NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The “City that Never Sleeps” transformed into the “City of Franchising” for aspiring entrepreneurs ready to get on the fast track to business ownership June 15-17. During the International Franchise Expo (IFE), more than 15,000 attendees from the United States and around the globe met with more than 400 franchisors for the 26th annual event at the Javits Center in New York City.
In early 2017, the International Franchise Association came out with its annual Franchise Business Economic Outlook report that showed positive growth in the industry. The report found the industry significantly outpaced the U.S. economy in 2016 and projects a similarly strong performance in 2017 with an expected 3.3 percent franchise employment growth, 1.6 percent franchise establishment growth, and a 5.3 percent growth in franchise output.
“The atmosphere in the expo hall was buzzing with excitement Thursday through Saturday. It was easy to see that franchising is the go-to for people who want to go into business for themselves, but not by themselves in 2017,” said Tom Portesy, president of MFV Expositions, producers of the IFE. “Aspiring entrepreneurs got the chance to connect with representatives from franchise brands ranging from restaurant concepts, to home and auto service brands, all the way to new concepts like food trucks and virtual reality day camps. The diversity of both U.S.-based and international concepts showed every attendee the ever-evolving innovation of the franchise industry. We look forward to hearing life-changing stories that came from the expo.”
The IFE kicked off with an official ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, June 15 where Robert Cresanti, president and CEO of the International Franchise Association (IFA), and Shelly Sun, co-founder and CEO of BrightStar Care and chairwoman of the IFA, Lindsey Boylan, chief of staff at Empire State Development, all welcomed guests to New York City. From there, attendees explored domestic and international, mature and emerging franchise brands. There were opportunities for all budgets, with startup costs ranging anywhere from $10,000 up to $1 million.
More than 85 education programs and 10 in-depth programs were offered along with a full-day growth summit for current single-unit franchisees, a new venture this year. The seminars included detailed information on real estate, financing, accounting, and legal issues. Current franchisees walked away from the expo with a better understanding of necessitates to grow a business, as well as details of multi-unit growth and support initiatives.
The expo also proved successful for well-known and emerging franchisors looking to expand. “It’s been one of the best franchise expos we’ve been to,” said Kevin Aoki, CEO and founder of juice franchise Bluetree. “The traffic has been heavy, nearly triple the amount of people we’ve seen at other expos, and the quality of people coming in is unmatched. We’ve signed a deal here at the expo and have brought some promising prospects into the pipeline. Optimism is the best word to describe how we feel leaving the IFE.”
The next franchise expo, Franchise Expo West, is set to take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles November 2-4. For more information, please visit www.franchiseexpowest.com. Next year’s IFE will be May 31 through June 2, 2018.
About MFV Expositions
For more than 25 years, MFV Expositions has been producing the leading franchise events worldwide that consistently bring together franchise concepts, at all investment levels, with the most qualified visitors seeking to own their own business. In addition to quality franchise expos in the United States and overseas that offer face-to-face opportunities to grow a franchise, MFV also offers access to online franchise opportunities through web-based resources.