The British Franchise Exhibition

With well over 500,000 Brits now employed in franchising across the UK1 and industry turnover amounting to £13.7 billion2, there has never been a better time to adopt one of the UK’s most successful business models. In London especially, annual turnover in 2015 from franchising was £2.8 billion, a 47% increase in the last five years, highlighting its ever increasing popularity3.

Offering visitors the opportunity to meet with hundreds of franchise brands, The British and International Franchise Exhibition is an essential stepping-stone for any aspiring entrepreneur hoping to turn ambition into a reality. Running from the 11th to 12th March at London Olympia, hundreds of brands will be showcasing their businesses from across a wide range of industries such as care, food & catering, cleaning, retail, and property. The two day event will also offer visitors an extensive seminar programme, international conference, advice clinics featuring experts from the bfa, legal and financial firm’s business advisers, as well as franchisors and franchisees.

With reports showing more than half of small, independent businesses are failing within the first five years4, franchising offers a protected route to launching a successful new business. Backed by the British Franchise Association (bfa), The British and International Franchise Exhibition offers both budding entrepreneurs, current business owners and multi-unit franchise owners an exclusive opportunity to meet with hundreds of successful brands from across the UK and across the globe.

Adrian Goodsell, director of franchise sales at Venture Marketing Group who organise and run The Franchise Exhibitions comments, “The British and International Franchise Exhibition offers visitors an exclusive chance to meet with world-renowned brands, seek advice and see for themselves franchising’s history of success. It is the perfect opportunity for those with existing knowledge and understanding of franchising who are looking to research next steps and for those who are interested in franchising their own business. In 2015 our exhibitions helped entrepreneurs start a new business journey, so I’m thrilled that we are back at Olympia helping even more aspiring franchisees to follow their dreams.”

Visitors will also have the chance to meet with franchisees at the Real Franchise Stories Panel. Existing franchisees from a variety of brands will share their journey into franchising and successes. These open-floor sessions give visitors the opportunity to hear why the industry and brand appealed to them and their achievements so far. Another hugely popular feature is the McDonald’s Open Sessions, where the next generation of quick service restaurant (QSR) business owners can gain exclusive insight into what it is like to become a franchisee for a global brand and the process involved.

This year, Jonathan Newman, CEO and managing director of CHI Ventures will be offering guests his invaluable business insight on Friday 11th March at 12.15pm with his keynote entitled ‘The £100m cheque: manifesting success’. An experienced and versatile entrepreneur, Jonathan created iconic brand CHI in 2010, an FMCG drinks company manufacturing coconut water and coconut related products. Within the space of a year CHI was in over 1,000 outlets in the UK. By 2014, CHI was selling in over 30 countries and was showing growth of 250% every year. CHI is now for sale in over 4,000 UK outlets and continues to grow.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to learn about hugely established franchise Pizza Hut on Friday 11th March at 1.45pm. John Aizlewood, chief development officer for the brand has a reputable business background and will give an insight into working for one of the largest franchise businesses for over 20 years. John will share his views on what makes a long lasting franchise business.

Not only an opportunity for those new to running a business, the exhibition also provides experienced business owners a chance to discuss franchising as a route to expansion. Julie Morrell and Peter Hill, business partners from Hertfordshire looking to franchise their current business reported, “We are looking at how to franchise – we have a three/five year plan and we are trying to get a better understanding of how to do it as our business is becoming a huge success”.