We all hoped that the pandemic was long contained, but the latest outbreaks of new variants proves otherwise. How can franchises prevail over the pandemic in 2022 and beyond, when lockdowns are right around the corner? The fact that franchises have not just survived, but taken the challenges of the pandemic heads-on is proof that they will not stop.
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Fitness franchises incorporated streaming and video services, food franchises have apps for delivery and pickup. Moreover video conferences have rocketed in the way we communicate, especially for sharing ideas and selling franchises. In other words, virtual franchise conferences and discovery days are helping the franchise community stay afloat.
When the world is under a lockdown, business has to be conducted virtually. Though in-person franchise conference and events are on hold temporarily, we continue to network and work all year round from the comfort of our homes through virtual conferences. The International Franchise Professionals Group’s (IFPG) founder Don Daszkowski states “There is definitely a place for both in-person and virtual franchise conferences,” he says. “Nothing will fully replace face-to-face conferences, but Covid-19 taught us that virtual events have a lot of value and are a great way to get together throughout the year without having to travel. The feedback we received from our first virtual conference was amazing. Everyone was engaged and took away valuable insights.”
The technology existed even before the pandemic, but it was used only when the candidates could not travel or for preliminary screening. However, they have come a long way since then. The refined virtual discovery days are more about the experience too now. For example, like sending a meal to the candidate and sharing it together virtually. As a result, there is a much faster and efficient sales process. Further, these virtual franchise discovery days enable the franchisors and candidates to engage longer and with more opportunities to ensure there is a good match for both the parties. Thus saving time and money for both the parties during the vetting process. Many franchisors have added video meetings as another step in their sales process and as a precursor to the in-person discovery day.
Virtual franchise conferences and discovery days are two happy consequences of the pandemic. It has in reality made franchising a lot more easier and effective.