Participants a happy bunch

Feedback from the Forum was extremely positive with 95% of participants stating their involvement was definitely good value for money. Corina Vucic, General Manager of Clark Rubber (FCA 2007 Franchisor of the Year) sent us a note with the following comment.

“Attending this FRI Forum was inspirational. The content was relevant, timely and informative. May I pass on my sincere thanks you to you all.”

Franchisees tell it like it is

Given the theme of the day, we decided to kick off proceedings with a franchisee panel on the (tongue in cheek) topic, “Ten things I hate about the marketing department!”

After all if we want to know how to win over franchisee hearts and minds it only seemed logical to ask them what frustrates them and what they want.

And they did not disappoint. These were six top performers from some of Australia’s leading brands and the passion, clarity and quality of their contributions was a delight to hear. It was thus no surprise to us that this session was rated by participants (who were 95% franchisors) as the highlight of the day!

Andrew Robertson from Worldwide Online Printing (also the FCA National 2007 Franchisee of the Year) shares some tips while Graham Hunter (centre) a top franchisee from 7-Eleven looks on with interest.

Share their challenges and successes

Following the franchisee panel participants were treated to a number of franchisor case studies. In these sessions senior managers shared warts and all what their organisations had learned about communicating with franchisees and what they are doing to build a healthy franchising culture.

Participants listen to case studies by franchisors on on what they are doing to better engage their franchisees in their marketing programs.

Getting down to specifics

The case studies were followed by a facilitated franchisor panel where the audience had the opportunity to question the speakers on specific issues of interest to them.

Debb Lowe from the Franchise Relationships Institute facilitates the panel of franchisors (from right) Nicole Dodd, Retail Food Group; Kate Adamson, Bakers Delight; Tracey Steinwand, Red Rooster; Sue Owen, 7-Eleven; and Peter Davis (hidden), Frontline Recruitment.

Building friendships

The atmosphere for the day was light and breezy and allowed plenty of time for participants to network and build new friendships.

Alb Carlton (Fisher & Paykel) shares a story with an amused Kate Johnson (Ordium) and Michelle Mullholland (Raine & Horne).

Research update

After lunch, Professor Lorelle Frazer from Griffith University, delivered findings on her recent research into the potential risks for a franchisor’s intellectual property if franchisees exit the franchise system prematurely. This was followed by an open Forum where participants shared their thoughts and experiences on some of the challenges they face in dealing with angry or disillusioned franchisees.

Professor Lorelle Frazer from Griffith University delivers her findings on the potential risks for franchisors if franchisees exit their franchise system.

Genuine two way engagement

One unique and inspiring aspect of the day was the genuine desire by franchisors and franchisees from different franchise systems to engage and learn from each other.

Marc Donohue from Narellan Pools (FCA NSW Franchisee of the Year) shares his thoughts with an enthralled James Brodie (Harvey World Travel), Trish Rogers (Century 21) and Andrew Child (Mortgage Choice).

Mini-Forums a highlight

The Mini-Forums proved to be a real hit. Not only were they a lot of fun, they also provided the opportunity for people to really dig deep into specific issues of interest to them.

Pippa Hallas (left) from Ella Bache shares a joke in her Mini_Forum while Paul Sowerby (right) from Worldwide Online Printing sucks in the learning.

The quality ands intensity of discussions during the Mini-Forums was exceptional.

Chris Meyer (Narellan Pools) entertains participants with some provocative findings from the Mini-Forum that he participated in on the topic of brand and culture. Not sure what is going through the mind of FRI's Managing Director, Greg Nathan!