Houston Hot Spot for Franchise Expo South, Exhibitors Eager to Repeat Last Year’s Success
Houston to showcase new and existing concepts to thousands of entrepreneurs.
By Sonia Perrone
With the return of one of the largest franchise expos next month, entrepreneurs in Texas and throughout the south anticipate revitalizing existing business connections and forming new relationships at Franchise Expo South, Feb. 5-7 at the NRG Center in Houston. The International Franchise Association sponsors the event, which is produced by MFV Expositions.
More than 200 emerging and established franchises are expected to showcase their brands to thousands of entrepreneurs and potential franchise candidates interested in becoming franchise small-business owners. Offering a central location for business owners, exhibitors and candidates to gather not only from Texas, but from the south and western parts of the United States and Latin America, Houston is the ideal location for the franchise industry’s debut expo of the year.
Last year was the first time Houston hosted the expo and the transition was a strong one, not only for its location, but for the rising economic climate of the city and state. In fact, according to Forbes’ annual “Best States for Business and Careers,” Texas is considered the top state for its current economic climate and job growth. Over the past decade, the Lone Star State has added more than 2 million jobs, which is twice the amount of any other state. In the next five years, Texas is expected to grow by 4.1 percent giving it the second-fastest economic growth rate. In addition to Texas, the expo is sure to attract attendees from south and western parts of the United States and Latin America.
In 2015, showing similar attributes, the franchise industry projects to add 247,000 new jobs. Franchising attracts millions of consumers nationwide with popular franchise businesses as varied as children’s educational services, high-energy fitness classes, auto parts and service, and self-serve frozen yogurt shops. Reports from IFA show that franchise growth is expected to continue at a faster pace than the rest of the economy in 2015 for the fifth consecutive year.
During Franchise Expo South’s three-day exhibition, franchise businesses will be represented at every investment level ranging from under $10,000 to more than $1 million. Opportunities are as varied as home-based businesses, full-service dining restaurants and automotive care companies and will be available to preview throughout the showroom floor. Emerging brands, including Fancy Art NFP and N-Hance Wood Renewal have opportunities to introduce their franchises to more than 11,000 expected attendees.
Positive Results, Qualified Leads Bring Exhibitors Back
“This is my first time exhibiting at Franchise Expo South, and we had a great experience,” said Laura Tanaka, CFE, director of franchise development at Del Taco LLC, after exhibiting in 2014. “We are very happy with the attendance level and the qualification of the leads.”
The expo continues to deliver positive results, producing qualified leads to help grow the footprints of participating franchise companies. Brand representatives, like those from Del Taco LLC, a 50-plus year veteran of the industry, expect to expand across the United States and find passionate multi-unit operators at the expo. The franchise is a leader in the Mexican quick-service restaurant industry with more than 550 restaurants. Del Taco’s franchise development team is optimistic that it will see similar results in its second year of exhibiting, this February.
During the expo, future franchise owners will have the opportunity to learn more about the industry and experienced franchise owners can gain operational and management advice by taking part in more than 40 educational seminars. Experienced franchise owners can take advantage of many of these informational sessions that have been approved for Certified Franchise Executives™ accreditation. These sessions, which are open to the public, will include the latest issues affecting the industry and provide current research useful to entrepreneurs exploring both new and existing businesses.
Exhibitors that have attended and exhibited the expo over the years acknowledge these sessions help candidates select the franchise that is best suited for them.
“The 2014 Houston expo was the best franchise show we have attended in over five years,” said Ray Titus, CEO of United Franchise Group. He attests that “the quality of candidates at the show was the best we’ve ever seen and we have already received several deposits for franchises.”
One industry in particularly high-demand is senior home care services and continues to attract first-time franchise business owners. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the number of health care workers will increase by 70 percent from 2010 to 2020 and information from Pew Research says by 2030, fully 18 percent of the nation will be at least 65 years old. With the ballooning growth in the aging population (10,000 people turn 65 each day in the United States); business opportunities in senior care franchises are experiencing strong corresponding growth.
“Our brand has exhibited at many of MFV’s franchise expo events in the past, but the 2014 edition in Houston was an exceptional event for our lead generation efforts,” said Marcos Moura, CFE, chief development officer at Amada Senior Care. “The move to Houston was great for Amada and we look forward to returning to Houston in 2015.”
Franchise Expo South’s return to Houston is expected to help brands establish new relationships and deliver expansion results. This respected event in the franchise industry will present opportunities to entrepreneurs, as well as to franchisors interested in expanding across the country or overseas.
Sonia Perrone is director of marketing of MFV Expositions. Find her at fransocial.franchise.org.
Attending Franchise Expo South