Ed-Vegas_DSC_6358-EditIt might be the most famous tag line in advertising history. It is still quoted extensively in a broad array of applications across the business, personal and social arenas and it inspired both an Usher song (“What Happens Here, Stays Here”) as well as several full length movies (The Hangover trilogy, What Happens in Vegas). It’s been in steady use for a dozen years now, and some would even say it’s a good code to live by, too!

But, in the context of the DDIFO National Conference and all that we heard and saw, it’s a horrible principle! No, rather than what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, DDIFO members who attended the 2014 conference at the Rio Hotel want to be sure to bring home all that they learned and apply it to their business operations.

The beauty of any organization’s educational undertakings is that they can be applied to our everyday real life experiences. Whether it is the multitude of “take-aways” from the Conversation with Dunkin’ Franchisees or the guidance and direction established by BAC co-chair Clayton Turnbull, we can all bring what we learned home from Vegas and apply the knowledge, insight and perspective to our businesses. And, that is precisely what DDIFO has been focusing on – helping its members with education, best practices and other suggestions with the goal of helping DDIFO members become better, more successful business owners.

In the wake of so many data breaches happening over the past few months, we wanted to bring you the latest research and information on cyber security and what you, as a small business owner, can do to protect yourself and your business. We put forth a presentation in conjunction with ANX eBusiness and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI Cyber Crime Unit). Now, armed with that information you received in Vegas, you can better protect yourself from cyberterrorism, position your business more effectively for the future and thereby improve your long-term bottom line.

Similarly, in light of such undertakings as the “Fight for 15”, the state-by-state push for mandated sick leave, CPI-linked minimum wage increases and the like, we believed you could benefit from a thorough exposé of the new tactics being employed by organized labor. The presentation titled, “The New Face of Labor Activism” was a vehicle by which we could prepare you for issues and tactics with which you may be confronted in the future.

And, with the blockbuster Burger King purchase of Tim Hortons – amid ongoing volatility on Wall Street – we were confident a detailed analysis and a deeper understanding of Wall Street machinations would be valuable knowledge for you to bring home from Vegas.

And that’s not all! We presented a sold-out exhibit hall where DDIFO member sponsors displayed, explained and demonstrated how their many products, goods and services can benefit a Dunkin’ Donuts operator while increasing efficiency and maximizing profits. Their value propositions are definitely something to bring home from Vegas!

Once again this year, we were proud to recognize three remarkable individuals. They are pioneers of the early days of Dunkin’ Donuts and are examples of how businessmen and women successfully grow a company – and become successful on their own. We are proud of our 2014 DDIFO Hall of Fame inductees: Carlos Andrade, Joe Batista and Bill Daly.

These men – like so many successful franchisees – have learned how to use what they learn behind the counter and at events like the DDIFO National Conference to sow seeds for future growth. They also know that in a community like this one, it’s important to share information, experiences and best practices so other franchisees – especially those who are new to the system – can also be rewarded for their hard work.

These leaders understand what the great American businessman Harvey S. Firestone, founder of Firestone Tire and Rubber, meant when he said, “It is only as we develop others that we permanently succeed!”

Yes, what happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what we learn there is too important to leave behind!

Ed Shanahan

DDIFO Executive Director