London recently hosted the inaugural International Franchise Association (IFA) seminar at ExCeL London, drawing organisers and delegates from across the franchising industry.

The event, hailed as a success, facilitated discussions among franchising leaders on the benefits and challenges of expanding businesses across global markets, with a particular focus on the US and UK. Attendees explored pathways to franchise development in both regions, offering valuable insights for brands and prospective franchisees.

Insights and Collaboration

Tom Krouse of Donatos Pizza praised the collaborative nature of the seminar, highlighting the opportunity for discussions beyond the usual confines of US-based events. Speakers provided comprehensive insights into both the US and UK markets, offering attendees a holistic view and valuable knowledge of European territories.

IFA President and CEO Matthew Haller initiated the seminar, welcoming speakers who delved into various aspects of franchise development. Dug Aylen, Director at The Franchising Centre, stressed the importance of thorough market research when considering expansion across different markets, emphasising the need to understand market variances.

Discussions and Perspectives

Delegates engaged in discussions led by Franchise Development Managers from NatWest Bank, exploring funding options and legal implications of entering new markets. The seminar featured success stories from brands that have transitioned from the US to the UK, providing valuable insights and solutions for franchisors navigating international expansion.

Speakers such as Joanna Kurowksa of IHG Hotels & Resorts and Dan Archer of Visiting Angels UK shared their experiences of launch and expansion, offering practical perspectives on entering new markets. Scott Gladstone, representing Dine Brands, discussed the company’s strategic decision to target the UK as a new market, reflecting the growing interest in cross-border franchising opportunities.

Looking Ahead

Haller expressed excitement about the collaborative spirit demonstrated at the seminar and highlighted plans to return to London next year for further collaboration and growth opportunities. The seminar served as a prelude to the International Franchise Show, where IFA served as the headline sponsor. The show, which attracted over 11,000 visitors and featured numerous franchise opportunities, underscored the growing interest and potential for franchising in the UK market.