First Annual Franchise Expo Midwest Draws Thousands to Weekend Event

Over 100 Franchise Concepts Exhibit in Rosemont; Show Strength of Franchise Industry

With a thriving $671 billion economy and numerous well-established brands as well as emerging start-ups, it’s no surprise Chicago was chosen as the location of the inaugural Franchise Expo Midwest. The Expo debuted last month at The Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL. The highly-anticipated show welcomed 130 exhibitors including franchise concepts looking to expand in the region, as well as thousands of attendees seeking viable business opportunities.

The Expo provided the perfect opportunity for both current and prospective business owners to meet face-to-face with executives at both emerging and well-known franchise brands, ranging in investments from under $10,000  to $1 million+. Exhibitors varied by industry including food, fitness, home services, automotive, and more.

“Franchise Expo Midwest was worth every penny for us to come all the way from Florida. We’ve made many great connections and look forward to doing more shows in the future,” said Mark Setterington, Owner of Island Fin Poke.

Attendees at the Expo also had the opportunity to participate in 30 free workshops designed to energize and further educate their entrepreneurial spirits such as “How to Find Your First Franchisees” and “Minorities in Franchising: Learn the 7 Habits of Highly Profitable Franchises.” In addition, attendees had the opportunity to meet with financial experts and leading franchise consultants to learn about budgeting, financing, and how to go about investing in the right franchise to match specific aspirations and skillsets.

“When looking at the growth of franchising not only in Chicago, but in the entire Midwest region, it was no question for us to debut an Expo here to connect franchisors with potential franchisees,” said Tom Portesy, President and CEO of MFV Expositions. “It was a pleasure to see not only the quantity of attendees, but the quality. Entrepreneurs did their due diligence and attended the Expo with a clear determination to find lasting business relationships.”

Today, franchises are proving to be big business for entrepreneurs across the country, with the 2018 annual franchise business outlook report showing the multi-billion-dollar franchise industry is set to grow for the eighth year in a row. The industry as a whole has seen tremendous growth and an increase in sales, resulting in a spike in job creations that is credited with generating more careers than any other type of business. It’s projected to continue its above-trend growth, expecting to reach nearly $451 billion by year-end.

“We’re happy to provide this mutually beneficial Expo, and look forward to returning to Chicago next year to continue connecting with its thriving community,” added Portesy.

To find out more about MFV Expositions and to find upcoming expo opportunities near you, visit

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Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fair
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