Category: franchise events

There are many reasons to attend networking events, seminars and conferences.  I always ask myself:  “What’s the ROI. What is the return on my investment (time and financially) to attend”? 

If you are involved in the franchising industry you may be very interested in the event to be held in Atlanta next week called FranCamp.

Below is a quick overview of the presentations for FranCamp. We have strong franchise industry leaders as speakers and/or round-table moderators. The list of attendees is equally impressive. The Goddard School, Learning Express Toys, Mr. Rooter and Nothing Bundt Cakes are a few of the franchisors that are registered to attend. There are several IFA Supplier Forum Members such as Engage121, Fish Consulting and FranNet that will be present.

There are seats still available. Registration can be found

Special thanks to AK Stout and FitDesk for the great door prize donation! If you are not familiar with the FitDesk, watch AK’s review by clicking here.

If you will not be in Atlanta for the event, watch the Twitter stream and tweets #FranCamp. We will do our best to share the information as we hear it live!

I mustn’t forget to mention the TweetUp! Thursday, May 3rd 7pm at the JW Marriott in Buckhead Atlanta! Open to the public so bring a friend and have a great time networking over cocktails.

I attended the 14th Annual Leadership Conference, hosted by the IFA’s (International Franchise Association) Women’s Franchise Committee (WFC) in Orlando, Florida.  The WFC is designed to develop relationships with franchising professionals, to address issues, share ideas and offer solutions related to franchising in the local communities.

The conference theme was Dare to be Bold: Taking Risks For Reward – “It’s been said that if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more. The great recession caused many organizations to drastically change the way they look and operate.” The Leadership Conference offered the opportunity to listen to top franchise leaders share stories of bold decisions they made that would forever change the shape of their brands.

The guest speaker was Kat Cole, President of Cinnabon; Inc. a division of FOCUS Brands Inc. Cinnabon operates more than 770 franchised locations worldwide. Prior to her role with FOCUS Brands at Cinnabon, Inc., she was VP of Training and Development for Hooters of America, Inc.

Kat shared her story of working as a server at Hooters at the young age of 19 and was handpicked to travel to Sydney Australia to open the country’s first Hooters. Kat had never flown before but she took her mother’s advice and “figured it out and made it happen” flying from Jacksonville, FL to Miami to get her passport and soon after traveling to Australia. By the age of 20, Kat was traveling all over the world to conduct new employee training and opening new locations. When Kat left Hooters in January 2011 she was Vice President of Training and Development.

As Kat told her story there was a recurring message: “figure it out and make it happen.”   We live in a time of change and Kat told us that no amount of change can work without connections and relationships.  She said the people you engage with, the connections you make and the relationships you have are with individuals that can and will be your biggest advocates.

Kat was an excellent presenter and listening to her validated decisions I have made over the last few months. Change is not easy and sometimes in order to change you must take risks. With the risks there is an uncertainty of the future. Getting pass the fear of the unknown and taking the steps to figure it out and “make it happen” is not as hard as I once thought.

Kat’s encouragement to build new relationships comes easy for me. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy attending conferences. I love social media and I have built strong connections using the various platforms but the in-person networking provides the face-to-face experience that I miss in the virtual world.

One of the new friendships that I built at IFA was with Tra Williams. Tra is more than 6’ tall so he is not easily missed in a crowd. But what really stands out is his passion for franchising and entrepreneurship. He exudes a deep commitment to helping others succeed and a strong drive to learn and share as much as possible.

Watch this video of Tra and I am confident you too will want to learn more about him and how you can connect.

Kat was right on the mark for me. I’m more than ready to “Figure it out and make it happen”. And as Dr. Beatrice Berry (author, sociologist, lecturer and educator) said; “When you walk with purpose, you collide with destiny.”

On March 1st I will leave what I have known and loved (Computer Explorers) for the last 16 years to start a new career as President of Deb Evans Consulting, LLC. I am confident it will be an exciting new adventure filled with new relationships, connections and risks!

Enchanted by Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki speaking at IFA

The closing speaker at IFA (International Franchise Association) convention was Guy Kawasaki, author of Enchantment. Guy defines Enchantment as “the process of delighting people with a product, service, organization or idea.” 

He shared several tips on how to be enchanting. Below are his top three:

  1. Be Likable – Learn how to smile! Sincere smiles create crows feet. Accept others. If you want to be liked, you have to like others.
  2. Achieve Trustworthiness – Trust others and then they will trust you. Gaining trust starts with giving trust.
  3. Bake, Don’t Eat – Bakers don’t see the world as “your gain is my loss and my gain is your loss.” Default to a paying it forward attitude. How can you help others?

Despite a recent surgery, Guy spoke with passion and enthusiasm. The lessons he shared to become enchanting are in his book and I highly recommend it!

Waiting for Guy

As Guy was leaving he paused for a quick picture with me. Well,  I have a confession to make – I asked his limo driver if I could hold the sign to draw Guy to me. The driver looked at me as though I had lost my mind but then with a big smile (including crows feet) he politely handed me the sign and said he would be waiting at the limo and would I kindly chaperon Guy in that direction.

Not only did I have a front row seat to hear one of the best presentations I have attended but I personally was given the opportunity to shake Guy’s hand, thank him and become completely enchanted! Not a bad way to end a great IFA convention attendance.

Thank you IFA and Guy!

Guy and Me!!

There will be several upcoming blog posts with updates regarding the IFA2012 (International Franchise Association) annual convention held in Orlando, FL.

I was honored to be interviewed by Nancy Weingartner, Executive Editor at Franchise Times in the E. H. Anderson, PR booth at the convention.

Deb Evans IFA2012 Insights: Social Networking from E.H. Anderson Public Relations on Vimeo.

Don’t forget to download my new eBook on Social Networking to the right and share the link! It is designed for the franchise industry but can be used by all.

Time to Prep for #IFA2012

TweetChat - #IFAtwtup

On Thursday, February 9th at 8am PT/10am CT/11am ET Engage121 and I will host a  Q&A TweetChat session  about the #IFA2012 Convention. What to wear, where to meet, what to bring, who to network with, what sessions to attend …

If you have not participated in a TweetChat before, the process is easy. Log into Twitter. Post your questions and use the hashtag #IFAtwtup.   Jen MacDonald, Director of Community & Client Engagement from Engage121 will moderate the questions and post as: Q1 #IFA2012 *********#IFAtwtup. If you have the answer simply reply with with A1 *******#IFAtwtup.

All Twitter – The Unofficial Twitter Resource has a blog post on “5 Useful Tools to Monitor Hashtags.” Choose the platform of choice and join in the conversation!

Monday, 10:15 AM Crystal Ballroom A&B

I hope you will join me in the session The Twitter Frontier: Harnessing the Power of Social Media While Protecting Your Franchise System with David Beyer, Quarles & Brady; Chad Cohen, Fish Consulting and Todd Leiser with Valpak. We have some exciting case studies to share and  tips on using social media. We will host a live TweetChat from the session collecting and answering questions, not only from the audience but from the virtual audience following our session.

Attending the IFA Tradeshow is a must! The list of exhibitors is massive so knowing who will be there and scheduling time takes a plan of action. Not only is it the place to find the newest products and services in the industry but there are door prizes, games, food and networking!

Watch the  video by Liz Anderson explaining how  e. h. Anderson, PR (Franchise PR specialist) and Franchise Times are prepping  for IFA 2012 (booth 306).

The clock is ticking. Plan ahead and prepare yourself for one of the best franchising events offered.

I can’t wait to see you there and as Liz mentioned in the video, I will be announcing my new venture!

Are You Ready for #IFA2012?

In just four weeks the franchise industry will gather in Orlando FL for IFA’s (International Franchise Association) 52nd Annual Convention.

Is it your first time to the annual convention? Are you prepared to network with 3k people in the franchise industry? Can I help?  Send me an email  and let’s schedule time to chat.

In the meantime, here are a few tips:

Business cards

Social Business Card

This is stating the obvious and I’m sure you have your cards ready but do they include your social connections? Have you listed your Website, Twitter handle, Facebook and Blog link? Do you have a photo? What about a QR code leading to one of your social platforms?

If you hurry you might be able to order FREE Facebook MOO cards! Find the link here


There is an app for that! IFA is offering a smartphone app that provides schedule of events, lists of speakers, exhibitors, session descriptions, handouts and much more! App link 

For some it might be easier to view the brochure via this link as you add events to your calendar on your smartphone:

Meet Industry Leaders

One of the highlights is the  The CEO Business Solution Roundtable session held on Monday February 13th (2:45-4:45). Some of franchising’s most accomplished leaders (CEOs, CFOs, COOs, Presidents, and Executive Vice Presidents) are available to share their success stories and moderate discussions on franchise relations, sales, operations, etc.

The complete list of approximately 50-75 tables and the moderators will be in the conference material received at registration. Take time to view the list. There will be a huge variety of topics and moderators. Consider learning more about the moderator on LinkedIn or their Website prior to the session.

Keep in mind that you will only have the opportunity to attend two 35 minute sessions.  If the two (tables) you want to attend are at opposite ends of the room, you may not get to both. Imagine a room with 3k people moving from one table to another in a period of a five minute break between sessions.  If you want to attend the session at table 10 and then table 78 the chances that you can easily glide from one table to the other is unlikely but not impossible.  Plan your route (seriously).   As much as you may want to, it is not acceptable to stand on the tables and move from one to the other until you reach your destination. Choose your tables wisely!

Largest Networking Events in the Industry

This is not the time to be shy or humble. Have your business cards in hand and be ready to meet as many people as possible. Don’t hesitate to introduce yourself to the IFA staff. They do a fabulous job putting the convention together and are a great group of individuals.

Matt Haller

Matt Haller (IFA) Paul Segreto (franchisEssentials) Jack Monson (Engage 121)

As a first time attendee you will be notified by an IFA Ambassador. The IFA Ambassador will contact you prior to the convention. Their goal is to make you feel comfortable at the convention; understand the services IFA offers and how to get the most out of the convention.

Plan to attend the reception held specifically for those members that are new to the Convention and to the IFA.  The reception is Saturday, February 11th from 5:30pm – 6:30pm in Grand 7 at the Orlando World Center Marriott.

Taste of Franchising will follow and it is one of the most popular events! It is a one of kind networking event that showcases some of the best food that franchising has to offer.

IFA TweetUp

Whether you are curious about social media or already engaged – the #IFA2012 TweetUp should not be missed! Join us after the Taste of Franchising at the Main Lobby Bar and Veranda in the Marriott. Enjoy cocktails and social media conversations. RSVP

Don’t forget to view the exhibit list and schedule time to attend the exhibit hall events. There are always games, door prizes and of course the opportunity to learn more from the IFA approved vendors who provide innovative and cost-effective products, solutions and services.

Don’t Go Home Disappointed

Planning should start now, not when you arrive in Orlando. Decide on the sessions you want to attend, schedule time with those you want to meet with, and make a list of what vendors you need to spend time with during Exhibit Hall hours.

If you have extra time and planning to visit Disney World here is a link to FASTPASS  which will cut your wait at some of the attractions.

I’m busy preparing for my session Twitter Frontier: Harnessing the Power of Social Media While Protecting Your Franchise System with Todd Leiser,  Chad Cohen and David Beyer. I have the app and loading my calendar, viewing speaker bios, and scheduling meeting with vendors.

What tips and suggestions do you have to share?


FranCamp Follow Up

We did it! We held the first FranCamp in Nashville last weekend and it was a success! There are so many things that I learned even as one of the presenters.  I promise to share everything in my book: Franchising Goes Social: Franchise Leadership As A Social Geek!

For now, I have the video below that I recorded this morning on UStream with my key take-aways.

Below are some important links to presentations, tweets, and videos that you missed.

FranCamp site:

You can find the Tweets:  here

Live recording archived of all the sessions via  UStream:  here

10 Best Twitter Tactics presentation by Jack Monson, Engage 121:  here

Inspire Change, Engage Your System presentation by Deb Evans:  here

Facebook Strategies presentation by AK Stout, Saying It Social:  here

Blogging for Business presented by Thomas Scott:  here

LinkedIn Strategies presentation by Paul Segreto:  here

BlogTalkRadio -” What Happened At FranCamp”  with guests BJ Emerson, Alissa Ramsay, Stephanie Ramirez, Dana Lopez and Lorri Wyndhamhere

An extra bonus is the Facebook eBook provided by AK Stout can be found here

Don’t forget to take the survey ( and vote for the next city that FranCamp travels to.

Sure you can watch the videos from FranCamp. You can view all the presentations and glean lots of great content from the tweets. But in reality you are missing the great discussions and networking from a group of like minded individuals.

Thomas Scott opened the day explaining that the FranCamp committee put the event together so that we could “give the recipe away and provide tactics and strategies that can be used immediately!” A bond was formed and new friendships and business relationships were made.

Please join our circle and register for the next FranCamp, volunteer to be a speaker or sponsor!

Time for FranCamp!

This is it! Ready or not! The first ever  social media  podcamp for the franchise industry is this weekend.   I couldn’t be more excited. Can you tell?

If you are not familiar with the term podcamp, it is a community event for new media enthusiasts and professionals. Those that attend are interested in networking and learning more about blogging, YouTube, social platforms and anyone curious about new media. FranCamp is designed for the franchising industry but also relevant to small business owners.

Things kick off with Social Geek Radio tonight live from Nashville. It will be the first time that AK Stout and I have the opportunity to broadcast from the same location. Of course, this is dependent on the airlines getting us to Nashville on time.

We will test  UStream tonight  and do our best to broadcast from our new FranCamp channel during the weekend events. You can watch live and/or follow AK’s  Twitter bird #FranCamp. Blog posts, photos and videos will be posted during and after the event!

This may be the first but it will not be the last FranCamp event! Stay tuned for announcements of the next locations.

Preparing for FranCamp

We are just a few weeks away from FranCamp! There is a great deal going on behind the scenes to make this event one of the best in franchising.

Watch this video to find out who should attend

Learn more

Visit our Website

Be a FranCamp Groupie –  link here We are collecting suggestions for our sessions. We will also use LinkedIn to continue the discussion after the event.


Bring Your Own Device! Smartphone, iPad, Laptop, Video Camera, Digital Camera…. This is a working event so have your power device with you and ready to test and use! Want to learn more about using video for marketing? There is a session for that.  Want to know how to conduct location based marketing? There is a session for that! What in the world do you do with QR codes and how do you design and read them? Guess what?! There is a session that too! Be prepared during the roundtables to whip out your devices and learn what to do with them!

Apps to download prior to arriving in Nashville

Foursquare, SCVNGR,  QR code reader and LinkedIn


Follow our tweets!  #FranCamp

Did someone say TweetUp? A social media event is not complete unless there is a TweetUp! Join us at Tasti D-Lite in Nashville on Friday October 21st.

Start preparing now! Don’t hesitate to contact me or Thomas Scott with questions.

Jennifer MacDonald provided this little teaser video for her upcoming FranCamp session!

To learn more about the sessions at FranCamp visit this link: