Franchise Update Brings Optimism to Tough Economic Times

Last week I had the pleasure of spending a couple of days with some of the world’s franchising thought leaders. The Franchise Update Conference took place at the Drake Hotel in downtown Chicago. The event featured invigorating speakers, valuable breakout sessions, and worthwhile networking opportunities. Everything went off smoothly thanks to the great staff at Franchise Update Media Group.

Thursday morning kicked off with an optimistic keynote delivered by FOX News Channel’s Stuart Varney. Stuart spent a few minutes recapping the current financial situation in the United States. He brought a sense of hope into the long term view and surprised the audience by framing future economic opportunity in terms of current international fertility rates. Stuart pointed out that most developed nations are actually experiencing population decline due in large part to low birth rates. This is a problem because as these populations age there will be a heavier burden placed on the younger generations.

Stuart explained how the United States does not follow this pattern. Due to immigration and a healthy birth rate (Stuart himself has six children) the United States has a larger youth population and will be better prepared in the coming decades to care for the elderly, with less of an impact on the national economy. And folks, believe me, a healthier economy was on everyone’s mind throughout the conference.

After lunch author Peter Leyden of WIRED magazine fame explained that change is coming and his hope is that we’ll see an economic “long boom”. Peter introduced concepts including government, economics, technology, and demographics. His concise delivery and wide ranging presentation left the room energized and hopeful for good things to come regarding business opportunities.

Learn more about Stuart and Peter at: Franchise Update 2008 Speakers.

Oneupweb sponsored the event and was pleased with the numerous networking opportunities. We talked with dozens of franchisors about their online marketing and lead generation goals. The franchisors offered stories covering novice and advanced online marketing tactics and everything in between. Overall it is clear that much opportunity exists to strengthen the use of online marketing by franchisors. Well executed online marketing will allow them to target new franchise sales as well as advance brands and drive traffic to franchisee websites.

I want to thank Gary Gardner, Therese Thilgen, Sue Logan, Lyola Shybanova and the rest of the Franchise Update Media Group staff for putting on this wonderful event. I applaud their decision to bring the event to the historic Drake Hotel.

I look forward to continuing conversations with the new friends and contacts I made at the event. Kudos to Franchise Update for bringing so much optimism to such a broad industry in these rough economic times. Surely everyone left refreshed and armed with new ideas to advance the franchise cause.