Tips for Tradeshow Exhibitors | Canadian Franchise Association

Tips for Tradeshow Exhibitors

As the official show of the Canadian Franchise Association, The Franchise Show is the best venue to meet face-to-face with serious prospective franchisees. Among past attendees, 35% were ready to invest $100,000-$500,000 and 60% were ready to invest in 1-2 years. How can you make the most out of this prime opportunity to attract serious investors to your brand?

1. Position yourself for success

Your booth’s location determines the amount of traffic that passes your way so it’s a good idea to book early to secure a prime spot. High traffic areas include booths by the entrance or in the first few aisles. Corner booths are also effective, as they are visible from two directions.

2. Spread the word

Before the show, publicize when and where you’ll be exhibiting in all of your marketing materials – this includes your Facebook and Twitter pages (make sure to use #TheFranchiseShow in your posts!), as well as your company website.

3. Get organized

Make sure you’ve completed and submitted any required paperwork and take note of important dates and deadlines. All of this information can be found in the Exhibitor Manual, available online at

4. Stand out from the crowd

Eye-catching visual displays will help attendees spot your booth while free giveaways will draw in crowds and serve as ice-breakers, while also giving your brand more exposure on the show floor.

5. Staff your booth properly

Visitors will ask questions about every aspect of the business so make sure anyone working your booth is knowledgeable about the franchise opportunity. Make sure staff look and act professionally at all times, as their appearance and behaviour will reflect on your brand.

6. Hand out information

Distribute pamphlets with key information about your franchise opportunity to passersby. Include info such as investment level, contact information and franchisee testimonials.

7. Establish a filtering process

Develop a procedure for distinguishing serious leads from casual passersby (i.e. have junior staff casually mingle with visitors and introduce promising candidates to senior sales staff for a more in-depth discussion). Prepare a list of questions to help with the screening process.

8. Practice your pitch

Be prepared for common questions and concerns that the prospect is likely to raise. Preparing both the pitch and responses to anticipated questions in advance will help you make the most out of this critical face-to-face interaction.

9. Follow up on promising leads

When you speak to a qualified lead, take down their contact information so you can follow up with them after the show. You can also take advantage of the CFA’s Attendee Lead List, a permission-based list of contact information for The Franchise Show attendees. Simply fill out the “List Usage Agreement” found in the Exhibitor Manual and you’ll receive the list within 10 days of the show.

10. Use our services

CFA offers a number of services and resources for exhibitors, including a business office on site for any last-minute photocopying or faxing and an exhibitor’s lounge where you can relax, enjoy complimentary refreshments, and bring prospects to talk one-on-one in an intimate setting. CFA staff will be wearing distinctive red lanyards and can assist you should you encounter any problems on the show floor.

Want to exhibit next time The Franchise Show comes to a city near you? Contact Jill Todd at or 416-695-2896 ext. 223.