A successful National Conference, and why attending EWIF events must be on your 2019 to-do list!

Top line: On Friday 21st September, the 10th anniversary EWIF WEEK, culminated in our 8th annual conference. 80 women and men, from all walks of franchising, converged to celebrate, inspire and encourage one another. Were you there? If not… where were you?

Fresh from the 10th anniversary conference, EWIF partners, members, and the curious, met at the Best Western Plus Manor Hotel in Solihull. A spectacular venue, with its spiral staircase, and drop chandelier, to celebrate 10 years since Encouraging Women into Franchising (EWIF) was first conceived.

Why is it important to be at the EWIF National Conference?

The EWIF National Conference provides women in franchising the opportunity to mingle with other women in franchising. They are joined by savvy men who would love to see more women empowered through franchising. The buzz over coffee a clear indication of how comfortable EWIF members are with each other.

Being around so many people who know about all aspects of franchising, has many benefits. Spending the day with others in franchising, allows you to pick their brain for your own business endeavour. Whether these are franchisors, franchisees, or service providers. More than just another networking event, this is the building up of the franchising family.

So, what did I miss?

The EWIF National Conference was jam-packed with the three elements of EWIF’s mission: To inspire, to educate and to empower.

To Inspire:

At the NatWest EWIF awards, earlier in the year, Louise Harris received our special 10th anniversary SPECIAL RECOGNITION award. Having been involved in franchising for 10 years, in all capacities – from franchisee to franchisor, consultant, previous Chair of EWIF and previous Board member of the bfa. If there isn’t anything Louise doesn’t know about franchising, it isn’t worth knowing anyway. Speaking about her experiences, her journey, and the lessons learned, Louise set out to inspire EWIF with her tips and advice.

To Educate:

There have been so many changes in technology, the process for online marketing and strategising has to have changed with it. Adam Lovelock, one of Coconut Creatives’ Directors, and Head of Online Marketing, provided an overview of some of the significant changes we have witnessed since EWIF’s inception. He then outlined some of the key developments franchising needs to be aware of, and the ways in which we can make use of them for all aspects of marketing. From recruitment to core business.

To Empower:

EWIF is all about empowering women in franchising. Both those who are already involved in franchising, and those who are curious about it. In a bid to share some of the success from this year’s Awards, we created a panel of franchisor and franchisee winners. Inspirational Woman in Franchising winner: Jane Maudsley of Little Voices, Young Woman in Franchising winner: Hannah Drury of Caremark, and Jo Stone, of Puddle Ducks who’s Woman Franchise Employee winner, Ali Beckman also won Overall Woman in Franchising. Questions were put to the women, both from the EWIF host, Sarah Carlile, and from the floor. Questions tackling the place of women in franchising, the way in which the women have built their businesses, and the challenges faced by career women in general.

Anything else I missed?

Oh yes! If you have ever seen Channel 4’s reality thriller HUNTED, you know we were in for a treat. Two of the Hunted team, Danni Brooke and Ben Owen were our guest keynote speakers. As engaging in real life as they are on the TV. More so. Their session focused on “Breaking Down Barriers”, and speaking from their individual experiences of when their gender (Danni, more than Ben) or their age, was a potential barrier to success. Refusing to be held back, they were both individually, and now in partnership, determined to push the boundaries, beyond all limitations. Achieving more than they could have hoped for. As Danni said, “The more someone tells me I can’t do something because I am a woman, the more adamant I am to prove them wrong.”

If you were at the EWIF Conference this year – what did you enjoy from our annual Autumn event? Why not add a comment or tweet to us your top likes from the day. Let’s help those who missed out, feel as though they were there too!

BUT! Make sure you don’t miss out on any of our planned 2019 events. Be part of the EWIF community, and learn from other franchisors and franchisees.