All Points PR Logo
All Points PR Logo

NIFA Q1 Recap: From Zoomies to Master Networkers

As in-person events make a resurgence, you may be feeling a little rusty stepping back into your off-line life. Connecting in-person seems a little foreign nowadays, with our professional lives living on Zoom.

Fortunately, the NIFA hosted its quarterly event, From Zoombies to Master Networkers, focused on dusting off your networking skills to make the most of 2022 conferences and conventions.

The event included an esteemed panel of esteemed franchise leaders, who discussed the best ways to step outside our comfort zones and make the most of the opportunity to network and grow as we return to in-person gatherings this year.

The timing of this discussion is extremely fitting, with many in the industry heading to the IFA 2022 convention in the coming weeks. According to Alan Catlett, Vice President for Growth and Operations at the International Franchise Association, with just under a month until IFA, registration is looking to be in line as previous years with over 500 franchisor brands registered.

For many suppliers, franchising conventions are like a kid in the candy store, with many franchisor brands all in one place. However, it can be easy to get too salesy. That’s why Barbara Yelmene, VP of Development at Franchise Update, suggests a soft sell, with a primary focus on building relationships.

“Franchising is built on relationships, and no one wants someone hardcore selling them,” Yelmene said. “You’ll get much further prioritizing personal connections over sales.”

The key to making the most of your conference experience lies in the prep work. Before the conference takes place, look through the seminar and attendee list. As mentioned by Sheila Fischer, preplanning your itinerary will allow you to connect with the right people and productively market your brand.

Outside the conference floor, many brands and vendors will host events or dinners for the chance to interact with industry contacts on a more personal level.

“At these conferences, a prospect is not only looking at the brand but buying into you as well,” said Kevin Pietsch, National Sales Director at Franchise Times. “They’re buying into your personality, your culture and what you bring to the table. Connecting in person and outside the business setting presents the unique opportunity to brand yourself.”

We’d like to extend a huge thank you to our panelists, Alan Catlett, Sheila Fischer, Kevin Pietsch and Barbara Yelmene for making this event possible. Your insights, strong connections and industry expertise fueled a valuable discussion.

If you didn’t get a chance to attend or would like to view the discussion, click here to download the video recording.

To further foster these connections and share best practices, we encourage anyone who would like to stay connected to check out our NIFA LinkedIn group.

Looking ahead, we are planning wonderful events for 2022. We encourage anyone with topic ideas and sponsorship questions for future events to reach out to Lauren Izaks directly by clicking here.

Visit for more information about the organization.


2020 2022 marketing trends agency archives alex sanchez ALL POINTS All Points givesback All Points PR all points public relations All Points Publicity all points seminar aloha aloha poke AMC ap university appr atc attending pr conference award submissions awareness bailey bailey hewitt Bernie's Book Bank beyond blog Blogging Brand storytelling brittany driscoll Brokerage Firms building reporter relationships building workplace connections business networking campaign recaps case studies Chicago franchise group Chicago franchise PR Chicago franchise public relations Chicago PR agency chicago PR firm Chicago public relations childrens lighthosue childrens lighthouse christian brothers automotive cicis Client Growth Company culture PR Company culture public relations conferences consumer content marketing conversate coo coo corner coo's corner COVID creating your peloton creative corner Crisis Communications culture daily jam david j miller director's digest Doug Zarkin drybar edible election employee engagement Entrepreneurship facebook franchise marketing franchise marketing trends franchise PR franchise PR agency franchise PR firm franchise public relations franchise public relations agency garbanzo gen z getting a PR career Gifts and Decorative Accessories gillian losh good news partners google grassroots PR halloween hiring holidays HOMEWATCH CAREGIVERS how to incorporate seo hr hybrid office icode idea generators IFA influencer influencers instagram intern internship isu IT service provider jabz jabz boxing jamie jamie izaks jobs junk king keynote Lambs Farm lauren izaks lead generation lead qualifying leadership linkedin Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly local Local Market PR Local Publicity lunch and learn lunchboxwax Mad Men madabolic management media mental health mentorship MUFC 2022 multi-unit franchise conference takeaways multi-unit franchising National Coverage National Public Relations National Publicity networking in person networking tips new service new year NIFA nifa recap northern illinois franchise association ongoing education online public relations open positions organic organization perkins pet pitching point pals popeyes Positive Impact Potbelly PR careers pr industry PR Industry Expertise PR Principles pr services president's point press release PRNEWS pro community PRo community project promoting promoting from within prsa Public Relations Publicity recap reconnecting in person RESOLUTIONS return to the office Robin Williams sandwiches scare seminar seminar recap senior staff seo seo 101 signed agreements soccer shots social social media social media services spherion spring cleaning squeeze stress sub zero tdtg thanksgiving the camp the driver training group the feel good company tiktok tiktok strategy to do list tough mudder trade trade pr training trending trends tv twitter user generated content utm codes video virtual virtual employee engagement vitality bowls volunteering vp volume wag n' wash wing it on work from home World Cup World Cup 2014 worst public relations pitches Wow Bao you've got maids young rembrandts