Conference Season – exhausting, but fun

It’s conference season in franchise world!

It might actually be Christmas Party time, but a conference could be just a little more tax deductible… I don’t know about that, I’m just surmising.

We’ve went to 2 conferences last week and both were very good but for different reasons.  Let me explain what happened.

The first conference was in Ireland, so we climbed on to the ‘plane in Edinburgh on Wednesday afternoon, landed in Dublin and were driven to Waterford Castle a couple of hours away.

(When we arrived at the castle it was surrounded by a moat and we had to wait for the ferry to come across and collect us… all jolly exciting.)

The conference was on Thursday and the group of 20 or so franchisees gathered around the table at 12 noon ready to begin their discussions.  And full and frank they were, too.  With robust conversations on pricing, marketing and the way forward.

Hmmm… thinks I.  There could be a bun fight here.  But no, I needn’t have worried.  Although the conversations were full and frank they were, without exception, conducted in a spirit of working together to improve things.

At the end of the day there was a round of applause and the franchisees and franchisor all repaired immediately to the bar… presumably so they could continue their discussions over a cup of coffee?

In the evening there was a dinner and the Franchisee of the Year Award.  It has to be said the evening was brilliant with superb food, nice presentations and a really friendly atmosphere.  The nicest thing to me, though, was how much the award meant to the franchisee who won it.

‘I don’t want a lot of fuss,’ she said.  ‘I’ll just text a couple of people… oh, dear, I seem to have sent a message to everyone in my address book!’

So, back to Dublin on Friday, over to Birmingham and the next conference/Christmas party.  Again, a great dinner.  Franchisees were all in a great mood and lots of fun was had by all… in a slightly different way.

However, on Friday evening there were no franchisee awards but staff awards, instead.  And it was great to see a group of franchisees who were really pleased to acknowledge the support team who provided them with such great service.

Franchisee awards took place the next day in the conference itself.  The one thing the two award ceremonies had in common was how pleased the franchisee was to win the award.

Clearly these little bits of recognition are very important, especially when you’re a franchisee out there battling the elements on your own.

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