WASHINGTON, Nov. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Franchise Association -- the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising globally – announced its main-stage speakers today for #IFA2017. Celebrated Anytime Fitness co-founders, Dave Mortensen and Chuck Runyon, and New York Times best-selling author and leading business consultant, Marcus Buckingham, will speak at IFA's 57th Annual Convention. #IFA2017 will take place Jan. 29 – Feb. 1, 2017, at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas.
Anytime Fitness Co-Founders Dave Mortensen and Chuck Runyon will share how they developed 3,500 franchised units and 36 company-owned locations in 50 states and 30 countries in just 15 years. The company has been ranked #1 on Entrepreneur's Top Global Franchise list for two consecutive years, making them the fastest-growing co-ed fitness franchise in the world. Mortensen and Runyon credit Anytime Fitness' success to the well-trained franchise development teams and franchisees that have worked alongside them to grow, strengthen and successfully take the brand to the height of the franchise fitness world. Attendees can learn more about these essential foundation-building tools and how to develop a passionate and loyal customer base when the duo speaks on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at the 8 a.m. Super Session.
Marcus Buckingham, the four-time, respected New York Times best-selling author of "First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently," will teach attendees how to harness excellence in their organization by empowering people to discover their personal strengths and find their edge at work. Buckingham, an inspirational speaker by trade, has dedicated himself to showing people how to connect with their passions in order to create a successful and fulfilling work environment. Marcus' motto is "find what you love and excel at doing, and keep doing it until you leave a mark on this world." This is a must-attend, inspirational speech set for Wednesday, Feb. 1 at the Closing General Session.
"This year, we are featuring several impressive General Session speakers who have shaken up the business world. We are honored to have Marcus Buckingham, Dave Mortensen and Chuck Runyon share their successful journeys and insights with our attendees," said Shelly Sun, CFE, CEO and co-founder of BrightStar Franchising, LLC and IFA's 2017 and IFA's incoming chair. "We are excited that #IFA2017 participants will have an opportunity to learn from these world-class entrepreneurs and leave the convention with valuable insight into laying a solid foundation for their franchise's future development."
The more than 4,000 attendees expected at #IFA2017 will also be able to watch as the 2017 NextGen in Franchising Global Competition unfolds and the final 18 young entrepreneurs participate in the second annual NextGen FRANSHARK competition on Jan. 29 and Jan. 30. As the final part of the FRANSHARK competition, sponsored by the Fred DeLuca Foundation, three finalists will pitch their business idea to the closing general session audience on Feb. 1 for a chance to win cash prizes ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.
#IFA2017 will feature more than 50 educational sessions, as well as 300 supplier partners in a cutting-edge Exhibit Hall, offering the latest tools and resources needed to develop a thriving franchise business. Additionally, attendees can expect to find numerous networking opportunities, including "The Buzz" and "The Bash." The Buzz is held on Sunday, Jan. 29, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and kicks off the Convention with food, drinks and live music. It follows the New Member & First-Time Attendee Reception at 5:30 p.m. The Bash is on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 8 to 10:30 p.m. and is another opportunity to network with peers and colleagues at Mandalay Bay's nightclub, LIGHT. There are other opportunities to network and learn throughout #IFA2017, including the International Reception and the Business Solution Roundtables.
About the International Franchise Association Celebrating 56 years of excellence, education and advocacy, the International Franchise Association is the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising and the more than 733,000 franchise establishments that support nearly 7.6 million direct jobs, $674.3 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy and 2.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology and business development.