The face of business has changed over the years. One of the big changes has been the introduction of franchises. One person or business will come up with a business model and prove it is successful. Rather than opening and administering a chain of stores, they will then sell the business model to others that want a business they already know can succeed. The buyer pays a franchise fee to open their business and bears all the expenses of opening and running it. They also continue to pay a fee for ever year they operate that business. In return, they receive a complete business model that has been proven successful as well as continued support.
Companies that sell franchises have found it is a good way to do business by having informal conferences at least once a year with their franchisees. The franchisees like to attend these gatherings and meet the new franchisees as well as those long established. It creates a closer group that is more loyal to the franchise model and helps people involved to feel they are a part of the overall business. Many of these informal conferences are held at resort locations. While there may be a formal dinner with award presentations, many activities are informal and voluntary.
Franchise owners are small business people. Even though they have bought a business model that has been proven successful, they still have all the worries of any small business owner. Getting together with a group in the same situation helps them air and compare their situations and issues.
These informal conferences often include a variety of vendors that specialize in providing useful products for their businesses. The franchise seller generally vets the companies and their products before they are allowed to sell to franchisees. This is a visible part of the protection and support provided by the franchise seller.