Mexico's Fiesta of Franchising

There is no better way to appreciate the popularity and economic buoyancy of franchising south of the border than to have witnessed the phenomenon of the 29th International Franchise Fair, held from March 8 to 10 at Mexico City's World Trade Center. This three-day event rivals franchise trade expos in any other part of the globe. The event receives almost unprecedented press and TV media attention and typically delivers a high-profile exposure of both Mexican and non-Mexican franchise brands.

All this attention is derived from Mexico's tremendous interest in expanding the business base of small and medium-sized enterprises, in addition to the newsworthy success of franchising in Mexico. Franchising has flourished in Mexico over the past 5 years. In response, this event has sold out and many late entries were left out despite a yearly 20 percent increase in floor space.

As one of the world's most heavily attended franchising trade shows, Mexico's International Franchise Fair was not to be missed for franchisors targeting an entry into the U.S.'s closest and most populous franchise-friendly neighbor. The Mexican Franchise Association's president, Roberto Ramos, has reported that this year's event:

  • featured 215 exhibitors representing 250 franchise brands and 27 distinct business formats and industries;
  • attracted nearly 30,000 visitors, 70 percent from Mexico, with the remainder from the U.S., other Central America, and South America;
  • offered a conference program drawing a record attendance of 1,500 with standing room only for top franchising speakers from Mexico and abroad, including Mary Ellen Sheets (CEO of Two Men and a Truck) in a simultaneously translated presentation; and
  • promised the grant of as many as 500 or more franchises from franchisors reporting from the floor of the event, which translates into the potential creation of 50,000 new jobs in the franchise sector, and among its suppliers and related service and support networks.

As truly the world's "Fiesta of Franchising," this event draws entire pavilions of foreign exhibitors (nearly one third of the total), led by the U.S. this year with 25, closely followed by Spain with 20 , and Brazil with 14 exhibitors. France, Italy, Costa Rica, and Guatemala were also among the countries represented by franchisors exhibiting at the event.

In the words of Ferenz Feher Tocatli, president of franchise consulting firm Feher & Feher and past president of the Mexican Franchise Association, "My expectations were surpassed. What better sign to continue growing!"

Mexico, despite today's heavy focus by the U.S. press on immigration northward, boasts a fast-growing, oil-producing economy, receptiveness to U.S. franchise brands, and a strong interest value fueled by the high level of advertising, press, and TV coverage devoted to franchising. Ramos says that the International Franchise Fair now ranks in "the second, or the first place, worldwide by virtue of the quality and quantity of exhibitors, the floor space allocation, the number of attendees, and the conference program," which has made this a must-do trade show for U.S. and Canadian franchisors looking south. Seventy percent of the 2007 Franchise Fair is already reserved by this year's exhibitors, so make reservations well in advance, or you just might miss out on next year's fiesta.

Charles Weeks is senior director of Edwards Global Services, Inc.

Published: September 19th, 2006

Share this Feature


comments powered by Disqus
Golden Corral

Franchisor Topics »

Premium Services

Konnect Business Opportunity

Konnect is an agency with unmatched business acumen that provides public...

Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference Business Opportunity

Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference
June 19-20, 2018. Intercontinental Hotel, Atlanta (Buckhead), GA. An...

TSheets Business Opportunity

TSheets is the #1 employee rated and requested time tracking software on...

Franchise Leadership & Development Conference Business Opportunity

Franchise Leadership & Development Conference
Oct. 10-12, 2018 Intercontinental, Atlanta, GA. Over 350 franchise...

HigherMe Business Opportunity

HigherMe was founded by a former multi-unit franchisee to optimize the...

Xivic Business Opportunity

XIVIC IS YOUR FRANCHISE DIGITAL PARTNER. Empower your customers. Build...

Vizion Interactive Business Opportunity

Vizion Interactive
Vizion Interactive is a leading digital marketing services agency...

Hot Dish Advertising Business Opportunity

Hot Dish Advertising
From lead generation to increasing sales, Hot Dish Advertising is the pro...

Franchise Update Magazine

A targeted, quarterly magazine that takes CEO's, VPs and Sales Executives to the cutting edge of franchise development.

Subscribe to Franchise Update Sales Report

A Franchise Update Media Production
Franchise Update Media | P.O. Box 20547 // San Jose, CA 95160 // PH. (408) 402-5681
Copyright © 2001 - 2017. All Rights Reserved.

In Loving Memory Of Timothy Gardner (1987-2014)