FLDC Shines Again
Fresh on the heels of the annual Franchise Leadership & Development Conference (FLDC) is the best time to capture the excitement of what went down in Atlanta this October. This year's theme of "Developing a Culture of Growth" provided ample educational and networking opportunities for anyone in franchising who plays a role in the recruitment process.
The conference, held at the InterContinental Buckhead Hotel, attracted franchise sales and development professionals, along with brand presidents and CEOs, for 2½ days of workshops, sessions, keynote speakers, and awards. You'll find the event fully documented in this issue.
It's always fascinating to hear franchise executives from different industries--even different countries--gather to discuss franchise development challenges and share insights into maximizing development opportunities. Attendees repeatedly told us the content was first-rate and directly relevant to their work. Another plus was hearing from both longtime attendees and first-timers about how much value they got from the one-on-one, serendipitous encounters, conversations, and connections they made, whether in the lobby or in the Exhibit Hall.
Data is always a staple of the FLDC in the form of the Annual Franchise Development Report (AFDR), the Mystery Shopper Survey, and the STAR Awards, with the winners featured at a closing dinner. The AFDR, which takes the pulse of brands that registered in advance for the conference, revealed the latest numbers on everything from franchise recruitment budgets to which digital tools are being used in recruitment to how much brands are compensating their key people. Find more details in the following pages.
The annual Mystery Shopping Survey measured just how well the brands in attendance are doing in reaching, responding to, and engaging with prospects--taking those invaluable first steps in qualifying prospects and moving them on to the next stage in the development process. Yet, while the best performers are doing stellar work, the results still show a need for improvement at many brands. The brands that did best were recognized with the annual STAR (Speaking To And Responding) Awards.
People are what make the FLDC what it is today. After more than 20 years, the conference remains a place where some of the most successful people in franchise sales and development gather each year in search of new ideas and solutions to help their system reach the next level. And, when they inevitably discover a strategy, technique, solution, or nugget of useful information--whether in a session or at the bar (networking)--they return to the office to implement changes that will lead to a culture of growth.
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