Melbourne franchise expo energises franchise recruitment

Franchising expo weekend format
Franchising expo returns to a weekend format next year. Image supplied.

The first Melbourne franchise expo since 2019 has reflected a keen interest in Aussies wanting to get into business for themselves post-pandemic. It successfully brought together franchisors and potential franchise buyers keen to maximise the opportunity to interact in person. 

Visitors came in from across Victoria and flew in from as far afield as Adelaide and Perth, with about 15 attending from Queensland and 40 from New South Wales.

Kellie Cranch, chief of franchise development at Poolwerx, was enthusiastic about the two-day event.

“We’ve had really strong, good quality leads, it’s been a very worthwhile show for us.”

At multi-brand business Craveable Brands GM Sean O’Connor agreed there had been a good visitor presence at the Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo.

“We’ve had quality leads,” he said.

At-home aged care franchise Right At Home also reported two strong days at the expo.

Glenda Manning, national marketing manager, told Inside Franchise Business Executive, “We found we’ve had really interesting leads who have done their homework while others are new to franchising and needing more knowledge. The show has been an excellent and rewarding experience.”

Manning said “All the market dynamics have given the at home aged care market a profile that wasn’t there a couple of years ago.”

The exhibitor line-up included some faces new to the expo scene, including Dymocks, and brands showcasing concepts new to the industry such as pick-up and delivery business Laundry Lady and a local competitor to Uber Eats, Bite Local.

Laundry Lady founder and CEO Susan Toft said it was the first time the 10-year-old business based on a contractor model had tapped into the franchise space to promote the brand.

“Entering this franchising market has been good, we’ve had lots of quality leads,” she said.

The Belgravia Health & Fitness business was showcasing four brands, including Jump! Swim School.  Belgravia’s national new business manager, Magdalena Schoeman, said “Friday has been business-like, a lot of investors wanting to see people face to face.”

Schoeman pointed to the value in the expo as a way for franchisors to make an initial assessment of potential franchise buyers.

“It’s good for franchisors to get an idea of franchisees and whether they are right for the brand. When couples come in together you get a sense of their collaboration, whereas it tends to be the numbers person who rings up on the phone. But for a business like Jump! Swim Schools you need the personal too. It’s a balancing act.”

Many of the home service businesses had been busy throughout the expo. Sarah Allen, GM at Appliance Tagging Systems, said she had been talking to potential franchisees non-stop.

Exhibition manager Fiona Stacey said “It is absolutely fantastic to be back at a live event. It’s great to see all our exhibitors, and exhibitors are so pleased to be networking again. In fact some were even meeting new staff for the first time face-to-face.

“Of course we were happy to see busy aisles in peak times of the show and visitors enjoying the opportunity to be able to meet people in person, and enjoying free food and coffee.”

The next Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo is in Sydney on 5 and 6 August 2022.