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Small Business Digest


Learning Better Franchising

Franchise owners seeking ways to expand their brands and sell products better than their competitors' may well find those ways at the 2009 Franchise Development Super Session in Los Angeles Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

The seminar is designed to teach both experienced and novice franchisees methods of improving their businesses, according to its host, the International Franchise Association.  The event will be open to nonmembers as well as to association members. The site will be the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites.

The International Franchise Association, founded in 1960,is a membership organization that provides assistance to and support for franchisors and franchisees, as well as suppliers.

The first such seminar was organized eight years ago as a way to “assist our franchisor members with strengthening and building their franchise-development programs" and thus "obtaining more qualified leads and selling more units,” says Alisa Harrison, the IFA’s vice president of communications and marketing.

About 100 people typically attend each year to hear franchise-development specialists and CEOs of major brands discuss the latest strategies and most-innovative techniques for brand-building, she said.

For the second consecutive year, Super Session attendees can participate in the IFA’s “UnConference” – an informal segment of the seminar in which colleagues, not the conference organizers, set the agenda, Harrison said. Because the segment is built around the specific requests of the participants, they won’t be required to adhere to a predetermined schedule if they want to delve into a topic, she said. “We wanted to...allow them to actively participate in the programming for the session.”

The Franchise Development Super Session is held in conjunction with the West Coast Franchise Expo, which is also sponsored by the IFA. At the Expo, hundreds of franchise companies will take over the Los Angeles Convention Center to share business start-up information with entrepreneurs from California and a dozen other Western states. The Expo is scheduled after the Super Session, Oct. 2-4.

Fees for the two-day Super Session range from $575 to $975.

For more information, contact the IFA’s Conference Department at 202-628-8000 or visit For information about the Franchise Expo, visit


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