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An Introduction to Virtual Franchise Events

With travel budgets being slashed daily across corporate America, franchise companies are seeking new ways to complete business objectives previously handled by getting on a plane. Whether attending an industry trade show, a training workshop, a prospective franchisee seminar, or a company franchisee conference – the first step to participation used to be getting on a plane to fly somewhere in the world to be part of that gathering. Now, however, the latest developments in technology provide a more than viable alternative, or a complement to those in-person events. To help franchises learn how they can still hold their events, but improve their bottom line, we recently held a series of seminars entitled, An Introduction to Virtual Franchise Events.

Virtual franchise events refers both to the services being introduced to the franchise community, and the company providing the webinar and services. Virtual Franchise Events, Inc. (VFE)™ is a joint venture between franchisEssentials™, a Houston-based franchise industry consulting firm, and Strategic Growth Concepts™, a Detroit-based small business consulting firm, and is a continuation of their franchise industry-focused strategic alliance previously announced in April, 2009.  VFE™ is a key component of the concept known as, ‘Integrated Franchise Marketing’™ promoted by franchisEssentials™ as an element of that alliance.  To assist the franchise industry, VFE™ has already formed alliances with industry leaders in virtual and associated technologies to develop a schedule of events for the franchise industry that will include:

•   Franchisor/Franchisee Motivation Programs

•   Training Programs (1 hour and/or half-day events)

•   Entrepreneurial Programs

•   Business Expansion Strategy Programs

•   Franchise Industry-specific Events from the Professional Services Community

•   High-Profile Speaker Programs

•   Franchise industry Trade Shows

•   Franchise Fairs

•   Virtual ‘Tweet-ups” for the Franchise Industry (in conjunction with certain events above)

•   Franchise-branded Events (as contracted)

Virtual events combine various configurations of the latest technologies in webcasting, online chats, video streaming, webinars, social media and avatar graphics to provide elements such as speeches, Q&A, seminars, distribution of literature, interactive social ‘gatherings’ and exhibitor booths – all without ever leaving your desk or home to participate. Advantages of virtual events include:

•   The ability of franchisors to reach target groups worldwide, enabling franchise organizations to attract an international audience, and offering information to those who would be unable to attend an in-person event due to time or budget restrictions

•   Makes supporting franchise networks more cost-effective

•   Decreases the cost of lead generation

•   Allows franchise organizations to supplement their in-person events, thereby reaching their audience of consumers, franchise candidates, vendors or existing franchisees where they are now congregating – on the Internet

•   The ‘live’ event is typically archived for 30 days to 1 year to allow those unable to participate in the ‘live’ event to ‘attend’ the event at later date/time more accommodating to their schedule.

With the franchising industry overall providing more than 11 million jobs and $880 billion in goods and services production annually according to the International Franchise Association, and seeing increased levels of interest due to economic conditions, it’s no wonder that franchise organizations are constantly seeking ways to increase communication with franchisees, vendors, consumers, and prospective franchisees.  According to IFA spokeswoman Alisa Harrison, “The franchise sector fares well during downturns in the economy, and we expect that to continue.” Virtual Franchise Events, Inc.™  intends to provide the means of fueling that expansion.

If you would like to learn how virtual events can provide value to your firm, please contact Paul Segreto at PaulSegreto@FMDpro.com or Linda Daichendt at Linda@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com .  You can also see our website at www.VirtualFranchiseEvents.com .
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Virtual Franchise Events, Inc. (VFE)™ is a joint venture between franchisEssentials™, a Houston-based franchise industry consulting firm, and Strategic Growth Concepts™, a Detroit-based small business consulting firm, and is a continuation of their franchise industry-focused strategic alliance previously announced in April, 2009.  VFE™ is a key component of the concept known as, ‘Integrated Franchise Marketing’™ promoted by franchisEssentials™ as an element of that alliance.

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