September 29, 2008 // Franchising.com // Minneapolis, MN – Living up to this year's theme, "Learning from Each Other," SeaMaster Cruises wrapped up its Networking Convention on Saturday after a full week of countless opportunities for franchise owners from across the United States to rekindle relationships, share ideas and learn from one another's successes and challenges.
"The seminars were scintillating, the workshops were wonderful, and the destinations were dazzling, but ask any of our franchise owners aboard the 2008 SeaMaster Cruises Networking Convention, and they may tell you that the 'people' packed the most powerful punch," noted SeaMaster Cruises General Manager Mark Schiffner. "We foster a collaborative and non-competitive environment for our franchise owners to learn and grow. When it comes time for convention, they are practically falling out of their chairs ready to share their best practices."
Schiffner pointed with pride to an independent survey conducted by Franchise Business Review of SeaMaster Cruises franchise owners, who collectively gave the franchisor a 4.7 out of 5.0 on the topic of relationships. "This number illustrated the high level of respect our franchise owners have not only for our headquarters support team, but also for their fellow franchisees," explained Schiffner.
"I've been talking with other franchise owners all week, and with each conversation I've picked up nuggets of information that will help form a composite of fantastic business tools that works for me," said Chuck Flagg, a SeaMaster Cruises franchise owner from Canton, GA. "The discussion-oriented format worked really well," said Jane Allen, a SeaMaster Cruises franchise owner in Westlake Village, CA. "The past year was very productive for me. But next year, thanks to the conversations I've had with other owners I'll be even better prepared to focus on the specific types of groups I want to target," said Allen.
Schiffner also noted that SeaMaster Cruises franchise owners interact with each other much more frequently than their annual convention would suggest. They participate in monthly conference calls open to the entire network of 130+ franchise owners; they have a 10-person Franchise Advisory Board which serves as a sounding board for the entire network; they may choose to participate in advanced group training sessions open to all franchise owners; and they even participate in a Yahoo! Groups forum. In the 24/7 forum, they share ideas on everything from favorite restaurants in ports of call to recommended shore excursions; knowledge about specific ships; unique marketing ideas; and operational best practices.
"SeaMaster Cruises has become an even stronger, more cohesive network because of the degree to which our franchise owners are willing to learn from each other," said Schiffner. "Over the past week, the teaching has not been limited to what our headquarters staff and special guest speakers have done or said – the key to learning has always been the franchise owners themselves and what they are thankfully willing to share."
For information on joining SeaMaster Cruises, go to www.SeaMasterCruises.com and click on "Franchise Opportunities" in the upper right-hand corner of the home page. Or, call 763-219-4182.