Supporting Our Vendors As They Support Us


Having served on the National Coalition’s Executive Board for over a decade, I’ve had the chance to visit a lot of trade shows, charity golf outings and general meetings organized by local FOAs. All of these events, as well as our annual National Coalition convention and trade show, are made possible by the generous support of our vendor community. We, as franchisees, can return this favor by placing orders with these vendors so they can receive a return on their investment. Our relationship with our vendors is symbiotic—they scratch our back, and we scratch theirs. It’s a winwin for all involved, as long as we keep up our end of the bargain.

Normally from day to day, when we get the new items package—which is now called the Weekly Dispatch—to order items through the SEI system, it contains lots of great deals put together by our vendors. While this is one good way to support our vendors, we can give them a bigger boost when we place orders with them during our trade shows, because this allows our vendors to continue to support our FOA and national events.

We should also support the vendors by placing orders through our local trade shows, golf tournaments and general meetings to support our strong partnership. The truth is our vendors showcase products and deals during our local and national events that are not available through the SEI system, and until SEI approves these items, this is a great way of ordering them.

Recently, I had an opportunity to visit the Metro New Jersey FOA and 7-Eleven FOAC trade shows. To encourage their franchisees to place orders, these FOAs offered cash or gift card incentives like $50 for placing a minimum of 20 orders, or $100 for placing 40 orders. At our national trade show in Long Beach in August we will offer entries to our raffle contest for every order placed, which has a luxury Mercedes SUV as the grand prize. Our vendors love this because it increases the number of orders they receive during our events.

So my advice to all franchisees is to step up your ordering through local trade shows and other events, as well as though the National Coalition trade show, so we continue to give support to—and receive support from—our vendors.

I also recommend that if you are a smaller FOA, look to combine with other local FOAs to hold one big trade show in your area, or one big golf outing, etc. Our FOA trade shows are getting stronger now that many FOAs have started to join together for one combined event, which makes it easier for our vendors to participate and support. Our three FOAs in northern California—Central Valley FOA, Sacramento FOA, and Greater Bay FOA—have combined in one trade show. The Baltimore FOA, Suburban Washington FOA, and the Washington, D.C. FOA have combined to produce the Tri-State Trade Show. The Midwest FOA and the Alliance FOA have combined to produce a joint trade show, too. For several years, the San Diego FOA and the FOA of Greater Los Angeles have produced a very successful joint trade show, and recently three Florida FOAs—South Florida, Central Florida, and the United Franchise Owners of North Florida and Palm Beach—have combined for one large trade show.

As always, franchisee participation in our trade shows, as well as our meetings is of utmost importance. The more franchisees who participate in all of our events the better the event is for everyone. I would encourage all FOA leadership to provide incentives that motivate franchisees to attend.

If you have not yet registered for the NCASEF’s 44th National Convention and Trade Show, I encourage you to visit and sign up to attend. We’ve got great seminars, an update to the lawsuit, a state of the coalition address, Disneyworld tickets, a dinner cruise on the Queen Mary, and, of course, our grand banquet and charity fundraising night to benefit Swim Across America and cancer research. Who knows? The Mercedes GLA Crossover SUV we’re giving away just might have your name on it!