As we all know, you can't chose your family, but...
One of the most important things about franchise research is learning the most that you can about the brands you're interested in and its industry. One way to augment the search for this type of information is a franchise expo, where you'll be able to take a closer look at whole industries and engage with multiple brands all at once.
Since going to a franchise expo does mean spending some time and money on your part, it's a smart move to get the most out of your time spent at each one you attend.
Expos are often held on weekends, but sometimes they start earlier. Don't wait until the second day to go; arrive right on the first day as soon as the doors open. The energy is highest at the start, and it's easier to start conversations with strangers during this period.
Stay for the entire event. If the expo starts on a Friday, get there on Thursday evening and mingle with the other attendees at the hotel. This will make you more comfortable and more recognizable to others during the event, and you'll be more likely to talk to other people you've just recently met or have never met before.
The start of your expo experience will involve asking a lot of questions and going to many seminars. However, don't leave any talks early because towards the end is often when appointments are set for follow-ups and further discussions. The franchisors are working their show booth, so toward the end of the event is a good time to solidly future plans.
The offerings at a franchise show are usually extensive. While they all offer some type of valuable information, you'll want to limit yourself to what actually meets your goals. As you plan your time, target the talks and presentations that resonate the most with you. Maybe you are looking for more information on how to avoid first-time franchisee mistakes or want guidance on how to overcome your fears of starting a new franchise.
Take a look at the event's speakers and schedules, and mark it up long before the first day of the show. Have a list of questions prepared so you don't forget to ask the franchisees, franchisors and other experts at the event anything.
You may have a family member or co-investor in mind for your franchise, and sharing an expo will help make any joint decision-making fairer and easier. Having another person with you also allows you to get more done while you're at the show and network on a wider scale.
At a franchise show, you have the chance to investigate several brands and industries at one time and connect with people who will have an influence on your future business. Attend completely committed to the experience, fully organized and ready to make the best use of your time at the event.