West Coast Franchise Expo: one path to western expansion.

Author:Goldstein, Joel

For many franchises, the West Coast is the most rapidly-expanding area of growth. With more than 10,000 attendees expected to walk through the doors of the Los Angeles Convention Center beginning Oct. 19, the West Coast Franchise Expo gives exhibitors the opportunity to focus solely on their western development strategy.

When it comes to growing a brand, companies increasingly are realizing the benefits of trade shows and shifting their philosophies to incorporate franchise expos. A quick review of this fall's list of concepts shows that many are first-time exhibitors looking to capitalize on the hungry audience of potential West Coast franchisees.

In the few years since its inception, the West Coast Franchise Expo has become the preeminent franchise trade show in the western United States. It offers exhibitors a chance to not only generate buzz on their concepts and meet and greet potential franchisees, but also to strategize their company's growth plans in one of the most popular and fastest-growing regions of franchising.

Whether a company's expansion plan includes growth in California, Arizona or throughout the entire western region, the West Coast Franchise Expo offers business the opportunity to reach some of the nation's most savvy and sophisticated franchise prospects.

Building Relationships

Allison McGullion is a franchise development specialist with Dippin' Dots, an ice cream franchise that sells tiny beads of ice cream, yogurt, sherbet and flavored ice. Dippin' Dots offers single-site franchise opportunities and is exhibiting during the show for the first time this year.

McGullion said Dippin' Dots is experiencing a surge of growth in the West and plans to use the WCFE to build awareness of its brand in the area and create new relationships with potential franchisees.

"We hope to establish relationships with as many potential franchisees as possible," said McGullion. "We find that many of our franchisees always refer back to their first contact with us as an important part of the decision-making process. Obviously we hope to introduce or reinforce our brand and answer questions for as many people as possible."

The mix of exhibitors at the West Coast Franchise Expo ranges from those who are trying to break into a new market to franchised brands that already have a presence out West, but want to expand.

Ken Belleman is vice president of operations for Home Team Inspection Service and House Doctors Handyman Service, two concepts...

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