The Franchise Association New Zealand 2021 conference was held in Hamilton on the 1st and 2nd of July. The AGM and welcome function sponsored by Franchise New Zealand Media was on the Wednesday night. After an up and down world with COVID-19 and it’s impact on business and franchising events, it was so incredible to get the conference done. Albeit without the wonderful Australian attendees, who would really have topped off an already great event.
The National Franchise Conference 2021 was held at the Claudelands Event Centre in Hamilton.
This year’s FANZ conference was named Shifting Gears – Prospering in a Changing World. 2021 was another great conference with speakers from far and wide focusing on Franchising and inspiring Franchise Companies.
An enormous thanks are due to the FANZ team of Robyn Pickerill, Susan Mott, Lauren Marais, Birke Karl and Adelina Santoso.
They all shifted many mountains (including new ones that kept jumping in front) to make this year’s conference happen. It really was a nail biting run up to the conference, with the possibility of COVID-19 community transmission an ever-present threat to the event. Many thanks to the FANZ team once more, and to the whole FANZ board who shared in the resolve to Box On.
The Franchise Association NZ AGM was held on the Wednesday night and it was great this year to have it in person, rather than hosting via Zoom.
What a contrast, and certainly much better that all attendees and participants could actually see and interact properly with oneanother. The AGM was followed by the Franchise New Zealand Media welcome function – with many conference registrants already in attendance, despite the full conference starting Thursday morning. The food, beverages and interactions were flowing. It was a great way to start the conference event off.
The theme for the conference was Shifting Gears: Prospering in a Changing World and the Thursday and Friday comprised of multiple key note and panel sessions, involving franchising company founders and representatives, service providers, other specialists – as well as representatives from MBIE’s Employment New Zealand and Immigration NZ, and, Mike King.
The conference glue (as MC) and first key note was wonderfully set off by Cassie Romma.
Providing great media insights and tools. This was followed by Ed Quinlan, from Chem-Dry in US, who I’m sure will forever be remembered for his reference to cows and buffalos, with the later charging toward an approaching a storm (i.e., need for systemwide change) rather than facing away. Of course, everyone wanted to be a buffalo and it was a good reminder about the environment moving beneath/around us and the need for adaptation.
I didn’t attend all sessions as I also had my own to finish preparations for – so I unfortunately missed the five simultaneous panel sessions and forums before lunch, where I understand the franchisor sessions organised by tenure (and the others) were well-attended and highly valued.
Next came a panel session I organised and ran on Group Marketing Fund Changes and Best Practice.
Featuring Tyrone Foley of Burger Fuel, Matthew Everest of Pack and send and Katrina Hammon of Wynn Williams. The session walked through the background of marketing at both companies, before talking changes and challenges, and a range of best practices. It was a quality panel and I was delighted and grateful with and for the insights shared. Thanks all.
The afternoon then concluded with Arif Khan of Restaurant Brands.
Who provided a great historical overview and window into their values during some key moments of change. After a break, the buses then left for a memorable evening at the Aramex Vilagrad Winery Function. The food, wine, entertainment and atmosphere were fantastic.
The Friday kicked off with a Legal Power Hour wonderfully organised and introduced by Darryl King of Jackson Russell, and including great presentations by Michael Bright of Gaze Burt, Deidre Watson and Claire Byrne of Gibson sheet. With regulations impacting franchising present and growing, this was a real ‘must attend’ and ‘take notice’ kind of session.
Following this was Julie Evans and Lachlan McPherson of Rodney Wayne.
With the session ‘Always Hair for You, The Rodney Wayne Experience in the Digital World.’ It was so great to hear more of the Rodney Wayne history and see the incredible innovation within this New Zealand organisation. I was also taken by, as I’m sure were many others, the concept of a ‘morning’ staff dance party fueled by Kombucha. This was just one of a number of presentations that included innovative team and culture building initiatives.
Michelle van Gaalen of Laser Group, and MD of Smith&Smith spoke on values-based leadership for franchising companies, and included excellent focus and background on diversity, the environment, sustainability, and, basically responsible leadership – areas all franchising company boards and leadership teams should be spearheading.
MBIE – Employment New Zealand followed with good insights into their perspectives and recommendations.
The latter of which included a number of good operationalisable practices to encourage systemwide employment compliance. A further series of concurrent session then followed, with focuses on immigration (by Immigration NZ), marketing, Health & Safety and Employment Law and Franchise End of Term.
So many sessions I would want to attend. The conference then concluded with a wonderful presentation by prominent mental health advocate, Mike King, with a hugely appreciated, valued and heartfelt session entitled ‘Conquering the Inner Critic.’
From there it was wrap up, and afternoon tea (thanks to Bakers Delight for the goodies) – and a drive back to Auckland.
Four days on, the conference remains firmly imprinted in my thoughts – just as the very first and inaugural FANZ Conference I attended in 1997 did at the time, and I remember it today. This felt like a special one. The weather in Hamilton might have been cold, and it was (someone noted 0 degrees overnight), but the venue and atmosphere were very warm. This year I continued to be inspired with the same FANZ values and spirit I found in 1997 – where you could see wonderful sharing, support, networking, friendship and learning.
This FANZ conference definitely helped our team and myself. We left with new ideas to help shift into a new gear for our clients and our business.
Oh, and any round up of the conference could not forget to mention the App! Wow, how engaging was the conference App – especially for some FANZ members. Congratulations to the top three of Stewart Germann, Tony Burnette and Estelle Logan for the volume of communications that led to your hard-won prizes!
Many thanks to all of those we interacted with and I’m sorry we only had one toolbox to give away 😉
Until next year!
Callum and [attending] team (Glenn, Adrienne and Robert)
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