Nikki Sells, Vice President Franchise Development Tasti D-Lite walked into the Marriott RiverCenter after attending a Super Bowl Sunday event and stopped to take the photo above. When Nikki walked over to say hello we were buried in our blackberry, iPhone or Droid texting, posting messages on Facebook and of course tweeting while watching the game. Nikki said “you look like the geeks in high school at the back of the classroom!” The big smiles on our face show we were not the least insulted by the comment. 

We were attending the 50th anniversary convention for the International Franchise Association (IFA). Together we attended many sessions. No surprise that our interest was sessions on social technology. The IFA  Information Technology Committee chaired by Jerrod Sessler and Ken Colburn obviously worked hard on content and speakers. The sessions were well attended and received positive evaluations.  

Internet and Technology Entrepreneur Scott Klososky opened the Technology Summit with a bang and then closed the convention sharing the newest trends for leveraging technology to build a franchise system. There were several panel presentations. I was honored to speak with Philip St. Jacques, Managing Partner, GMLV/St. Jacques Franchise Brand Marketing,  Grant Kreutzer, Franchise Recruiting Director for Jack in the Box and Bill Zinke, Chief Marketing Officer, Tasti D-Lite. 

Fred and Fun Stuff Guy

The session “Using Social Media to Build Your Brand & Grow Your Business” received attention from Subway CEO Fred DeLuca. After the session Fred walked up to panel speakers Ken Colburn, CEO The Data Doctors and BJ Emerson, Director of Information and Social Technologies for Tasti D-Lite (also known as fun stuff guy) and asked if they would spend some time explaining Twitter. After a few short hours @FredSubwayCEO was tweeting feverishly! 

Attending the IFA annual convention offers a tremendous opportunity to connect with other franchise executives! It is the most comprehensive franchising event with interactive roundtable sessions, educational sessions and influential franchise leader panel presentations. Great food (Taste of Franchising), a world of franchise innovation (Exhibit Hall) and priceless networking opportunities should not be missed by anyone in the franchise industry. 
Mark your calendar – February 13-16th, MGM Grand Hotel Las Vegas, NV for the 2011 convention. You won’t want to miss it!