From Sunday 19th to Tuesday 21st June, Stagecoach Performing Arts came together with hundreds of its franchisees from across the world to celebrate their collective achievements over the course of the last 12 months. During its annual franchise conference – which, this year, focussed on a theme of ‘The Stagecoach Way’ – Principals were recognised for facilitating the ongoing growth of the global performing arts brand.
The three-day event, which incorporated a welcome barbecue, river cruise, awards evening and two days of thought-provoking seminars, keynote speeches and workshops, was a great reason for franchisees to come together in person. Hosted at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon – birthplace of the world’s most-celebrated playwright – for the second time, the central location saw over 230 territories being represented by hundreds of franchisees.
The opening speech, delivered by Helen Enright, Executive Chair for Trafalgar Entertainment – the group that owns Stagecoach Performing Arts – referenced the continued growth that Stagecoach has maintained in a post-pandemic marketplace. Other speakers included Andy Knights, CEO, Jayne Middleton, Head of Global Franchise Sales and Operations, and Ross Millington, Head of Global Franchise Development. Keynote sessions were delivered by Emma Turner, education specialist and author, and Dr Ally Daubney, creative arts educator, researcher and co-author to Stagecoach’s new framework.
“To be able to address our network in-person at our global conference was a highlight of 2022 so far,” explained Andy. “With so many exciting developments and announcements made during the three-day event, the opening address felt more momentous than ever. There’s a lot for us to be proud of. Globally, we’ve witnessed a 6.5% increase in student numbers against our pre-pandemic figures, with 4,000 more now attending classes across the seven countries we operate in. Weekly, 55,000 students pass through our doors. That’s why, even after almost 35 years, we’re still known as the number one children’s performing arts opportunity.”
The theme of this year’s conference was the new framework devised by Stagecoach to ensure all franchisees work to the same consistent code of ethics. At its core, ‘The Stagecoach Way’ distils the essence of the brand’s global network into a framework that celebrates and highlights the behaviours, values and practices that are central to the franchise model. It aims to support, nurture and sustain Stagecoach’s special and unique environment so all students, no matter their age, gender, location or own set of circumstances, receive the same experience.
Franchisees travelled from as far as Canada, Malta and even Australia to attend this year’s conference. Michelle Holmes, franchisee and Principal at Stagecoach Redditch, arrived for the full day of seminars and sessions on Monday 20th and found the time spent with her fellow franchisees to be of real value.
“Coming to events like our annual conference is what makes me feel part of something much bigger than just my own Stagecoach territory,” said Michelle. “This is my third time attending the conference as a franchisee – my fourth overall – and I always come away with so many fresh ideas and exciting new plans. For me, the best part about coming along to these events is spending time speaking with other franchisees and just generally celebrating our achievements. I’m proud to be a part of Stagecoach, and I’m thankful to the head office team for working so hard to put on such a wonderful conference.”
Before an evening of entertainment, longstanding franchisees were awarded for reaching milestones in their business, with many being recognised for their 10, 20 and 25 years in the network.
“What better way to recognise these franchisees than in front of their peers?” said Andy. “At Stagecoach, we’re all about community, so taking this time at the end of a busy day of learning and sharing felt like the perfect moment. I was proud to acknowledge these fantastic franchisees and celebrate the shared successes of our global network.”
To find out more about franchise opportunities with Stagecoach Performing Arts, visit https://stagecoachfranchise.com/