The History of IFA’s Regional Programs
In early 1991, Fred DeLuca, founder of Subway Sandwiches and Salads, developed the International Franchise Association (IFA) 2nd Tuesday program. The purpose of the program was to create an informal atmosphere whereby franchisors and suppliers could discuss current topics related to franchising. IFA coordinated this effort by soliciting IFA and Supplier Forum members to host the meetings in major cities across the United States.
IFA's Franchise Business Network (FBN) commenced October 1996. The FBN meetings were grassroots networking opportunities for the franchise community. They were designed to bring local franchisors, franchisees and suppliers together on a regular basis to create business-to-business opportunities and offer affordable educational programs.
Today’s FBN Program
Today, IFA’s FBN is the combination of IFA’s two regional programs, the 2nd Tuesday Program and the original FBN Program. The IFA Board of Directors voted at its Fall 2000 meeting to combine the 2nd Tuesday Program and Franchise Business Network Program into one single program meeting in 30+ cities around the country. The new program would take the best features of both programs and combine them into one winning formula for success.
For the most part, meetings are still scheduled (though it is not imperative) for the second Tuesday of each quarter across the U.S. While networking with others in the franchise community, meeting potential customers and making new business contacts, participants take advantage of educational programs and legislative information made available to them at no charge, except for the cost of meals.
IFA continues to suggest topics and issues of current importance for the hosts to discuss. This enables each host to conduct the meeting under his/her own auspices, while at the same time, encouraging a universal theme for that particular meeting.
Current FBN Sites:
Atlanta, GA l Baltimore, MD l Boston, MA l Chicago, IL l Cincinnati, OH, l Cleveland, OH l Columbus, OH l Dallas, TX l Denver, CO l Detroit, MI l Houston, TX l Kansas City, MO l Los Angeles, CA l Louisiana l Mid-South (AL, TN, MS) l Minneapolis, MNl New Jersey l New York, NY l North Carolina l Oklahoma l Orange County, CA l Orlando, FL l Philadelphia, PA l Phoenix, AZ l Pittsburgh, PA l Portland, OR l Sacramento, CA l Salt Lake City, UT l San Diego, CA l Seattle, WA l South Florida l Tampa, FL l Washington, D.C. l Wisconsin
Schedule for 2017
- January 10, 2017 – @OurFranchise
- April 11, 2017 – Franchisee Engagement/Grassroots Mobilization
- July 11, 2017 – Employee Education
- October 10, 2017 – How Franchises Are Giving Back and Supporting Local Communities (NextGen, Diversity, VetFran)