“The 2017 Macao Franchise Expo” (2017MFE) drew to a close today (30 July). This year’s “Gourmet Avenue” and “Start-up Launchpad” Day events were first-time features for MFE. This year’s MFE was also held concurrently with the “2017 Guangdong & Macao Branded Products Fair”, with both exhibitions declared a great success.
The three-day 2017MFE attracted about 24,000 visitors, including nearly 5,600 professional visitors. A variety of exhibitors expressed their satisfaction with the effectiveness of the event, as well as their recognition that newly-added elements had been beneficial to their enterprises in pursuit of new business opportunities.
A total of 101 business matching sessions took place during 2017MFE, involving franchising, chain stores, and brand and agency business among other things. According to figures from the organiser, 1,072 business negotiation sessions were conducted for specially invited trade visitors. Contracts for eight projects were signed on-site, involving chain and franchising projects in the food and beverage industry as well as brand franchising. The counterparties in such co-operation were enterprises from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan.
Thanks to MFE, many exhibitors were able to explore new co-operation opportunities, as well as promote their work and products to the general public. One of those successfully concluding at MFE the signing of a franchising agreement with a local enterprise this year was Mr Toshiya Tanaka, the chief development officer of a food and beverage group from Singapore. The group has 110 restaurants, and its business operates throughout East Asia and South Asia. The Macao outlet will be opened and managed by a local franchisee. Mr Tanaka believes Macao – a still developing market – will be beneficial to the group’s future development in terms of establishing franchising business in the city.
Mr Ming Ieong and Mr Ivan Lei, respectively executive director and managing director of the local company that signed the agreement with the Singapore catering group, said the deal would enable signature food from Singapore to be brought to Macao, via the partner brand. The local partner company believes that Singaporean cuisine will find a ready market in Macao.
Tapping into the Mainland China market by utilising Macao’s advantages
As a result of Macao’s role as a Commercial and Trade Co-operation Service Platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, as well as of Macao’s participation in the “Belt and Road” initiative, attendees from Brazil, Mozambique, Portugal and other Portuguese-speaking Countries – as well as from countries along the “Belt and Road”, including Malaysia and Vietnam – attended 2017MFE.
Ms Le Thien Ly, a supplier from Vietnam who was participating in the event for the first time, said the results had been favourable. Investors from Hong Kong and the Mainland visited her booth to discuss coffee and food wholesale business. She was also satisfied with sales her company made at the exhibition. Subject to staff availability, she plans to attend again next year.
Mr Brian Gregory is a senior franchising manager of a group operating franchised stores in a variety of markets, including Australia, Mexico, South Africa, the United States and a number of European countries. He noted that the firm does not yet have operations in Asia. Participating in 2017MFE was a way to find appropriate regional partners. A number of enterprises from Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao contacted Mr Gregory during 2017MFE.
Exhibitors praised the “Gourmet Avenue” feature at this year’s MFE, which helped to boost the flow of visitors
Together with the 2017 Guangdong & Macao Branded Products Fair held simultaneously with MFE, the latter’s organisers launched this year a “Gourmet Avenue” to promote food and beverage products from Macao and to help the manufacturers of those delicacies to expand their business further afield.
One of the exhibitors in the “Gourmet Avenue”, Ms Ho Kam In, the manager of a traditional Portuguese-style pastry maker, said sales went well. Thanks to the stimulus of the “Gourmet Avenue” and the offer of free tasting, the firm achieved even more favourable results than last year, with its brand promoted to a wider audience.
According to Mr Cheong Ieng Hap, manager of another catering group, business in the “Gourmet Avenue” went exceptionally well. More than 500 of its signature curry buns were prepared for the three-day event, with Mr Cheong noting e “Gourmet Avenue” acted as a promotion tool for the local culinary culture. During the three days of MFE, Mr. Cheong made contact with enterprises that were interested in franchising opportunities. He noted his company would participate in next year’s MFE.
The final day of 2017MFE – 30 July – was also marked by the “Start-up Launchpad” Day. A number of successful entrepreneurs shared their experiences on topics including: “Important Considerations for Bringing a New International Franchise Brand to Greater China”; “Road to being a Michelin Brand – Sharing by Lei’s Cuisine”; and “My Start-up Ladies”. The topics provided information and reference material for young entrepreneurs and enterprises wishing either to start or develop a business. There was also an “MFE-Bank of China Start-up Launchpad Competition Award Ceremony”.
The “Brand Repackaging Pavilion” was reprised at this year’s MFE, providing consultancy services to those willing to start or expand a business through franchising. Many enterprises seized the chance to absorb beneficial ideas for a brand’s sustainable development.
The “Forum on Chain and Franchise Business Opportunities of International Brands”, with the theme “Big Data: The Key Success Factor for Franchisees”, was also hosted during 2017MFE. Participants exchanged views on the use of “big data” analytics to generate new business opportunities, promote resource sharing and improve franchisee profits. The Forum organisers invited Mr Li Ning, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Li-Ning sport goods brand, to deliver a keynote speech at the event. In addition, the Forum was for the first time broadcast live on a social media platform, with the high-quality contents attracting around 70,000 viewers.
This year’s MFE was also held concurrently with the “2017 Guangdong & Macao Branded Products Fair”. The promoters of each event organised tours of the city for the respective exhibitors, helping to stimulate consumption in different communities across Macao and helping to propel a community-based economy.View gallery