There’s no denying it, annual franchise conventions are expensive and the cost is often prohibitive to those franchises that are small to medium in size, but large enough that their franchisees expect a great experience at the annual convention, especially if any amount of travel is involved.
The good thing about being in this category of franchises is that you’re often large enough that vendors will sponsor the event and donate door prizes to help make your convention a success. Even small franchises can end up with $1000’s in door prizes.
8 Ways to reduce your conference costs:
- Hotel Group Rates: Many hotels will work with you to come up with a good group discount to get your franchisees to stay there and hold your convention in one of their meeting rooms.
- Corporate Stays Free: Many hotels will offer one or more rooms for free to members of the corporate office.
- Door Prizes: Many vendors are more than happy to provide door prizes to long-term customers, but for those not wanting to donate products and gift cards, you could ask for discount coupons good towards a future purchase.
- Convention Supplies: It’s common to have convention supplies shipped to the hotel. The only problem with this is that you are likely to end up paying high fees for storage. See if you can get free or reduced storage fees added to the contract. Another option, if you have a franchisee living nearby the convention site, is to ask if they will receive them.
- Sponsorships: Encourage your vendors to sponsor your convention at different sponsorship levels. You’ll need to create a sponsorship package that lists what they get at each sponsorship level.
- Think Local: When the budget is tight, holding the convention locally or just a short drive away from the corporate office is a good choice by reducing the need for airfare and hotel fees. In addition, more of the office staff will be able to go to what can also be a valuable learning experience and to meet the franchisees. Just remember that many franchisees prefer the location to change every year, particularly for multi-state and national franchises, and for many franchisees, this trip is the only vacation they get.
- Internet: Many franchisees expect WiFi to be included. If free WiFi is not already included, negotiate ahead of time to have internet included in all rooms or at the very least in the meeting room.
- Franchisee Expertise: Paying outside speakers can get expensive. Take advantage of the knowledge that your franchisees have. Do you have a particular franchisee that other franchisees could learn something from? Use them instead of paying an outside speaker to teach that particular topic.
Are you in need of marketing materials for your conference? Call or text Delphinium today at 304-207-0795.