Sydney franchise expo mirrors new confidence in sector

By Sarah Stowe | 29 Mar 2021 View comments

The first franchising expo for 18 months drew a solid crowd of visitors over the two days of the Sydney show, with exhibiting franchisors displaying a fresh level of business confidence.

Almost 100 brands participated in the Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo at the ICC in Darling Harbour, with a broad mix of sectors represented.

Established brands included Snap-on Tools, Snap Print & Design, Poolwerx, Minuteman, InXpress, Appliance Tagging Services, Aussie, Swimart, Expense Reduction Analysts, Jim’s Pool Care, and the three chicken Craveable brands – Red Rooster, Oporto and Chicken Treat.

Snap Print & Design at the expo | Inside Franchise Business Executive

Snap Print & Design at the expo | Inside Franchise Business Executive

New and established brands exhibited

Popular Vietnamese food chain Roll’d attracted attention with its takeaway food.

Venice Phan, national franchise manager, said the event was successful and went beyond the company’s expectations.

“Not only have we secured a large number of leads to our Roll’d franchise information evening next week, we have some with great potential to become our franchisee partners,” she said.

Belgravia Group showcased its Genesis gym, Coaching Zone training option and recent acquisition Jump! Swim School, each appealing to a different franchisee budget.

Brand new names to the franchise expo included fresh faces to the sector such as fledgling fitness business Sweat1000, kids learning concept Snapology, and entertainment business Euclidion Holographics.

Quest Apartment Hotel, a stalwart of the franchise sector, was also a first-time exhibitor at the Sydney show.

Snapology at the Sydney franchise expo | Inside Franchise Business Executive

Snapology at the Sydney franchise expo | Inside Franchise Business Executive

This was the first Sydney expo for several years without any international exhibitors.

“We more than made up for this with local companies,” said Timothy Collett, managing director of expo organiser Specialised Events.

He told Inside Franchise Business Executive, “We have a mix of old and new names but are seeing more sophisticated production and presentation.

“Visitors have done their research so they are asking all the right questions. Exhibitors need to be prepared to show how their system works and will reap the rewards.”

Doug Downer, franchise recruitment for MindChamps, said “We had two great days at the expo. The numbers were down on what we expected but the quality was exceptional.

“MindChamps had two franchise offerings on show – Early learning Centres and Reading & Writing Enrichment centres and we received 22 solid leads for Early learning and 15 leads for Reading & Writing and we are very confident in the quality and bonafides of these leads.”

The MindChamps team at the Sydney expo | Inside Franchise Business Executive

The MindChamps team at the Sydney expo | Inside Franchise Business Executive

“Wonderful to be back”

After a two-year hiatus, most exhibitors were thrilled to be able to showcase their business models face-to-face with visitors.

Specialised Events’ Timothy Collett said “It’s wonderful to be back. We haven’t run a Sydney expo for two years and it was so nice to see everyone.

“It’s not just about the show but the reboot of the whole franchise sector. There are so many new faces and a new energy.

“We learned through lockdown the desire to take control of your life and your future is strong.”

Over the two days a free seminar program was well attended by visitors, both franchise buyers and potential franchisors.

The program included a talk by Mary Aldred, CEO of the Franchise Council of Australia, on ‘Franchising for the new decade’; conversations with franchisees hosted by lawyer Racha Abboud, and a presentation from Kate Groom at Franchise Accounting and Tax and Inside Franchise Business Executive editor Sarah Stowe, entitled ‘Let’s talk about money: 5 facts you need to know about buying a franchise’ [pictured].

Seminars ran over both days at the expo | Inside Franchise Business Executive

Seminars ran over both days at the expo | Inside Franchise Business Executive

Collett pointed out new features for the expo, which included a one day Franchisee Success Summit held on site but separate from the expo, and a two-hour ‘How to start your own business’ seminar aimed at attracting young entrepreneurial types into business.

“I’d like to thank the industry for sticking to the event during a difficult year and not just keeping it alive but making it better,” Collett said.

The Sydney event was the first to display the expo brand’s new colourway and updated logo.

Dates for the upcoming shows for 2021 are: Brisbane 18-19 June, Melbourne 20-21 August, and Perth 17 October.