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Franchise expo returns to nation's capital up front and personal.

The 12th International Franchise Expo, which is designed to attract individuals seeking small-business opportunities, will be conducted at the Washington D.C. Convention Center April 11-13, 2003. The Expo combines personal face-to-face interaction and programs for franchise professionals that help franchise system leaders learn expansion strategies and also enables them to identify leads to qualified buyers.

Nearly three-quarters of attendees to recent shows describe themselves as potential franchisees, master licensees or existing franchise owners looking for additional opportunities, according to 2001 and 2002 registration data. More than 50 percent of attendees said they had $100,000 or more to invest in a franchise system. Nearly two-thirds of attendees said they either own or have owned their own business and 35 percent are considering their own business for the first time. Seventy percent of Expo goers who come from the United States are looking to buy a single unit or an area development opportunity. Thus, this event offers franchisors the one place to exhibit, whether they are planning to develop local, regional or national markets.

And don't think that its location in the Nation's Capital will limit its international appeal. In fact, with absolutely no world travel, participants will have the ability to meet with delegations and individuals from more than 60 countries from around the world. This is achieved because Expo has been accepted into the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Buyer Program, which means the event is marketed throughout the 150 U.S. Department of Commerce Foreign Commercial Services offices worldwide. The program also brings in qualified international investors who are looking for master license opportunities.

"The IFE Show in New Orleans was the best domestic show that we've attended in the last 10 years," said Sign-A-Rama President Ray Titus. "Between Sign-A-Rama and EmbroidMe, we should be adding 15 to 20 stores in the United States, and two to three master licenses internationally."

"The recent IFE show in New Orleans was a tremendous success for us," said Frank Feely, vice president of development at Cardsmart Retail Corp. "This was our first show as an exhibitor, so we didn't know exactly what to expect. I would expect we'll open many franchises as a result. We've already committed to the Washington show and have doubled the size of our display booth."

"We were very impressed with the number of quality leads that were generated, both domestic and international, "said Kim McElroy, director, franchise development, domestic and international at Glamour Shots. "We expect to open several new countries within the next year directly as a result of this show. Glamour Shots will be in next year's exhibit in D.C."

President Margaret McEntire of Candy Bouquet sums it up in this way: it's a "best buy." She adds, "The International Franchise Expo is the ultimate professional way to present your franchise company and to find leads. We find qualified leads, that always result in domestic sales, as well as foreign sales."
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Title Annotation:12th International Franchise Expo
Publication:Franchising World
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2002
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Next Article:Convention speakers to include ICED's Hadfield, finance expert Rosensweig.

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