No matter how often one is in touch with franchise holders on the phone or electronically, nothing replaces the impact and value of meeting face to face (see Cornell Study page 9). Conventions have proven to be not only a great learning environment but also, and probably more important, a chance for networking and building bridges across the entire company. But conventions are a major item in a company's budget. They need to be carefully planned so companies can experience a favorable return on their investment while providing an optimal experience for exhibitors and attendees. While conventions definitely help build both business and loyalty, they have changed in the last 10 years, with attendees looking for more education and real-life connections. Popular new convention additions include initiatives such as corporate social responsibility initiatives and the use of social media. The new convention environment has to appeal to a number of generations that often have varying agendas and preferences, so what franchise businesses have used in the past may not work anymore. None of this is negative, but planning can require a different perspective, particularly if the convention is going to be successful for the organization, as well as for the people who attend.