SINGAPORE - An annual trade event for people in the franchise business will go virtual this year, with an online "exhibition hall" and vendor stands that they can visit with a click of the mouse.
The three-day Franchising and Licensing Asia event, which brings together businesses, entrepreneurs and investors in the franchising industry, will be held from Nov 18 to 20, between 10.30am and 6.30pm.
These details were announced on Tuesday (Aug 18) at a virtual press conference by the event's organiser Sphere Exhibits, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings.
People who have registered for the event can access a webinar on franchising and visit a virtual exhibition.
To find out more about the different franchise businesses, they can click on the different exhibitors' tabs. They can also communicate with the exhibitors by using a live text function or video call function on the virtual exhibition website.
Exhibitors will be able to upload documents for people to download, like the franchise licence application form or the company's brochure.
Confirmed exhibitors include convenience store chain 7-Eleven, signage chain Signarama and Zingrill Holdings (Seoul Garden).
Those who have registered can also tune in to a complimentary webinar programme to learn more about the legal aspects of franchising and pick up tips from a line-up of speakers, including intellectual property lawyers, certified franchise executives and practising management consultants.
Mr Andrew Khoo, president of the Franchising and Licensing Association (Singapore), said the virtual exhibition opens up new possibilities.
"We are no longer restricted by geography, as the entire world is now the target audience. Exhibitors can engage with international and local attendees through live chats, video calls, webinars, and business matching facilities from the comfort of their own home without having to worry about travel restrictions or health and safety concerns," he said.
Mr Chua Wee Phong, chairman of Sphere Exhibits, added that, as an event organiser, it was Sphere Exhibit's responsibility to adapt and move with the times.
"We understand that with change comes uncertainty. Even through this uncertainty, our ability to adapt will not be deterred," he said.
Registration for the virtual event opens on Tuesday at this website, and admission is free.