Franchising EXPO 2009

The first franchising exhibition in Bulgaria

Mr. Svetoslav BiliarskyAfter a year-long preparation and despite the economic recession, FRANCHSING EXPO 2009 took place on 2-3 November. The interest in the exhibition was great – in front of more than 2000 visitors in the Royal Hall of Sheraton Hotel, Sofia, 37 brands presented the opportunities they offer for starting an independent business. Alongside with the Bulgarian franchises, companies from the USA, Australia, Romania, Poland, Portugal, Greece, Italy, France, Russia and Spain took participation as well.

During the first day of the exhibition the conference “FRANCHISE BUSINESS IN BULGARIA” took place. It was attended by over 200 people – owners and managers of small and medium- sized companies from all over Bulgaria, representatives of the exhibitors, potential franchisees, specialists and experts in the field of franchising. “Our aim is to support all various forms of franchising”, said Svetoslav Biliarsky, manager of FRANCHISING.BG, upon opening the conference. “It is not by chance that the coffee break is provided by the franchises of FixMix and Sun Moon; the lunch we owe to the franchise of Don Domat, the pens you use to take notes have been bought from the franchise of Office 1 Superstore, and my suit has been ordered in the Richmart franchise.”

In his lecture “Why and how to choose a franchise” Randall Nelson, manager of FitCurves and No+Vello for Bulgaria, spoke about the franchising specifics in Southeast Europe and presented different franchise models. Gundo Kahle, partner and managing director of National Business Brokers, discussed different marketing strategies used to advertise franchise systems. The development director in NexCen, Benjamin Simon, introduced the attendees with the company’s successful practices in the field of trainings of franchisees and their employees.

During the second panel the experience of the Bulgarian franchisors was presented. Venelin Venev disclosed details from Address Real Estate’s experience in managing franchise units and in the support, which the franchisor provides. The franchise manager of FOROS National Real Estate Company, Milena Mihailova, discussed the advantages of franchising in times of recession. Also presented were: the franchise in the beauty industry offered by STEPHAN, the ERP systems developed by Bora Solutions and the opportunities for business with Aqua Source.

The lecturers answered great number of questions by potential franchisees and entrepreneurs who aspire to developing their business as a franchise chain. During the breaks the conference guests exchanged experience from their franchise practice and everybody could receive a useful advice by the experts.

The discussions continued in the evening at FRANCHISING.BG’s party organized in Brasserie club. An exclusively useful companion was Rafael Machio, founder and General Director of No+Vello – a leader in the field of aesthetic services in Spain, who for less than 2 years opened over 500 photoepilation salons in 4 countries. Claudia Volpert, Franchise Sales Representative of Subway, shared the factors which make the Bulgarian franchise of the brand the best developing in the region. George D. Chionis, franchise managing director of iQ, told about the first expo in Greece 20 years ago and how the franchising market developed there. And the veteran of the European franchising, Gundo Kahle, assured everybody that this was the best first exhibition he had ever attended.

During the second day of the exhibition the Annual meeting of the Prime Minister with the Bulgarian business took place in Sheraton Hotel. Many of the participants in the meeting attended the Franchising Expo as well. In the specially constructed seminar hall the official presentation of Subway, the main partner of the exhibition, was held.

The mutual optimism for the future of franchising in Bulgaria was enhanced by the multiple visitors, who expressed their desire to start a franchise business. To become familiar with all exhibitors, please look at the catalogue of the exhibition.


2nd November 2009, Sheraton Hotel, Sofia

  • 10:00
  • 10:45 – 11:15
    THE POWER OF THE BRAND – Gundo Kahle, National Business Brokers
    Marketing strategies; Franchise advertising
  • 11:15 – 11:45
    Coffee Break – FixMix and SunMoon
  • 11:45 – 12:15
    TRAININGS IN FRANCHISING – Benjamin Simon, NexCen
    Trainings on franchising; Customer service and sales trainings of franchisees and their employees
  • 12:45 – 14:00
    Lunch Break - Don Domat restaurant

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