By Annie Baptiste

For a few years now, we at Franchising Plus, have been wondering if there isn’t a better way to motivate, inspire and create change through company conferences. We spend so much money on treating our clients, suppliers and franchisees, but do we really get the value we are paying for and does this translate into real value for our franchisees? Are they going back to their stores with tools to improve their businesses?

In my search for an answer I came across a very interesting article by Nick Gold, MD of conferencing agency, Speakers Corner. This article on “Trends set to shape event management/marketing in 2016” resonated with me, because this is the way we have seen conferences changing for the better.

1. Give delegates something with lasting impact

Gold says: “Delegates working in a fast-paced world recognise that time is precious. As such, they seek to understand what they will gain by putting their day-to-day workload on hold in order to attend an event. This means deepening the experiential aspects to demonstrate that an event is a conversation to be fully immersed in: delegates can expect to be taken on a journey and come out the other side with their usual thoughts and processes enhanced, or even changed.”

2. Define and measure the success of your conference

According to Gold; “If delegates have higher expectations for lasting impact, it follows that defining and measuring ‘success’ will become an ever more critical  part of planning an event. Going forward, the initial planning stage of any event should be putting a stake in the ground about the ROI (Return  on Investment) that will be generated from it. This will mean developing procedures and tools, with an amplified emphasis on post-event feedback and innovative ways of measuring ROI by harnessing technology.”

3. ‘Disruption’ will continue to have impact

Gold reminds us that: “Companies, sectors and industries are taking a step back to consider their value, how they will be affected, and how they themselves can be at the forefront of change.” Considering the importance of experiential conferencing, a starting point for this will be to address the traditional set up of ‘stage and audience’ by rather providing dynamic and interactive sessions.

4. Gender representation

Gold identifies a key shift with regards to gender representation at conferences, as it becomes more of a standard to have even numbers of women and men speaking on a wider range of topics that are gender-balanced.

5. Innovation and Creativity

While companies look for new and interesting ways to deliver their message, they will need to continue to show that they can deliver original creative and cost effective solutions.

Franchising Plus are proud to acknowledge that we have already moved ahead of the curve with some of the conference presentations and training that we conducted in 2015.Not only were our team keynote speakers, but we also added value in the form of themed, interactive short sessions with franchisees and their personnel. Each session included a tool to use in the workplace and subsequently follow-up measurement and training has been very successfully implemented.

For one client we even conducted ahead office training session the day before the conference, resulting in huge economies of scale in terms of travel and accommodation costs.We look forward to assisting you in planning a conference/event that will impact not only your business but also your franchisee’s businesses positively in the coming year.To find out more, Contact Us