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last updated 01/03/2021


Preview: Franchise Conference 2021

last updated 01/03/2021


The National Franchise Conference focuses on prospering in a changing world

The National Franchise Conference will be back in July 2021 at Claudelands in Hamilton. With last year’s event having to be postponed, the 2021 event is more eagerly anticipated than ever, and the larger venue is expected to attract more than 200 delegates eager to catch up after a year of disruption and change.

‘We saw at the one-day Westpac Franchise Summit in September how much people value getting together, and have designed a programme that allows for plenty of networking and workshop time as well as valuable input from key speakers,’ says Robyn Pickerill, the CEO of the Franchise Association which organises the Conference. ‘Delegates can choose their own accommodation, reducing costs to attend.’

The original theme of Shifting Gears - Prospering in a Changing World seems more appropriate than ever in 2021. ‘The Conference will be an opportunity to learn from the experts how franchises from different sectors are handling the change,’ Robyn says.

The speakers

Arif Khan is the CEO NZ for Restaurant Brands, who are the local master licence holders for such global franchises as Pizza Hut, KFC, Carl’s Jr. and the recently-launched Taco Bell. Arif will be talking about the evolution of Pizza Hut since it first opened in New Zealand in 1974, and how it has met the ever-increasing challenges of the past few years.

Rodney Wayne CEO Julie Evans will talk about the company’s journey to stay fresh and relevant in the digital world. She’ll be joined by Lachlan McPherson, the brand developer for Rodney Wayne who was ranked New Zealand’s number one creative by Campaign Brief magazine. Lachlan’s work for Coca-Cola has a chapter devoted to it in the book How Asia Advertises: The Most Successful Campaigns in Asia Pacific and the Marketing Strategies Behind Them

Michelle van Gaalen is managing director of two well-known New Zealand brands, Smith & Smith and the Laser Plumbing and Electrical franchise. With over thirty years’ experience in business and leadership roles, and currently a member of the board of the Superannuation Fund Authority, Michelle will talk about the changing role of leaders in today’s world and the roles and responsibility of franchisors around leadership.

How do franchisors and franchisees respond to the stress of constant change – and how do you build a mentally resilient organisation? This was the topic of one of the most popular sessions at the Summit, so mental health ambassador Mike King will share practical advice and recommendations for organisations to provide the most effective, timely and crucial support for their people.

Panels and sessions

New for this year, there will be three facilitated peer panels looking at specific periods in a franchise's journey from new start-up to established brand. The first looks at start-up recruitment, training and marketing; the second at Franchise Advisory Councils, running a franchisee conference and dealing with challenging franchisees; and the third at continuing innovation, succession planning and the challenges of managing expanded networks.

Additional sessions will focus on marketing funds, strategic partners and employment issues, with a presentation from the MBIE on latest developments.

There will also be a full programme of networking and social events, and a range of trade stands 

Open to all

‘This is an event for everyone – you don’t need to be a member of FANZ,' says Robyn. ‘If you are involved in franchising, are thinking of franchising your business or buying a master franchise, do come. You’ll make contacts, make friends and enjoy the exchange of experiences and ideas between people immersed in the realities of doing business in a changing New Zealand via franchising.'

Further details will be released shortly, including details of contingency plans in the event of changing alert levels. Watch this space!

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