With a view of Disneyland on the horizon, one of the leading franchise events in the west made its move to Anaheim California this year, for not only a change in location but a change in franchising possibilities. The West Coast Franchise Expo made its official debut in Orange County October 12-14th and soon proved to be the perfect venue to further education and networking opportunities that people have come to expect from the expo.
The West Coast Expo, hosted by New Jersey based MFV Expositions; touted top executives who spoke about how even in recessionary times, their brands were able to stay afloat. It provided a platform to discover viable business investments, and gave people exploring the idea of buying a franchise a one stop shop to learn from the best.
This year’s expo hosted a record number 8,763 visitors over the three days, 180 exhibitors showcased their new products and over 70 first time exhibitors, excited by the new location and market, made the move to the Anaheim after 8 years in Los Angeles. This was no last minute decision, “the move to Anaheim came after considerable amount of market research and feedback,” explained Tom Portesy, President and CEO of MFV Expositions. As the economy began to recover, Orange Country became the first metropolitan area in the state to post positive growth along with the lowest unemployment rate in Southern California, which had more franchisors eager to exhibit and expand.
The countless career opportunities created at the West Coast Expo is just one example of how franchising continues to bounce back from a slow, recovering economy. “There is a wealth of job creation to be tapped in the franchise sector, and the franchise model continues to demonstrate its resiliency as a business sector,” states IFA President and CEO Steve Caldeira. After almost three years of decline, the number of franchise establishments in the United States will increase by 1.5% in 2012 or nearly 11,000 new businesses, according to IFA’s third quarter update to its 2012 economic forecast prepared by HIS Global Insight for the International Franchise Association Educational Foundation.
Even with lingering uncertainties surrounding tax reform, healthcare and the lack of credit, “growth in the number of new franchise establishments, jobs and output are expected to outpace the overall economy” explains Caldeira. The study projects the franchise industry will add 167, 000 new jobs to the economy this year.
With a move in location for The West Coast and International Expos this year, and a forecast that calls for growth, the franchise industry continues to attract new owners ready to start their own businesses.