Franchise Arabia exhibition launched

    Following the launch of new trade show Franchise Arabia, an exhibition aiming to fulfil the needs of the region's franchise professionals, the organisers discuss why the time is right to bring such a show to the region.
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    A new trade show has been launched in the UAE to cater to the region’s booming franchise market.

    The inaugural Franchise Arabia Conference and Exhibition, slated to run from October 4-6, 2009, at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi, will provide “a knowledge exchange and networking platform for the region’s franchise-related business leaders”, according to organiser Nexus Holdings and Associates Ltd.

    “If you look at the market place and the development that’s happened in the region over the past few years, we’ve had it very good and there’s been almost a splatter-effect of different brands coming into the region,” noted Nexus chairman Dominic McGill.

    “But there are also potential franchisees who are not fully versed in the requirements of developing that franchise or that brand further across the region.

    “Also there is no other professional franchise exhibition platform in this region. We felt it was high time that changed, and that we had an exhibition alongside a professionally-organised conference.”

    Tracey Furey, managing director of consultancy firm Franchise Development Services and Franchise Arabia’s conference director, added: “The region’s key investors and business operators have long recognised the benefits of the franchise business model; in fact the region’s extraordinary and accelerated development may not have been achieved without the establishment of franchise relationships.”

    The three-day conference programme will feature more than 30 speakers and will be complemented by practical workshops for both existing and prospective franchisees and franchisors.

    “We’re aiming to bring a unique mix of brand, not your usual franchise show offering,” explained Furey. “And what we’ve said to potential exhibitors is that if we don’t feel that their product or service is relevant, or that they won’t have some critical market entry value, then we’ll tell them. So we are being selective.”

    One of the unique elements of the show will be the ‘Power Zone’, where conference delegates, keynote speakers and exhibitors can meet and mingle.

    “This is going to be at the heart of the show and it really is a unique concept,” says Nexus managing director Neil Manwaring.

    “It’s not going to be a boring, sit-down presentation by brand owners at the visitors; it’s direct interaction, face-to-face, where we’re putting potential franchisees together with major brands so they can actually discuss local nuances, differences to the rest of the world, and share knowledge and information.

    “This is not open to Joe Public,” he added. “To enter the Power Zone you will have to be a delegate, so it really will be high-level interaction.”

    Furey continued: “We’re also looking at having panel discussions to be hosted by industry experts, giving us all the opportunity to ask the specialists about particular subjects and to make it really dynamic.

    “Another thing we’re doing is asking our delegates, ambassadors, sponsors and exhibitors to contribute their ideas and requirements regarding the content of the programme, so that we really are talking about issues they want to discuss. So we’ve set up a networking platform which will allow them to do that ahead of the show,” she explained.

    McGill said the company was “thrilled” by the initial response to the event profile, at both an international and regional level.

    “There is no existing platform for franchise investors and senior executives to debate relevant and meaningful franchise related topics and to network with industry professionals,” he pointed out.

    “The Franchise Arabia formula has been carefully constructed and will set new benchmarks in the region’s franchise events calendar.”

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