One of the highlights of the FASTSIGNS calendar, is our annual International Convention, in Orlando, Florida. This year, UK franchisees and the Head Office Team joined 500+ members of the FASTSIGNS global network. Each one found the experience to be both highly-motivating, and incredibly inspiring. 

FASTSIGNS is dedicated to supporting their franchisees, to grow a successful business. The International Convention is a great opportunity for franchisees to discover new initiatives being planned for the coming year, with the aim of strengthening each FASTSIGNS Centre. Here are some examples of the support and guidance you can expect, as part of the FASTSIGNS family:

Alan McLean, Business Consultant

Aside from the inspirational guest speakers, including 8-time Olympic medal winner Apolo Ohno, and Catherine Monson, I found myself learning a huge amount from the Convention’s hands-on breakout sessions. Topics discussed and explored through workshops over the week included implementing paperless workflow to drive efficiency across your centre, using the 4G’S to increase sales, and top tricks and tips for training employees.

Emily Heathcote, Executive Assistant

With an enormous vendor show, informative break-out sessions, influential keynote speakers and ample networking opportunities I am confident that every attendee, myself included, went away feeling motivated to put their learnings into action. However, the one session that really stood out was ‘Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Use of G-Suite’. Josh Wisman, Senior Director of IT, demonstrated the capabilities of G-suite that will literally revolutionise the way you work, and make your life easier.

Hannah Evans, Marketing Manager

My key learnings were the level of savings that could be made within your business when operating a digital signage model. Static signs will always be the backbone of our business, however, implementing some digital signage sales into your core business could save you money on wear and tear on your printing equipment, substrates and inks. By employing a digital signage model, you are simply utilising a time resource. You won’t make huge margins on the sale of hardware, but you could make a 200–300% mark up on any animated content you sell.

In their own words, FASTSIGNS franchisees who attended this year, explain the benefits of attending the International Convention:

Andrew Dearman – FASTSIGNS Hull

I wasn’t sure what to expect on my first visit to a FASTSIGNS Convention. I initially wanted to take a back seat and get a feel for FASTSIGNS as a whole. When opening the doors to the main auditorium, I was blown away by the scale of it all, and I was soon keen to soak up the positive atmosphere and knowledge that was on offer. I came home totally energised ready to sell. The Seminars were all exceptional, addressing current topics that were relevant to many departments within my business.

Richard Wedgwood, FASTSIGNS Manchester

I attend the convention every year,which serves as a kick start to the year; learning from the Corporate Team, fellow franchisees, as well as suppliers about what’s new. These all dovetail into my planning process for the year ahead, which I share with my team in our own business plan.

A year in business can be a VERY long time and it’s important as a business owner to stay current.  Each year FASTSIGNS offer us new things to learn or be updated on. Whilst the format largely remains the same each year, the content is very much current and on the pulse of the current climate.  What is happening in the US today, generally doesn’t take too long to reach the UK, so it’s good to get the information early and use it to plan ahead for your own business.

Simon Slee, FASTSIGNS Hammersmith

The awards ceremonies are uplifting and it’s always great to see FASTSIGNS UK franchisees on stage, this year FASTSIGNS Hammersmith, Leeds, Manchester and Kingston were all recognised.

Simon and Friederike Slee’s centre’s work was recognised at the black-tie event, where he was presented with the award, in front of the global FASTSIGNS Network. “It was an honour to be presented such an accolade in front of the wider International FASTSIGNS family.”

Andy Simpson, FASTSIGNS Leeds

Every year the convention never fails to provide lots of new ideas, tips and valuable information that will help my centre, even after 20 conventions! Talking to and meeting franchisees from around the world is also a great benefit to discuss a whole range of different topics. I fixed up meetings prior to the convention with certain US franchisees I wanted to talk to. The consistent attendance has meant I have got to know some of the US and Canadian franchisees really well, so I can call or email them during the year if I need help or advice on anything. I have also had various work passed to me from US franchisees over the years for their clients who needed signs in the UK or Europe.

This year Andy celebrated his birthday during convention, which was celebrated on stage in front of the entire FASTSIGNS family. “I was so embarrassed! Actually, it was nice to hear everyone singing happy birthday to me. I have never been wished a happy birthday as much as I had that day.

Next year, you could be there too:

The FASTSIGNS International convention is held in January, to allow Franchisees the opportunity to be physically out of the centre for a few days, during a relatively quieter business month. Next year’s event will be held in Phoenix, Arizona. And it’s not all networking, seminars and workshops!

During the Convention, the FASTSIGNS community bagged up 17,000 meals for charity, Feeding Children Everywhere. This was a fantastic opportunity to give back to a greater cause, it also developed some healthy competition – who could bag the most – and allowed us to wear silly hats!

Discover more about what it means to be your own boss, as part of the International FASTSIGNS franchise….