Organizing a corporate event for franchise operators is a bit challenging.
However, by following these best practices attendees will get the most out of the experience. They will enjoy themselves, meet people, learn something new, and be satisfied that they attended the franchise convention.
Location, Location, Location
Corporate events for franchisees draw attendees from across the country and perhaps internationally as well. Choosing a location is both a matter of attracting attendees and selecting a place that has sufficient support services. Think – international airports, attractions, and amenities.
An interesting way to approach the site selection for an annual conference or convention is to ask potential attendees about the location they prefer. Attendance may be improved by engaging your employees and franchise owners to garner their opinions about locations they like from the places under consideration.
It is not possible to please everyone with the selection; however, it is nice to know the majority opinion about the best choice from the alternatives.
A mobile app made specifically for the franchisees can be a continual hub for information and connectivity thereby increasing experiential engagement. Design this app to be like an exclusive private club that is very useful. The mobile app can be an integrated part of internal communications.
It can be promoted before the convention, provide information during the convention, and continue to provide information after the convention.
The mobile app should have an integrated chatbot for attendee FAQ questions and have the up-to-date convention program, convention news, and the leaders/winners in the games/contests.
Advanced artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots have a very useful feature, which is automatic scheduling. These systems organize a convention schedule according to the preferences of each user. The system can set meetings between users by taking into account their availability in real-time while it is changing.
Gamification is not just for fun, although it is enjoyable, but for improved information retention. The goal of gamification is to make what might be boring or difficult to learn more enjoyable. For example, reading a training manual of rules and regulations is probably not that exciting; however, using gamification principles, the key elements from this information can be presented to franchisees in fun ways that are easier to remember.
Announce and promote the gamification opportunities at the convention with the chatbot.
Here are some examples of learning that is enhanced by gamification:
- Scavenger Hunt: Have a scavenger hunt that leads attendees on an interesting path through the convention space collecting information helpful for franchise operations to win a prize at the end. Have attendees collect QR codes at the various locations with their smartphone to update their game status in the mobile app. Ask questions as part of the game that encourages the discovery of the answers based on important concepts and information.
- Trivia Contest: Give prizes for a trivia contest, which is based on information useful to franchisees and interesting facts about the company. This is another fun way to convey useful information.
- Team Play: Team play can be used to encourage networking among attendees. Teams can be assigned to create interesting mixes of people for enhanced diversity. For example, mix senior executives from one department with entry-level workers from another department. Choose people for teams that normally would not have any chance to interface with each other. It is important for team play that all teams are rewarded. The rewards may differ; however, no team is ever identified as a “loser.”
Best Practices Takeaways
Real-life case studies are presented by award-winning franchisees to show in-depth practical information about techniques that can be used for improving franchise operations.
Sessions can include topical presentations such as:
- Best of Class: This is a presentation of the best-performing franchise operations that show how the success was achieved and what level of success is possible.
- The Greatest Turnaround: This is a presentation of how a low-performing franchise location was improved and how this was achieved.
- Save The Day: This is a presentation of how a franchise operator successfully dealt with a major emergency such as a natural disaster.
Have social gatherings to introduce experienced franchise owners to newbies to encourage networking between them.
Have socialization events where the object is to create opportunities for the franchisees and company management to get to know each other better. These can be simple settings such as having a comfortable place to relax and have a cup of coffee or tea with some pastries and snacks.
These events can also be organized as an interesting day trip to a nearby site for a picnic or a nighttime excursion to visit some interesting attraction.
Free Time and Chill Space
Be sure to allow free time in the schedule. Provide a calm place to relax in quiet at the convention and perhaps enjoy a chair massage.
These can be general sessions of interest and cover “big-picture” topics such as climate change, the minimum wage increase, insurance risk analysis, chatbots/robots/artificial intelligence, the environmental damage caused by one-time-use plastics, and sustainable energy.
These sessions are a chance to demonstrate new equipment and new programs that are of interest to the franchisees.
Do it Once — Do it Again
Present opportunities for exclusive new franchise locations that are fully vetted and reserved for investment by existing franchise owners who want to expand. Give a detailed explanation of the due diligence process that shows how and why the opportunities were selected. Have a drawing or an auction between interested franchise owners who wish to have the chance to invest in these hot opportunities.
Download this handy Event Management Guide and then use these best practices for franchise conventions. Attendees with come away with practical knowledge and also have an enjoyable time. Schedule a consultation for corporate events to learn more about how to include these ideas in your corporate event production.