Subsidised access to the Eastern Cape Franchise Expo

Franchisors who wish to build their brands in the Eastern Cape will be interested to learn that the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) is organising the BCMM Franchise Expo 2015. The event is intended to put franchising on the map in the region.

Above: For the two days of the 2014 event, the exhibition was a beehive of activity. Exhibitors were hard-pressed to cope with the questions visitors were throwing at them. The organisers will encourage exhibitors to be better prepared for the expected onslaught at the 2015 event.

To encourage participation in the expo, the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) offers free exhibition stands to qualifying exhibitors. This is an opportunity not to be missed as the region incorporates the towns of East London, Bhisho and King William’s Town as well as the second largest township in the country, Mdantsane. 

The more than 750,000 people living in the area provide a fertile market for all manner of products and services but although the local economy is booming, existing levels of unemployment remain a concern. The BCMM, through its department of Local Economic Development (LED), Tourism and Rural Development, is working hard to address the situation. SMEs have been identified as the most likely job creators but the unacceptably high failure rate of independent start-ups is a concern. To minimise the risk for start-ups, franchising has been identified as the vehicle of choice for enterprise development.

The first BCMM Franchise Expo was presented in 2014 and the feedback from exhibitors and visitors confirmed that it was an outstanding success. This encouraged the BCMM to increase the impact of the forthcoming event by setting the ambitious target of attracting 50 exhibitors and thousands of visitors. To achieve their goal they have created a substantial publicity programme.

Above: During the 2014 event, the rooms where franchise presentations were held were filled beyond capacity each time. Provisions have now been made to prevent a similar situation from arising during the 2015 event.

Pre-launch cocktail
During August 2015, the BCMM Franchise Expo 2015 will be officially announced and the detailed events programme unveiled. This event is primarily aimed at opinion influencers resident in the BCMM region including politicians and senior government officials as well as representatives of the local media and the business fraternity. Should franchisor representatives from other areas happen to be in the area at that time they will be more than welcome to attend. Just ask us for an invite!

Gala dinner or cocktail
The expo itself will be launched at a gala dinner or cocktail on the evening of 12th November 2015. Exhibitors can mingle with politicians, government officials and representatives of the local business fraternity.

Expo and workshop programme
Over the following two days visitors will have an opportunity to interact with exhibitors and attend a series of workshops. All aspects of franchising including franchise know-how, legal aspects and funding issues will be covered and there will even be a presentation on social franchising.
Attendance by a number of leading franchise practitioners has already been secured. This ensures a workshop programme of the highest quality and relevance to the target audience. To supplement the programme and give the presentations a practical twist, a limited number of exhibitors will have the opportunity to present their respective franchise offerings in a lecture room setting.

The BCMM’s focus is on attracting reputable franchisors as exhibitors. However, the organisers understand that not every visitor will have the wherewithal to invest in a top-end franchise and participation by a limited number of purveyors of realistic business opportunities will also be considered.

Exhibition stands complete with basic signage, tables and chairs will be allocated free of charge on a first-come-first-served basis. Exhibitors are responsible only for travel and accommodation costs. Companies wishing to take advantage of this offer are advised to communicate their interest in principle as soon as possible.

Contact: Ms Xolelwa Majiza