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With thousands of entrepreneurs and hundreds of exhibits, Regus made its debut at the world’s largest franchising event
The City of Lights hosted Regus’s first ever attendance at Franchise Expo Paris this year, in what organisers hailed as a ‘key milestone’ for the firm’s franchising journey.
The largest of its kind anywhere in the world, the global showcase is regarded as one of the top events in the franchising industry’s calendar, this year attracting a staggering 36,000 visitors over four days.
The Paris Expo is also recognised as one of the world’s most diverse franchising exhibitions, with 495 franchisers across 90 sectors from 95 countries participating this year.
As interest in shared workspace services continues to grow, Regus attended the event for the first time with a team of 16 people from France and the UK. Over the course of the four days, they met more than 100 prospective clients and are now set to engage in partnership discussions.
Benjamin Bohbot, Regus’ Head of Partnership Growth Development in France noted that Regus and parent company IWG’s reputation attracted significant numbers of Expo visitors.
“A first time at such an important event for a brand is always a test,” he says, “but really it was no surprise – IWG and Regus are offering an opportunity to partner with a global leader in a huge industry with lots of potential.”
France is the second largest franchising market in the world after the United States and, while co-working is still a relatively new sector in the country’s franchising sector, it has seen significant year-on-year growth of more than 30%, says Vilidiana Abou, Head of Marketing and Communications in France for Regus’s parent company, IWG.
“Visitors came from all over France, including small and medium cities where we aren’t currently present,” she says. “Some of them didn’t yet know of us, so this is precisely why we want to develop franchises across France. We want to be in those areas and closer to our business users. Co-working has a tremendous potential in France.”
Regus’ appearance at the Expo marked the latest milestone on its franchising journey, which saw it launch a strategy in September last year that has already identified its first franchisees. The franchisees are ready to sign an exciting deal for more than 15 centres over five years in the west of France.
Although unable to go into detail about potential clients due to strict confidentiality reasons, Bohbot hails the overall outcome of the event as a huge success.
“It is a little early to go public with more details about our first franchisees, but we are thrilled by both the partners and the partnership,” he says. “Franchise Expo Paris was a key milestone of our franchising strategy for France. It is a very significant event we used to establish Regus and the flexible serviced office industry as the new best growth opportunity in the franchise sector.”
But it’s not all about business, Paris is known for its style and joie de vivre, on which point Regus also shone through.
Its stall at the event won praise for its “stylish debut” from exhibition stand design experts Symbiosis.
In its review, Symbiosis said: “A large branding banner immediately drew delegates’ eyes toward the stand with its classic white lines, clean graphics and flush LEDskin panel video wall. Designer furniture and custom-made planters finished the look. A true coup de coeur!”