This month, the UK franchise network enjoyed time together, and were inspired for greater things, at the FASTSIGNS annual convention. Ready to build your future?

Every year, FASTSIGNS UK franchisees have double the opportunity to attend the annual convention, and all they can learn for the future of their centres. One in the USA, usually held toward the beginning of the year, and a second one just for UK franchisees, in November! Of course, the benefit to our franchisees is knowing they can get-ahead by understanding what’s coming to the UK – as the American market is typically five years ahead of the UK market.

But, because at FASTSIGNS we know franchisees are invested in their staff as much as we are in them, the UK convention is open to not just our franchise partners, but to their Sales, Design and Production teams, too. They’re the ones who will help you increase your customer-base, and improve customer satisfaction, so we want to help you inspire them on your behalf.

At each of the three steams, we focus content to those specific people-groups, with updates, key information about future developments, and guidance on how to extend capabilities. This year, because Convention was held in Leicester, the design and production teams were able to visit one of our suppliers, SignFab, where, they had a tour of the factory, and took part in a Signage Bootcamp to learn more about the products and techniques used in FASTSIGNS.

Before Convention opened, on Friday 11th November, eight of our franchisees and their teams booked into a special additional workshop offered by another of our suppliers, Make It Happen.  The focus for this was on sustainability. At FASTSIGNS, we’ve mentioned previously how committed we are to sustainability, and supporting our customers to adapt to new eco-friendly materials being developed and launched in the signage industry. The Sustainability Bootcamp provided by Make It Happen gave franchisees insight into areas like:

  • Product Choice – Raising awareness and providing customers with increasingly sustainable buying choices: eco-print, eco-materials and eco-design/fabricated signage
  • Recycling – Advising customers about end-of-life recycling and working towards reducing both manufacturing and end-of-life landfill and incineration
  • Operations – Continuously reviewing business operations and publicly demonstrating how they are minimising their impact on the planet
  • Product Care – encouraging best practice when it comes to quality, durability, maintenance, reconditioning and repurposing

Every year, we’re joined by someone from the FASTSIGNS Global Head Office – as we are an American brand – who delivers key insights to excite the UK network about what’s happening in the wider FASTSIGNS community. This year, we were honoured to have Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer DeMarco Herskind deliver a keynote session to all streams.

In addition, because as a franchise partner you’re responsible for the growth of your own business, we invite our key signage suppliers to showcase new products, and exciting technologies so you can choose what you think will be right for your customers. As FASTSIGNS UK’s Marketing Manager, Hannah Evans-Janosi, says: “Our Supplier Showcase is an opportunity to bring our supplier and franchisee networks together! It allows them to speak face-to-face, so franchisees can understand the products and services they’ll be selling to customer, and gain ideas for future signage solutions!”

This year, we also introduced Round Table discussions, looking at topics such as Women in Business. This enables Head Office to hear directly from franchisees – and some of their key staff – on hot issues, so we know where to focus our marketing and support, for the coming year.

However, one of the key elements of the convention is the informal way in which franchisees develop the friendships they have with their peers. They inspire each other, learn from each other, and laugh together – whether at the meal times, during free time built into the programme or at the Friday night Awards event! And the buzz you feel throughout the convention, is an evident aspect of what makes FASTSIGNS so successful and so unique.

On the subject of the Awards…

Franchisees, Sales people, and FASTSIGNS centres, are awarded for their success throughout the year. Here are a few highlights from this year’s awards:

  • There was inspiration from FASTSIGNS Hammersmith, when Production Manager, Joe Dodd, who had been battling with Leukaemia over the last year, received the award for Employee of the Year. His franchisee recommended Joe for his dedication; even in the face of his illness he continued to be a vital part of the team. When he returned to the business full-time, sales increased by 35%.
  • Paul Robinson, owner of FASTSIGNS Peterborough won Franchisee of the Year. He purchased his business as a resale in 2019, and has been committed to empowering his staff and engaging with his local network. By following the FASTSIGNS business model, he has continued to grow his centre, laying a great foundation for the future. 
  • David and Carolyn Riddell FASTSIGNS Gloucester, won Comprehensive Customer Solutions Project. Every year, franchisees put forward some of their best projects. One of the winners, FASTSIGNS Gloucester, had helped Hartpury University and college develop the signage across their student union, equine and sporting facilities. They created a cohesive visual aesthetic which engages students, providing safety and wayfinding solutions and celebrating the education facility as a centre of excellence. 

As Aaron Woodward, Head Of Business Development for FASTSIGNS Manchester – which won Project of the Year, Highest Sales Revenue, and Customer Satisfaction – said, “Another fantastic day/evening at the FASTSIGNS UK convention on Friday. Absolutely delighted to pick-up four awards across our centres!! I’m very proud to be part of such a strong network of sales professionals. Special thanks as always to the FASTSIGNS UK team for going above and beyond to stage a brilliant event for the network.”

Ready to build your future?

Are you wondering if you have what it takes to build a strong future for yourself? If so, we believe you can – with our support, and by feeling connected to other franchisees within the UK network. Why not give us a call to discuss how you can build your future with us, and maybe next year you could be winning your own award!