Meet Mister Minit, international household service experts that tripled attendance at their annual franchisee conference with less than a month’s prep time using Hopin

Meet Mister Minit, international household service experts that tripled attendance at their annual franchisee conference with less than a month’s prep time using Hopin
PLANNING A NEW KIND OF EVENT

A high school reunion for the service industry

Mister Minit is the world’s largest international service retailer, offering shoe repairs, key cutting, engraving, and watch repairs. The business began in a Brussels department store in 1957, with a "Heel Bar" that tended to the city’s broken stilettos. Mister Minit has since expanded around the world, and now serves 7 million customers each year. If there’s a knife to be sharpened or a pet tag to be engraved, Mister Minit is the place to go. 

The service retailer’s annual Asia-Pacific conference is a hot ticket for franchisees. The event brings together Mister Minit business owners from Southeast Asia, New Zealand, and Australia to meet and discuss new products and services. It also serves as a platform for franchisees to provide customer feedback. After a 12-month break, Mister Minit was determined to bring its franchisees back together, and decided to take the conference virtual for the first time. 

This move represented a new frontier for Mister Minit. They wanted to create opportunities for franchisees to enjoy themselves, celebrate their hard work, and learn from one another in this new virtual environment – just as they had in person. The virtual conference had to be easy to navigate, and it needed to feature the networking sessions and trade show elements that provided attendees with valuable insights at previous conferences.

The kicker? All of the above had to be achieved in only four weeks’ time, instead of the conference’s usual nine-month planning period.

Enter Hopin’s product support team, who quickly walked the Mister Minit team through their virtual event platform and helped build a roadmap for the event. Hopin’s easy-to-navigate interface was a major deciding factor for the Mister Minit team as it ensured franchisees could turn on their computers and instantly jump into the event, regardless of how tech savvy they are. Mister Minit used Hopin for all pre-event communication about the conference, including sharing the agenda and speaker information. Attendees also used the platform to build out their own personal program of breakout sessions.

"From the very beginning I really felt that connection and felt the value in terms of what was delivered from the platform […] I was impressed with the whole flexibility of the platform and I wanted to make it very simple, because we weren’t [all] tech savvy." –Maria Walton, People and Franchise Director, Mister Minit

"We certainly used the totality of the system. Given we were new to this, we said, 'Let's play around, let's maximize the deliverables in terms of what it can do, not only in terms of leveraging learning and content, but also in terms of the fun element.'"

Maria Walton
People and Franchise Director, Mister Minit
IT’S SHOWTIME

A truly interactive experience for all key stakeholders

Over 300 Mister Minit franchisees attended the conference, tripling the typical in-person attendance. In fact, only 10 franchisees weren’t able to attend the virtual event. Attendees appreciated Hopin’s straightforward interface. They quickly started engaging in lively discussion with plenty of banter among friends who hadn’t seen one another in more than a year. Speakers also enjoyed an intuitive experience. The Mister Minit team had planned a 15-minute break for each speaker to prepare their tech and troubleshoot any issues, but they found it only took two minutes to get speakers ready to go. 

Nearly 40 business owners spoke at the event – twice as many as any previous Mister Minit conference. Chief Executive Officer Mark Rusbatch led the keynote, instilling confidence in franchisees around the future of the business and their goal to become the world’s largest personal service retailer. 

The company also hosted James Timpson, founder of the United Kingdom-based service business Timpson and an industry hero. Mister Minit had been looking to book James as a speaker for two decades. Now, thanks to Hopin and the virtual event format, they could finally bridge the geographical distance.

Guest speaker Gus Worland, the founder of charity Gotcha4life, also prompted some emotional conversation around mental health, with attendees opening up to one another in Hopin’s chat. Worland had been concerned about holding this session virtually, usually preferring to work face-to-face, but the virtual format actually empowered attendees to be more open and raw in their responses. 

Mister Minit also provided plenty of opportunities for its franchisees to learn, with suppliers swapping strategy and boosting each other’s confidence. The Expo area of Hopin was an essential part of this success. Mister Minit’s partners and attendees used their virtual booths to showcase technical know-how via videos, images, and downloadable resources. Franchisees also connected directly with suppliers to get a look at new machinery and services, asking questions in one-on-one video sessions. Attendees were so engaged that many were checking in and out of sessions between serving customers at their actual stores.

In addition to the educational content, Mister Minit used Kahoot to host fun games and pub quizzes. At lunch, golfing fans – who’d usually be on the green together during the conference – met to swap tips about the game. Mister Minit’s virtual auction offering new must-have machines to franchisees also raised over $26,000 for local charities.

"The feedback from the trade show was that it was neat. It was a great way to do it. [Sponsors] were so happy that they could just about put anything in the booth - whether it was YouTube videos, graphics, pictures, product knowledge, skill-based sessions […] they were super happy in terms of that platform." –Maria Walton, People and Franchise Director, Mister Minit
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Hopin’s features helped Mister Minit bring its community together 

Here are some of the Hopin features that made Mister Minit’s conference a success:

  • Registration: Mister Minit tracked which sessions were the most popular during the registration process, giving them insight into franchisee’s interests and whether there were any gaps in the conference agenda.
  • Stages: The organization hosted its plenary sessions on Hopin’s event stages, including a keynote from its CEO and a session with industry hero James Timpson.
  • Sessions: The company used Sessions to host focused discussions on skills. For example, one session offered advice for city shops that do a lot of shoe repairs.
  • Chat: Attendees used the event chat to speak honestly with one another, and open up important conversations around mental health.
  • Integrations: Attendees used Snapbar to play around with their profile images, virtually recreating the fun of Mister Minit’s annual awards night fancy dress. Mister Minit also used Kahoot to host an interactive trivia night.
  • Replay: Attendees could navigate a busy schedule by requesting the recordings of sessions they missed, helping meet Mister Minit’s goal of empowering franchisees and developing their skills even after the conference had finished.

"Some [people] really opened up in the chat rooms. And I don't even know if I could get that face-to-face in terms of that real honesty about some of their own stories [...] Then the guest speaker would pick that up through the [session] facilitator."

Maria Walton
People and Franchise Director, Mister Minit
HOW IT TURNED OUT

New opportunities for community building on Hopin 

Mister Minit was astonished by the level of positive feedback and engagement they saw from attendees. Seeing franchisees connect and learn was hugely rewarding for the organization, particularly at its first virtual conference. The company’s official event feedback survey received the third highest score (4.64/5) in 20 years, gathering a wealth of positive comments about Hopin as a platform. This was especially impressive given they had tripled the usual number of attendees at the conference.

This experience with Hopin has kickstarted a new approach to Mister Minit’s annual meet up, giving the company greater confidence in what’s possible. The business plans to make future events hybrid, using Hopin’s virtual and onsite solutions to build a bridge between online and in-person attendees. This will open their events up to a wider audience and raise participation rates, particularly for franchisees that find it challenging to leave their business and travel. It will also meet company objectives of instilling confidence in business owners, and connecting with their insider knowledge to improve and develop services.

Hopin’s event reporting features helped give a clear picture of what topics franchisees are interested in, shaping Mister Minit’s future content strategy. In fact, Mister Minit was so impressed with its experience on Hopin it has started using the platform for smaller events like operations workshops and departmental meetings. 

"We've always wanted to push our participation rates of delegates attending […] We had 300 franchisees attend the conference. And, frankly that's three times more than what our record high in person would be!" –Maria Walton, People and Franchise Director, Mister Minit

4.64

Average NPS score for the event out of 5



310

Franchisees attended

99%

Registration rate

30

Concurrent sessions running at the conference

“We sent out feedback forms [...] there's a score out of five and anything over 4.5 we go, ‘Wow, that's awesome.’ Our highest score so far has been 4.8 and we got a 4.64 for this virtual conference. So it was the third highest score in 20 years [...] that's awesome!"

Maria Walton
People and Franchise Director, Mister Minit

Lots of virtual audience buzz

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