Technology and industry growth highlighted at IFA’s annual convention

By Beth Caron

Great Clips was represented at the 2014 International Franchise Association (IFA) convention in New Orleans in late February. The IFA is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA’s mission is to protect, enhance and promote franchising through government relations, public relations and educational programs. Their annual convention is a can’t-miss gathering for franchise business leaders.

Those in attendance talked about industry trends, shared best practices, internal processes and more. Here are a few takeaways from this year’s event:

  • Convention attendance was up from past years with around 3,000 attendees—many of them were first-time attendees or representing newer brands.
  • The franchise industry as a whole is recovering from years of slow sales growth and more banks are willing to make small business loans than in the past.
  • Technology continues to be a hot-topic in franchising and sales. Representatives from Google and LinkedIn were present at the event to help people understand how to build their online network and improve their websites.
  • Many sessions were concentrated on building strong support systems for franchisees. Supporting franchisees in all phases of their business has always been a key focus for Great Clips, and is one of the reasons for our continued success.
  • Great Clips’ own Norm Willardson, a Business Services Director, received his Certified Franchise Executive designation at the convention (Congrats, Norm!).
  • New Orleans (especially around Mardi Gras) is a fun and festive town that has a lot to offer visitors.
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