Digital transformation, especially in virtual events, makes excellent business sense for many franchise systems. Here are 7 strengths the virtual medium brings to franchise events that could future-proof your community strategy.
Expand Your Franchise Reach
When things go digital, anyone can attend from anywhere. Expand your audience so you are not limited to only local attendees. In a virtual space everyone can learn and connect together at your event, regardless if they are in person or remote.
Franchises can stretch from state to state, but most of the time there’s only one headquarters in one state, which is typically where the event location is. For the Franchisor, they have to worry about cost and time to fly everyone out, or they are forced to put that expense back towards the franchisee.
With virtual options, people who can easily attend in person will, but those who are left out because of cost or travel can still attend virtually.
Build a Community
When people are connecting virtually, they can have direct impact and interactions with their franchise communities 365 days a year. If your event is in person, you can use online tools to keep conversations moving forward and to keep members engaged.
Franchising as a whole is already like one big community because everyone is a part of the same business. With that virtual community space, your franchisees can communicate and connect with other franchisees to ask questions, network, and learn about business strategies to improve together.
At the end of the day, franchises are all in it together, even though it's an individual owned business. Why not build one location for that community to thrive beyond tomorrow.
Expense is a big consideration for franchisees. The truth is, not everyone has the resources to attend in person, but if you offer a virtual option, people who couldn’t attend in person because of cost, can look towards a less expensive option and still receive value from your organization.
When you lead by community first, the goal is to get every franchise and franchisee the value, networking and information they need to be successful. No one should miss out because they simply couldn’t afford to make it that year.
For smaller yearly gatherings, such as a franchise owners event, can even be reduced to a virtual setting. This will cut costs, and still provide the value that is needed.
Connect People with People, Experiences, and Education
Networking is a big part of any event, but sometimes when in person you make a lot of connections that might not be the right ones. With AI and machine learning, networking opportunities are served up in recommendation engines that pair like minded people together.
Virtual options can ensure the right two franchisees are connecting. Whether that be connecting two locations in the same state, or pairing franchise owners who have similar problems that need solving, virtual recommendation engines can be designed to suggest the right connections for everyone.
At in-person events, franchisees commit to a full day experience. Virtual experiences allow franchisees to experience the event the way they want, on their own time.
Not everyone has the ability to attend a multi-day event, but no one should miss out on the content just because they missed a session. Most events highlight learning and networking, but people don’t stop learning and networking when your event is over; give them a space to do that year round.
With on-demand content, people can pick and choose when and where they want to absorb content. For people who are networking in-person, they can also be flexible with their scheduling, and can set a time and date to meet virtually after the event is over. There’s no need to lose a connection when you can be flexible with your schedule virtually.
Use Data-Informed Strategy
Digital venues allow you to track analytics to aid in reporting and strategizing for any event. You can dive into session times, attendance, course completion, poll responses, comments, etc.
This can be huge for any franchisor because they can track and analyze what is gaining traction and what needs attention, so that information can be either edited or advertised better so more franchises get the right information they need.
Spice It Up
A virtual event allows for more variety and more creativity to keep people engaged. With some in-person events, there is a level of expectation that people already have from attending previous events. Virtual leaves a lot of room to spice things up and get creative.