Sydney expo steps up hygiene protocol

By Sarah Stowe | 11 Mar 2020 View comments

The industry’s premier event for prospective franchisees, the Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo, will go ahead on 20 and 21 March in Sydney.

Exhibition manager Fiona Stacey confirmed the event is set to open its doors as expected, with franchisors keen to exhibit and visitor registration similar to last year.

“We will run the show unless there is a mandate from NSW regarding venue closures. The ICC has put extra hygiene measures in place,” she told Inside Franchise Business.

Freestanding hand sanitisers will be placed throughout the venue, there will be ‘how to wash hands’ signage, and ICC staff will undertake extra cleaning of touch points such as handrails and door handles, benches, bathrooms and ATMs.

A statement on the venue website says “ICC Sydney is closely monitoring the situation with Coronavirus (Covid-19) and advice provided by the Australian Government Department of Health. We are responding appropriately as the situation evolves and will provide further updates on our website.”

International expos on hold

It’s a mixed story overseas. While the upcoming National Franchise Exhibition in Birmingham, UK, appears to be going ahead this weekend (13 and 14 March) the organisers of April’s International Franchise Show, London 2020 have taken the decision to postpone due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the UK and the fluidity of advice from the British government.

The exhibition has now been moved to 4 and 5 of September.

The Paris Franchise Expo has also postponed its event until 24-27 May.

Sydney expo on track

Stacey said firms are still booking space at the upcoming Sydney expo.

“We’ve just had two companies book stands, Snapology and Rush Hour Franchising.”

There is no international pavilion at the expo this year however there will be overseas representation including US-based United Franchise Group.

The Sydney expo unveils a new-look from Specialised Events. The switch from a weekend event to a Friday/Saturday schedule will attract a good mix of both professional and family prospects, Stacey said.

New initiatives include a Start your own Business workshop running on Saturday in the exhibition hall seminar theatre for two hours. The $25 fee includes entry to the expo.

A Franchisee Success Summit, a six-hour educational forum for franchisees looking for growth, is running on the Friday in association with the Franchise Council of Australia.