many franchise owners across the globe, the daydream is about to be a reality.

On February 10, the International Franchise Association (IFA) will kick off its 58th annual convention – IFA2018 – in Arizona’s flagship city, Phoenix. The four-day event offers a chance for franchisors, neophyte and veteran alike, to gain valuable insights from the industry’s top performers.

IFA makes its mark as the premiere event for franchising professionals. They maintain this reputation annually by implementing creative strategies that maximize franchisee engagement, encourage participation and give attendees an overall fun experience.

This year, those creative inputs are being supported by the team here at CPG Agency. We’ve worked extensively with franchise event production for top brands like Jimmy John’s, Panera Bread and Sport Clips and IFA has asked us to elevate this year’s convention.

Here are the main aspects of this year’s IFA Convention you can’t afford to miss:

IFA Annual Leadership Conference

IFA Conference 2015
IFA Annual Leadership Conference 2015

IFA2018 kicks off Saturday morning with the Annual Leadership Conference. Every year, this event serves as the perfect opportunity to get everyone on the same page and emotionally engaged for the week.

This year will feature a keynote presentation from Don Fox, CEO of Firehouse Subs. After absorbing Don’s invaluable insight, we’ll hear from the Brass Tacks Council, a panel discussion made up of experienced senior-level franchise executives sharing insights, tools and best practices in leadership and business development.

The Annual Leadership Conference closes out with a real-world case study of an actual franchise system before breaking for an interactive networking opportunity.

Next Stop: The Buzz

IFA the buzz networking event
The Buzz

Immediately following Saturday’s Annual Leadership Conference is The Buzz, the week’s first opportunity to kick-back and relax with your peers.

This is the perfect time to connect with franchisees and franchisors from all walks of life. You never know who you’ll meet at these events or where those relationships will take you!

Featured Keynote: Rohan Oza

Sunday is where the real magic happens – the General Session.

This year, IFA will kick off the main event with Rohan Oza, Hollywood’s “Brandfather” and Co-Founder of CAVU Venture Partners.

Rohan Oza

Rohan is a multi-millionaire venture capitalist, entrepreneur and brand thought-leader. In fact, pop-culture icons have deemed Rohan as a “brand messiah.” If you need proof of his expertise, look no further than the household names Smartwater, Vitamin Water, Bai Beverages and Vita-Coco.

Rohan’s experience makes him the perfect fit for this year’s keynote presentation, where he will focus on brand building and embracing disruptive, innovative thinking. If you want to be successful in this field, transmitting these marketing pillars into the franchising world is a must.

The general session will also feature a State of the Association address from IFA Chairman Shelly Sun and IFA President & CEO Robert Cresanti.


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Mini Super Sessions

The right presentation, from the right speaker, can change your life. Oftentimes, it’s as simple as the perfect word or phrase resonating with you.

Sunday morning’s targeted, mini super sessions are a great opportunity to catch that life-changing idea and put it into action for your franchise.

This year features a robust lineup of talented public speakers ready to tailor their professional insight specifically toward your franchising needs.

Learn why confidence in one another is the key to growing your franchise with Stephen M.R. Covey’s Franchising at the Speed of Trust: Tools to leverage and Operationalize the One Things that Changes Everything. 

Rory Vaden, a renown expert in time-management, will also take the stage. His speech, Procrastinate on Purpose: The 5 Permissions you Need to Say No, focuses on Priority Dilution and what it means for your franchise.

Last, but certainly not least, is Hall of Fame speaker and Top 20 Franchise Speaker, Walter Bond. You’ll be lucky to find a seat at this one due to its popularity. Walter’s presentation, Franchise Success is Built on Knowing Who You Are, focuses on finding your “mousetrap” and, ultimately, your businesses identity.

Dive Deeper into Franchise Operations with Breakout Sessions

Okay, so you’ve spent the whole day listening to incredibly intelligent people share ways to improve your franchise. In order for these conventions to be constructive, though, we need to branch away from the philosophy at some point and start hitting on the reality.

Breakout sessions are the perfect way to drive the overall message home. To accomplish this, professionals use these targeted sessions to demonstrate the practical way to apply all the theory you’re absorbing.

IFA and CPG Breakout session

Thanks to their specificity, there is almost certainly a breakout session you can benefit from.

Even the General track offers a wide-variety of lessons geared toward giving your business immediate, tangible results. How to Engage Your Franchisee Convention Attendees and Non-Attendees, for example, can help a huge audience. This seminar informs attendees how top franchise brands are leveraging creative, experiential strategies to engage their franchisees and drive performance.

Hosted by CPG’s own Steve Friedman, this session provides concrete ways to improve your franchise’s internal engagement through immersive experiences. Friedman will be joined by our clients Goddard Systems and Sport Clips, Inc.


Lacking Engagement? Sign Up Here to Meet With An Event Planning Professional During IFA! 


It’s Time for Shark Tank

Large conventions thrive off fun, innovative ways that keep the attendees entertained. One way IFA2018 is set to keep things fun, interesting and participatory is through the NextGen Global Competition.

Daymond John

Shark Tank’s Daymond John will host this back-by-popular-demand contest that puts branding and entrepreneurship front and center.

This year, thousands of applicants were narrowed down to 20 contestants. IFA attendees get to witness the final three companies as they jockey for prizes and investments from panel judges and members of the audience.

The finals take place Tuesday night, an event you surely won’t want to miss.

Introducing Music Paradigm

Speaking of entertainment, music is making a huge splash at this year’s IFA Convention. In case you haven’t heard of Music Paradigm, they are an orchestra that offers an unforgettable professional learning experience.

The ensemble places the audience amidst a live professional orchestra to simulate business challenges using music as a metaphor. Over the past few years, this practice has garnered national buzz, including this:

“You far exceeded my expectations… the music, the orchestra, and your use of this medium to promote the importance of leadership, responsibility and teamwork were extraordinary.” – W. Brett White, President & CEO of Cushman and Wakefield

Under the leadership of Maestro Roger Nierenberg, Music Paradigm demonstrates leadership lessons in an artistic way. The show emphasizes traits such as teamwork and responsibility, offering an entirely new perspective along the way.

Although this exciting performance can apply to all areas of business, the underlying message is especially important to franchising professionals.

Music Paradigm takes the stage Monday morning at 9:20am so grab a good seat!

Looking for the Next Big Idea

If you’ve been to a large convention like IFA2018 before, you probably know that bringing the motivation home with you is usually the hardest part. Without post-event communication that helps you stick with your plan, you may not get the results you’re hoping for.

Enter the Next Big Idea.

Big Idea IFA Conference

This new general session, held on Tuesday, February 13, serves as a perfect send-off to wrap up the week. At this time, several franchisors from varying backgrounds will deliver rapid-fire, high energy presentations that focus on Transformational Stories in Franchising.

Keeping in line with the week’s themes, this segment invites you to embrace disruptive tactics and constantly seek innovation in your franchising career.

Say Hi to CPG While You’re Here

Throughout the last year, CPG has sought to implement new and creative strategies to enhance corporate engagement and ensure IFA2018 attendees get the most out of their experience.

At CPG Agency, we have a strong collaboration history with the franchising industry, and we believe this event is the perfect chance for you to see our strategies in action.

Our team of corporate event planning professionals will have an active role at this year’s IFA and they would be delighted to help you get the most out of your experience.

If you’re curious about our services and what they can do for your franchise, schedule a meeting with one of our account professionals or visit us at Booth 911!

Meet CPG at IFA Convention