REGROUP is attending the International Franchise Association Convention in Vegas in late February and we are PUMPED! Throughout our agency’s 20 years of service, we have been members of the IFA, and attending the IFA Convention is one of our favorite annual events.
We know a convention of this magnitude can be overwhelming, but don’t worry. REGROUP has put together this quick guide for you to make the most of your experience, organized around each REGROUP core value:
With so many people at IFA, networking can be a bit intimidating. Don’t let that stop you.
Remember everyone is here for the same thing. Just like you, other people are at the event to connect. Sometimes finding new people to network with can be tricky. When attending conferences or meals, try to sit at tables with people you’ve never met.
Remember, there are no stupid questions. During presentations, ask away! Asking questions proves you are engaged in the discussion. If you’re particularly interested in a presentation, connect with the presenter after the session to keep the conversation going.
Don’t go into the conference focused on selling yourself and your organization. While having your elevator pitch is good, you should live in the moment and let your organization come up organically. One way to do this is by staying curious about the people you meet.
Ask people questions about themselves instead of only asking about their organization or work. Find out their favorite place to travel or what color they like the least. Allow the conversation to be fun. Make friends first, not prospects.
When it comes to conventions, nothing will go 100% perfectly. There will be lines, wait times, delays and microphones that quit. It’s important to just roll with the flow. The IFA does a wonderful job of managing issues, but they are only one team. Be gracious, have patience and enjoy the ride.
Like most experiences, you get what you put in. The best way to make connections at the IFA Convention is to participate. If there is an activity, show up. If there is an opportunity to sign up and participate or volunteer in a committee or local chapter, take it! It’s way easier to build relationships when you are collaborating, and it’s a great way to naturally get to know fellow members.
You’ll want to go into IFA well-versed on speakers and with a game plan of what sessions you want to prioritize. Also, make sure to arrive at sessions early, with a silenced phone and a focused mind. By being both prepared and present, you’ll make things easy on yourself. Plus, you’ll come across as responsible and considerate.
BELIEVE IN THE IMPOSSIBLE
Always be ready for the impossible. There’s nothing wrong with bringing big dreams with you to IFA. Try hard and dream big, it can’t hurt your IFA experience.
FREE BONUS TIPS BECAUSE WE THINK YOU DESERVE THEM:
REGROUP is all about providing extra value, so here are some additional, quick-hit, tips:
- Wear comfortable shoes you can stand all day in and bring your Band-Aids. You will be walking. A lot.
- Take advantage of the ICFE courses available on Saturday and Sunday. One of the best ways to build relationships is by attending one of the classes in person. (REGROUP will be at the Fran-Guard course Saturday, so feel free to join us)
- Download the IFA Convention App. The app is a great way to easily find directions, information, and even connections.
- Find an after-party. The IFA Convention is known for social events after the day is done. Keep your eyes opened for opportunities to extend your networking time.
- Have fun!! You are in Vegas. Go have an amazing meal. See a show. Sure, it’s an industry conference, but hard work should be rewarded with good fun.
See you there!
Andre Mello is the Director of Marketing and Growth at REGROUP—a full-service, woman owned, independent marketing agency that has supported franchise brands for over 20 years.
To connect with Andre at the IFA please visit our consultation page.
REGROUP is a woman-owned, independent full-service marketing agency in Ann Arbor. We have been the agency of record for DTE Energy for over 10 years and we also support non-profit, financial services and franchise industry clients. Are you ready to REGROUP?