by John Francis

Update from the IFA 2020 Convention

Feb 19, 2020 1:29:28 PM Franchisees, Franchisors, Franchise Conferences

Just back from the IFA 2020 Convention in Orlando, what a blast! Attendance was at an all-time high for being at a non-Las Vegas location. Every year, it just keeps getting bigger and better, providing three plus solid days of top notch networking and learning opportunities for everyone, this year was no exception. 

One thing that made it memorable for me, and what turned out to be a funny story was when I went to register I had to convince the registration attendant that I was “Johnny Franchise”. She thought it was odd and didn’t want to put that on my nametag, I suggested that she just ask one of the senior IFA staff and sure enough…they laughed and allowed it!  Here’s a proof of it. 

This nickname is certainly memorable, and a good personal brand for me to embrace!

IFA Membership Committee 

I am a volunteer member of the IFA Membership Committee and attended the meeting on Friday afternoon. Good discussion and ideas were shared, and one update was interesting to know is that 50 percent of franchisor IFA members are less than two hundred units open, and 27 percent are less than 10 units. That's a lot of smaller franchise brands that are IFA members, which creates a huge opportunity to help them grow! They are in the right place!

Never Pass Up the Opportunity to Volunteer 

I like to volunteer at IFA, as a roundtable facilitator, panelist, moderator or speaker. This year, I showed up to the Emerging Franchisor Bootcamp on Saturday afternoon and found the IFA staff running the event and asked “Who didn't show up? do you need a back up?” I had not committed in advance, instead offered to be a back up. They took me up on the offer and put another table up and sold out the seats! It was my third time doing this and adds a lot of value, it’s fun to help and share ideas with the people at my table. On Monday, I did the same thing at the large roundtable session, and got assigned a topic that was open, the event sponsor walked me over and said to the table waiting for a no-show facilitator, “you guys, it's your lucky day. I don't know who was supposed to facilitate this table, but you got one of the best experts in the industry...” I introduced myself as “Johnny Franchise” and I sat down and did my thing…it was fun!

Gordon Logan - Sport Clips, Hall of Fame Winner

On Sunday, Gordon Logan won the IFA’s biggest honor, the Hall of Fame award for his brand Sport Clips. It was a huge honor for him and I had the privilege to sit at the front table and listen to his comments and thank the people who helped him achieve success. During his comments, he mentioned the first Hall of Fame winners in the hair care segment were my parents, Joe and Flo Francis, with The Barbers winning their award back in 1999, and then mentioning my name as serving on Sport Clips Board of Directors in an effort to help continue that legacy of success. It was such a nice touch, Gordon did not have to mention me or my family, but he did it purposely and it was a generous comment and much appreciated. Very happy to see him recognized for his hard work and success with Sport Clips over 25 years!

Great Connections 

Overall, I thought this year’s convention was a good, well-organized event, always seems to be. The amount of people, content, programming, exhibitors and social events is tremendous, too many opportunities and not enough time! The IFA is the place to be if you're in franchising, if you're committed to franchising, and if you want to be a professional in the franchise industry. It’s the “center of the universe” for the franchise industry. Next year for 2021 we’ll be back in Vegas – already looking forward to it! 

I’m interested in your thoughts about IFA as well.  If you have perspectives on the conference you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to get in touch – I’d love to hear from you! And I’ll see you next year!!

John Francis

Written by John Francis

About the Franchise Expert


John Francis is an enthusiastic, engaging, and entertaining public speaker because he speaks from experience and he speaks from the heart. Franchising is in his blood, and his parents were true pioneers in the industry, turning their family haircutting business into a 1,000-salon franchise empire. He has been a franchisee and a franchisor, and has a deep understanding of the issues both face. Book John to speak at your event, and you and your franchisees will learn how to look at your business in new, positive, and profitable ways.

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