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article imageToronto Mayor Rob Ford addressed the National Franchise Show Special

By Rob Campbell     Sep 6, 2014 in Business
Toronto - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford gave the Opening Address at the 2014 National Franchise and Business Opportunities Show which was followed by Bruce Croxon's inspirational Keynote Address that inspired attendees to 'Get in the Game of Business Ownership'.
The 2014 National Franchise & Business Opportunity Show on Saturday and Sunday Sept 6, 7 thrilled attendees by displaying lots of advanced technology and business innovations. One hundred and forty dealers presented their store concepts, mall kiosks, mobile service kits and home based businesses to thousands of event attendees, one brochure at a time.
Mouth-watering exhibits from fast food chains looked especially delicious around lunch time, when line-ups formed at the ice cream, pizza and sandwich vendors. Every food item was served on paper napkins custom printed with a investment pitch from the franchiser. The Panago pizza people were very generous with their hot slices, and they won me over as a customer, but not as a franchisee just yet.
The show was filled with eye-popping exhibits from many different industries, most notably from YEH frozen yogurt, and two or three different home-based cosmetics and jewelry distribution businesses, two dollar store chains, and Party Max party supply store. There were also several tech companies, including a cool device repair kiosk idea called UBreakIFix that looked very promising because of its versatility, and the increasing fragility of our hand held big screens.
TV screens on coffee machines
TV screens on coffee machines
There are TV screens on coffee machines now, I saw them at the show. Smart coffee dispensers are perfect for bank towers, car dealerships, hospital waiting rooms, and even funeral homes. Funeral directors like them because they can put memories of the beloved on screen and right in front of mourners as they fill their cups. I sincerely believe these high tech coffee systems will be in every office around the world in the next few years, because they make great tasting coffee and can be set to accept cash or credit. It's even more impressive when they operate on a 'cashless payment system'. For example, they can be customized so that employees can use their building access badges to buy their morning cup for one monthly bill.
Rod Spendiff and the JBC presenter at the Java Brew Collections trade show booth at the National Fra...
Rod Spendiff and the JBC presenter at the Java Brew Collections trade show booth at the National Franchise Show.
JBC or Java Brew Collections executed what was probably the most efficient use of the available trade show space. Their section was actually two booths, set up opposite each other on both sides of the aisle with tall backdrops so as to completely dominate the attendee's experience. On one side of the aisle there was a guy standing on a six inch riser giving a thrilling seminar alongside some visual aids, while on the other side the entire sales team was taking coffee orders and discussing their high tech hardware. Java Brew Collections Rod Spendiff says, "We're a relationship business. At this show we can get face to face with prospects over a cup of coffee. Its perfect for us.'
Mark Rigaux of Organics Live
Mark Rigaux of Organics Live
Mark Rigaux Co-Founder of Organics Live, an organic food delivery business took a similar approach by giving out local grown red apples and other natural treats. His company was exhibiting at the show for the very first time this year and he used a digital projector to present a subtle moving image logo on a wooden backdrop. The firm has just started offering franchises to the public; its quite impressive how they've grown so big so quick by delivering groceries to a growing segment of our population now actively avoiding corporate food.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Gave the Opening Address
Rob Ford gives Opening Address at 2014 National Franchise Show in Toronto on Sept 6th
Rob Ford gives Opening Address at 2014 National Franchise Show in Toronto on Sept 6th
There was a real excitement in the room when Mayor Rob Ford took the stage at 12:30 pm on Saturday. His twenty five minute Opening Address referenced his own experiences in business, and his father's struggles starting and growing the family decal dynasty. He discussed the importance of keeping customers happy by never settling for being second best. Security was definitely present; one tall security guard prevented anyone from getting too close while Mr. Ford was talking. I saw the same man a few minutes later sticking close to his boss when the mayor took a brief stroll about the trade show floor. They didn't get far. Mr Ford made it less than a hundred feet from the seminar entrance before being completely mobbed by people who wanted autographs, photos and sound bytes. He patiently stood his ground and posed from dozens of pictures, a few videos and even a podcast interview. Say what you like about Mayor Ford, the crowd loves him and for a great many people there that day I'm sure this was the absolute highlight of their show.
Rob Ford  Toronto Mayor
Rob Ford, Toronto Mayor
A much more cerebral speaker took the stage an hour later. Bruce Croxon, a veteran business leader and Dragon from CBC Dragons Den delivered the official Keynote address. His speech was very inspirational and evoked a few whoops and hollers of support more than once from the excited crowd. The audience clapped much harder for Bruce Croxon, and with more gusto at his stirring conclusion. The show continues tomorrow, Sunday Sept 7, with even more speakers and special events.
More about Rob Ford, Business opportunity, franchise show, Sept 6, Bruce Croxon
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