Multi-Unit Franchising Conference: Las Vegas Plays Host to Another Winning Conference
Franchise Update's Multi-Unit Franchising Conference just wrapped another winning event that attracted record numbers and offered another stellar lineup of keynote speakers and industry titans. This year's conference theme was "Planning For Growth: Your Pathways To Success." The event took place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, April 23 - 25.
Attendance figures reached new heights of almost 1,400 this year, with more than 550 of those being franchisees representing more than 400 franchisee enterprises. The franchisees in attendance accounted for more than 10,000 operating units, more than $10 billion in annual system-wide revenue, and they provide jobs for more than 200,000 employees. More than two-thirds of the franchisees attending indicated they were searching for additional brands.
Keynoters at this year's conference included John Maxwell, the internationally renowned leadership expert, coach, and author, and JB Bernstein, the legendary sports agent and marketing pioneer who is the inspiration for the upcoming Disney feature film "Million Dollar Arm."
The cornerstone of every Multi-Unit Franchising Conference is the educational component. That was readily available again this year. Multi-unit operators could choose from three tracks depending upon their operational size. This year's topics included financing, leadership and management, growth strategies, hiring and retaining employees, outsourcing, local store marketing, and much more.
The expo hall is the place where everybody comes together. Suppliers, vendors, and dozens of franchise brands were on hand to rub elbows with franchisees, offer their pitches, and answer questions. It's become a real focal point of the conference because of the sheer number of brands and franchisees together in one place. This year saw record numbers as the hall sold out early.
The conference also provided a great platform for announcing and recognizing this year's Multi-Unit Franchisee magazine MVP Award winners. These individuals exhibit the kinds of characteristics that make successful operators as well as caring and involved citizens. This year's winners were:
- Spirit of Franchising Award - Paul Hitzelberger, President/CEO, Utah Del, Inc.
- Multi-Brand Growth Leadership Award - Tony Lutfi, President/CEO, Marlu Investment Group
- Single Brand Growth Leadership Award - Larry G. Lee, President, Southwest Deli Group, Inc.
- Influencer Award for Former Pro-Athlete - Don Davey, Area Developer, DKSS Subs, LLC
- Veteran Entrepreneur Award - Jim Lager, President, PIRTECK USA
- Community Involvement Leadership Award - Bruce Keehn, CEO, & Andrew Lynn, Owner, Best Burger Management
- Noble Cause Award - Sam Anabi, President, Anabi Oli Corporation
- Noble Cause Award #2 - Chris Moore, Need Title, CAP-MOR Corporation
- Influencer Award for Husband & Wife Team - Bobby & Lori Forrest, Owners, Sport Clips
- Innovation Award - Craig Joy, Need Title, Sunstate Restaurant Management
- American Dream Award - Nachhattar S. Chandi, CEO, Chandi Group, USA
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