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The National Franchise Exhibition is a free conference to deliver inspiration and critical advice on how to grow a thriving business.

The free-to-attend, Growing Your Own Business conference is a valuable part of The National Franchise Exhibition. Complementing the chance to explore the franchise industry at the exhibition, the conference focuses on the knowledge and skills required to build and sustain a successful business.  

Professionals specialising in business growth will share knowledge and expertise with audiences through free skills workshops and keynote speakers will inspire with their personal stories of success.

24-year-old Ed Hollands, founder of DrivenMedia which was featured on Dragons’ Den earlier this year, will be the keynote speaker on Friday October 5. His business, which turns commercial trailers into mobile billboards, grabbed the interest of Dragon Jenny Campbell. Calling Ed and his business ‘highly investible,’ Jenny agreed a deal with Ed on the show in February. Ed’s keynote speech is entitled ‘From the Roadside to Dragons’ Den’.

Ed comments: “I’m going to be talking about the highs and lows of my business, what I’ve learned, and what I would have done differently given my time again. I’ll also be talking about Dragons’ Den and how to go about pitching for investment, as well as touching on what it’s like to be a young entrepreneur.”


Lauren Dorling, founder of sock sensation Solesmith, will present a keynote speech on Saturday 6 October entitled ‘Put Your Best Foot Forward.’ She comments: “I’m going to talk about the journey we went on – from getting started and how we did it, to tactics which were useful for us and things we regret not doing. There are a lot of lessons you learn when you’re trying everything for the first time.”

Further lessons will be shared across the series of six workshops within the conference. For those wondering how to ensure their content reaches their target audience on Facebook, David Glenwright of JC Social Media will unlock the secrets of the Facebook algorithm.

Also examining how to reach audiences, Anthony Tattum of Big Cat will explain the fundamentals of good content and search engine marketing.

Anyone embarking on writing a business plan should attend the workshop hosted by Chris Roberts of Franchise Finance, ‘Business Planning Made Simple,’ and those aiming to increase revenue will benefit from The Sales Rainmaker, Jeremy Jacobs, providing a crash course in sales for non-sales people.

ActionCOACH will host a workshop on each day, with Jon Asquith and James Vincent revealing how to grow business profits and achieve a desirable work-life balance at the same time.

The Growing Your Own Business Hub provides a platform for visitors to network and gather one-to-one advice from industry specialists. Transmit Startups will attend the conference to provide finance, business support and mentoring for new businesses.

While at the event, aspiring business owners will meet a wide range of franchise brands including event sponsor Fitness Space, McDonald’s, Belvoir, Access4Lofts and Tutor Doctor to find a business which exactly fits their career, lifestyle and investment goals. All exhibiting brands have been accredited by the British Franchise Association (bfa).

Helen Wood, portfolio sales manager at Venture Marketing Group, organisers of The Franchise Exhibitions, comments:

“By bringing together industry professionals, inspirational speakers and more than 100 bfa-accredited brands under one roof, The National Franchise Exhibition creates a valuable hive of information and support for ambitious entrepreneurs aiming for maximum success.”

To learn more about Growing Your Business at The National Franchise Exhibition, watch this short video:

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Free tickets to the event taking place at the NEC on 5 & 6 October are available online using promo code CAS1, saving £15 per person on the door. For more information on all aspects of the event please visit franchiseinfo.co.uk