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A franchise expo is a business event that showcases franchises and subjects related to franchises. Usually held at hotels and convention centers, franchise expos can also be called franchise conventions, franchise conferences, franchise trade shows, or franchise fairs. At a franchise expo, an attendee can usually visit with franchise sellers and potential franchise buyers, buy a franchise, meet franchise owners, and learn about running a franchise. These types of events usually feature exhibitor booths, classes about franchising and question-and-answer panels with industry experts. Franchise events can be held online, and some websites with franchise opportunity directories call the directory a "franchise expo."
Franchises are businesses that a franchise buyer can pay to be a part of. When a franchisee buys into a franchise, she enters a contract under which she sells the products or services of an existing company that is already successful. As a franchisee, she takes on the name of the company that started the franchise opportunity. Franchising is common in many manufacturing, distribution, and service industries, but is notably prevalent in food service, clothing stores, and mall kiosks.
While most franchise events are organized by franchise associations, some franchise expos are put on by the business offering the franchise, and feature only one business franchise opportunity. Exhibitors at franchise expo events are predominantly businesses with franchise opportunities to offer or organizations with products or services created for the franchise industry. Some franchise events are focused on a specific franchise industry, like fast food. Franchise sellers benefit from a well-organized expo because it exposes their business opportunity to a large number of people who are specifically interested in franchises. Costs to set up a booth at a franchise vary, so a businessman planning to exhibit at an expo must make sure the expo has enough traffic to make the expo booth fees and the time at the table worthwhile.
Attendees at a franchise expo usually seek opportunities to start or expand a business, and a franchise expo can often offer a one-stop event where potential buyers can gather franchise information, ask questions and meet business partners face to face. Franchise expos are generally free to attend, but the atmosphere on the expo floor can seem intense, because some buyers find franchise expo sales techniques too high-pressure. Not all franchises offered at a franchise expo are good business opportunities, expo attendees may benefit from researching opportunities separately before deciding whether it is worthwhile to attend the event.
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