As we enter into the summer months, we look forward with anticipation to barbeques, sun-filled days, beaches, vacations – and plans to attend the DDIFO National Conference.
For the last few years, the conference was held at the Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut and the speaking outline for the conference was kept under wraps until Labor Day. That all changes this year.
First off, the location is new. While Mohegan Sun was a great venue for DDIFO, there are now two additional factors we had to consider when choosing this year’s conference location. First, DDIFO is a national organization, one that represents a membership throughout the entire footprint. As a national organization, it is imperative that we venture out of our home base, from time to time —to bring DDIFO to its members, if you will.
Second, and more importantly, we recognized the opportunity to use the conference as a way to support the economy in a region badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The Jersey Shore relies heavily on tourism and our conference helps create an economic bounce, which can definitely help support franchisees who live and work in the region. So, when we considered the options, the impact and the voices of several key franchisees, we opted to hold the 2013 National Conference and Hall of Fame Awards Gala at Caesar’s Atlantic City.
With regard to the program content, we’re already busy lining up speakers and presenters who have specific and valuable information that directly impacts your business, no matter where your shops are located. Here is a look at how the conference is shaping up:
• Opening General Session – We have officially invited New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to kick off the conference on Monday afternoon and are anxiously awaiting response from his office.
• Welcome Reception – After the opening session, we’ll relax and reconnect with other franchisees from around the Dunkin’ footprint over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at the elegant Mia Restaurant off the Caesar’s Atlantic City main lobby.
• Monday Dinner – We want to allow conference attendees the opportunity to sample some of the outstanding restaurants that Atlantic City boasts, so we are not scheduling a group dinner on Monday.
Tuesday will be packed with information, conversation and exhibits of products and services designed to help you better succeed with your business. It all kicks off with a delicious continental breakfast with our sponsor exhibitors. Then we’ll jump right into our program with a full agenda of presentations and additional breaks with our exhibitors.
Our specific panels are being planned at this time and will be finalized over the next several weeks, but at this point, we expect them to include:
• “A Conversation with Dunkin’ Franchise Stars” – This will be an opportunity for attendees to “listen in” on a conversation with some of the Dunkin’ community’s most successful franchisees.
• “The National DCP – Next Steps from Here” – National DCP leadership will discuss the state of the supply network and its next steps to maximize service and savings for franchisees.
• “Fighting Big Brother” – This panel discussion on legislative strategies will feature the expertise of DDIFO lobbyists from three states within the footprint.
• “A Penny Saved . . . Insights into improving your energy efficiency” – This presentation will offer new information on groundbreaking products and services that can significantly reduce energy costs at many Dunkin’ Donuts franchises.
• “A Snapshot from the Street” – DDIFO Restaurant Analyst John Gordon will present the latest information on the general state of the QSR industry as well as some specific talking points on Dunkin’ Donuts from the investor perspective.
• “Affordable Care Act” – We are finalizing an additional presentation on the Affordable Care Act, which is moving closer to complete implementation. The focus here is how you can minimize your costs and manage the process.
• Hall of Fame Dinner and Awards Gala – Tuesday evening kicks off with a cocktail reception for our guests, sponsors and honorees and concludes with the big event. By the way, it’s not too early to begin submitting names for consideration for this Hall of Fame class.
• Conclusion and Board of Directors Meeting – The 2013 National Conference will conclude on Wednesday morning with a closing general session keynote address and the quarterly meeting of the DDIFO Board of Directors and Roundtable – and the meeting is open to all Dunkin’ franchisees.
There is still much to be done before we welcome our members to Caesar’s Atlantic City this fall, but we want to keep you informed every step of the way and we know you’re going to enjoy it. The 2013 Conference is shaping up as DDIFO’s best ever. We welcome your suggestions and comments and look forward to providing you with three days packed with fun, education and excitement.
DDIFO Executive Director