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Tauranga takes centre stage at New Zealand Franchise Conference

4 August 2016

Homegrown brands boasting international success and a Kiwi sporting superstar with a penchant for fast cars headline the 2016 New Zealand Franchise Conference in Tauranga this week.  

New Zealand’s leading franchise minds and businesses will descend upon Trinity Wharf Hotel this Thursday and Friday, marking the first time the Bay of Plenty city has hosted the national event.

Headlining this year’s Building the Brand theme is an International Achievers panel session, featuring Fastway managing director Bruce Speers and co-founder of tourism brand JUCY Tim Alpe.

Key speakers at the event include Mitre 10 general manager of retail operations Ben Leduc and McDonald’s restaurant solutions group manager Karla Brennan.

Bookending the conference as closing speaker will be V8 Supercar legend Greg Murphy, four-time winner of the Bathurst 1000, who will talk about leadership, high performance, staying motivated under pressure and the true meaning of teamwork.

It’s a stellar line-up, which Franchise Association’s Waikato/Bay of Plenty regional coordinator and Harris Tate director David Foster says is befitting Tauranga’s first go at hosting the prestigious event.

“I have said in the past that Tauranga is a hotbed of franchising, because Tauranga is a superb place to live and a lot of people are looking at buying businesses here. Plus Franchises are perfect for people who want to be self-employed but not alone,” says Mr Foster.

As the past chairman of the Franchise Association, serving on the board for over ten years, Mr Foster always hoped Tauranga would get its chance to host the Association’s annual conference. But as the adage goes, ‘good things take time’.

“This will be a wonderful thing if Tauranga can get on the conference and venue page with the exceptional facilities we have at the likes of Trinity Wharf and ASB Arena.

“I am incredibly proud, and having been the past chairman it would have always been good to have it on my home patch at the time. But now it has finally come to fruition this is so pleasing.”

Franchise Association of New Zealand chief executive Robyn Pickerill says that this year’s conference is an opportunity to learn from those who have been there, done that.

“This is the pinnacle event for franchising in New Zealand with the Franchise Association the leading industry body. Like previous years we have high-quality speakers sharing information and experiences about franchising.”

And with the franchise community constantly growing, this is the chance for franchisors to increase their expertise, run a system effectively and strengthen their relationships with their franchisees.

Ms Pickerill believes such knowledge is key to strengthening the national and local franchise community, leading to better franchising, and in turn a healthier environment for franchisors, franchisees and ultimately, the end user.

She adds that a series of workshops, seminars and breakout sessions will not only help attendees gather this information and advice, but also help forge important relationships with others from a variety of fields and with varying degrees of expertise.

“Usually the best relationships created are with those who you sit next to during the conference. From here people usually then call that person up and ask ‘how did you do that?’ or ‘what is the best solution for this?’”

The 2016 New Zealand Franchise Conference is held on August 4-5 at Trinity Wharf Hotel.