2nd Annual European Master & Multi-Unit Franchising Conference: Growing Event Drew a Record Number of Industry Elite to Vienna
The 2nd annual European Master & Multi-Unit Franchising Conference (EMMFC) attracted a record crowd of more than 200 attendees from more than 20 countries. The who's who of European franchising gathered January 28-29 in Vienna, Austria, for the two-day conference at the historic Hotel Savoyen Vienna. Once again, the event provided an in-depth forum for master, multi-unit, and multi-brand franchisees interested in growing their businesses, learning from their peers, and engaging with new franchise brands and product and service providers.
The EMMFC has gained the attention of the franchise community across the continent and quickly become a "go to" event for growth-minded franchise operators and entrepreneurs.
The conference, hosted by Franchise Update Media and MFV/Comexposium, targeted the growing number of franchisors and franchisees adding new units and new brands across Europe. Master franchising, a key part of this growing trend, continues to be the primary vehicle for brands looking to expand in Europe. In addition, the EMMFC focused on the growth of multi-unit and multi-brand franchising across Europe.
"We were very pleased with the surge in attendance and the feedback we received about the conference," said Therese Thilgen, CEO of Franchise Update Media. "We strongly believe there is an ongoing need for this kind of conference in Europe and we intend to continue delivering it."
"The EMMFC was a fantastic event," said Germany's Matthias Lehner, founder and CEO of Bodystreet, Europe's leading provider of electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) training with 300 studios on three continents. "To meet so many sophisticated and experienced master and multi-unit franchisees, franchisors, and other experts is a game-changer for franchising in Europe. I love this event and can't wait for next year's conference," said Lehner, who also serves as vice chair of the German Franchise Association.
The conference opened with a keynote address from Catherine Monson, CEO of U.S.-based Fastsigns International, who spoke on "The State of Franchising: U.S. and Global Perspectives."
Glen Helton, vice chairman of NSP Corp., a franchisee of Burger King, KFC, and TGI Fridays based in Sweden, also delivered a keynote called "Building a High-Performance Growth Culture in a Mega Franchisee System."
There were other guest speakers, including Andreas Schwerla, former managing director of McDonald's Austria and Central Europe, who is a 10-unit McDonald's franchisee in Austria. He provided attendees with his insights on "How To Be Best in Class."
The event's educational sessions were divided into two tracks: the Master Franchising Track and the Multi-Unit/Multi-Brand Track. Speakers and panelists from more than 10 countries included master franchisees, multi-unit and multi-brand franchisees, franchisors, international franchise attorneys, consultants, and suppliers.
Sessions included such topics as "The Due Diligence Process & Building Your Economic Model for Master Franchising"; "Benefits of Growing Multiple Locations as a Multi-Unit or Multi-Brand Franchisee"; "Choosing the Right Brand for Your Franchise Portfolio"; and "Training: Best Practices to Develop High-Performing Master Franchisees."
Two General Assemblies brought all attendees together for educational sessions. The first, "Dealing With Legal Points Critical to Successful Multi-Unit and Master Franchise Arrangements," featured a panel of experienced and highly recognized multi-unit and master franchise speakers who addressed legal and related business issues critical to both the multi-unit and master franchise expansion methods as well as topics common to both.
The other General Assembly was staged as a roundtable session called "Multi-Unit Franchising, Master Franchising, and Additional Growth Structures: Bringing the Franchise Offering and Relationship into Alignment." This program, focused on multi-unit franchising, highlighted differences between multi-unit and single-unit franchising regarding initial and continuing fees, the obligations of the parties, and adjusted responsibilities provided or required by the franchisor.
More than 40 sponsors signed up to support the conference. The Platinum sponsor was Fastsigns International. Gold sponsors were Guinot (France), International Workplace Group (Switzerland), and Polsinelli (U.S.). Silver sponsors from the U.S. included Assisting Hands Home Care, Gold's Gym, Home Instead Senior Care, Inspire Brands (Arby's, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic, and Rusty Taco), MSA Worldwide, Nathan's Famous, School of Rock, United Franchise Group, and Wing Zone International. Other Silver sponsors were Coffeeshop Company and Growentas from Austria, and Canadian brand New York Fries. In addition, there were media sponsors from Austria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Romania, and Slovenia.
"It was a great three days at the conference," said Brand President of Pizza Hut Germany (Amrest) Matthias Kern. "The event was well organized, the audience high quality, and the program was great. Thank you to the team who organized it and all the participants who made it a high-level event."
This was the second year for the EMMFC. The inaugural European Master & Multi-Unit Franchising Conference debuted October 23-24, 2018 in London. That conference, which drew 173 registrants from 15 countries, also produced by Franchise Update Media and MFV Expositions, was held at the Park Plaza Victoria London. Attendees included both U.S. and European multi-unit and multi-brand franchisees, as well as franchisors, consultants, suppliers, and attorneys specializing in international franchise growth and development.
Make plans now to attend the 2021 European Master & Multi-Unit Franchising Conference. Details of the exclusive event with limited seating will be announced soon. To keep informed, visit www.emmfc.com.
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Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine: Issue 2, 2020