Optimizing Your Franchisee Conventions:
Part 3 – Year-Long Optimization

Event Audience
Did the momentum from your event fade away?

By using strategies and tools, you can keep the excitement from your meeting, event, or conference alive. In the previous articles, Evan Hackel, describes how to maximize the benefits to your franchisees but regardless of what is built up, if it is not maintained, the purpose of your event may be diminished if you do give your attendees the correct tools to succeed. As outlined in Part 3 of this article series, Evan Hackel, Principal and Founder of Ingage Consulting, presents the research that shows getting feedback and providing post-conference follow-up is crucial in the growth of your company internally and externally.

Survey your attendees

One important tool in that process is the conference survey. According to our survey, more than nine of 10 franchisors surveyed undertake their own survey as part of the conference, typically following the event (see chart).

How do you determine the overall success of your meeting?
We do a post-event survey internally 68.1%
We do both a pre-event and post-event survey internally 22.5%
We don’t measure 5.5%
We work with a third party to help us understand exactly what the franchisees need and want pre-event and how well we did post-event 1.1%
Other 2.8%

Whether you survey your franchisees as they leave the conference or through an email survey a week to 10 days later, your post-conference survey should include the following questions:

• What are the top two highlights of the conference for you (e.g., speaker X)?
• How can we make the conference better (e.g., more/fewer speakers, more networking)?
• Do you feel you received a good return on your investment in coming to the conference?

“You want your survey to provide genuine feedback on your conference and doesn’t restrict the commentary,” says Eric Stites, founder and CEO of Franchise Business Review. “In fact, quite often the people providing the most significant and constructive comments are also people who gave the conference a favorable review and want it to be a success.”

Attendee satisfaction

In general, the vast majority of survey respondents reported that their franchisees were satisfied to a certain level with their conferences (see chart).

From a franchisee motivation and inspiration perspective, how satisfied are you with your conference/conventions?
Very satisfied 62.6%
Somewhat satisfied 34.1%
Somewhat dissatisfied 3.3%
Dissatisfied 0.0%

Franchisor satisfaction

However, the nearly 200 franchisors who responded to the survey were not quite as satisfied with how their conference resulted in improved franchisee performance. While nearly half were “very satisfied,” more than half were only “somewhat satisfied” (see chart).

How satisfied are you with your conventions from an operational perspective, helping the franchise system operate better?
Very satisfied 45.5%
Somewhat satisfied 53.4%
Somewhat dissatisfied 1.1%
Dissatisfied 0.0%

Post-conference follow-up

So how do you make your franchisee conference a winner after the event as well as during it? The key is in the follow-up, and that starts with the takeaways from the conference. These can include:

  • An implementable action plan. During the course of your conference, incorporate time in between speakers and events where your franchisees can draft an action plan based on the ideas being discussed. By the end of your conference, your franchisees should have a plan of ideas they can implement.
  • Provide presentations for franchisees to share with their organization.Whether it’s a PowerPoint, DVD, or YouTube video, franchisors should provide some sort of takeaway where franchisees can share what they learned at the convention with their staff. Franchisees, in turn, should schedule time to review with staff what they learned at the convention.
  • Give them a scorecard. In addition to the action plan, your franchisees should leave with a scorecard they can use to can track how well they are progressing in incorporating the ideas learned at the convention and tracking results. The scorecard is also something franchisees should be sharing with their franchise consultant to chart progress and ensure they are meeting their goals.
  • Reward conference attendees.Part of your conference follow-up should include “earlybird” discounts for the franchisees who attended. This can start by offering special discounts at the conference for the next year’s event and continuing those in your marketing efforts. Do not extend discount offers to franchisees who did not attend the previous conference.
  • Review with non-attendees.Schedule time for your franchise consultant to review the content from the conference for franchisees who did not attend. Be sure to bring them takeaways from the conference to bring their staff up to speed, as well as providing them with the scorecard described above.

In many ways, the follow-up work you do with your franchisees is as important as the conference itself. Granted, there is nothing like a live event to fire up your franchisees. Proactive and consistent follow-up can carry that torch to improved results during the ensuing year and at the next conference.

Evan Hackel is the Principal and Founder of Ingage Consulting. For more information, contact Evan Hackel at: (781) 569-5900 or ehackel@ingageconsulting.com and view the article referenced, please follow this link: http://www.franchising.com/articles/optimize_your_franchisee_conventions_part_3_yearlong_results.html


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