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Stagecoach Performing Arts shines spotlight on international franchisees at annual conference

In late June, Stagecoach Performing Arts held its annual franchise conference, bringing together franchisees from around the world to celebrate their accomplishments over the past year. The conference, centred around the theme Together Towards Tomorrow, promoted collaboration and innovation within the international Stagecoach community and recognised Principals’ instrumental role in fostering the continuous expansion of the renowned global performing arts brand.

Hosted at the Marriott Hotel in Leicester, England, the two-day event included a Leadership Team update and several workshops delivered by both Support Centre staff and external speakers. Keynote speakers included Michael Matania of Tough Cookie, who delivered an insightful talk on mental health, and former Stagecoach student turned actor and writer, Rob Madge. As part of the keynote, Rob sang songs from their award-winning one-person show My Son’s a Queer (But What Can You Do?), which explores Rob’s childhood, including their time as a Stagecoach student.


“Our conference is always a highly anticipated event in the Stagecoach calendar,” said CEO Andy Knights. “It serves as a cornerstone event, bringing together the entire network to exchange valuable insights, forge new connections and collectively take stock of our achievements while enabling us to realign our goals and strategies for the year ahead.”

Franchisees travelled from as far as Germany, Canada and Malta to attend this year’s conference. This year’s theme, Together Towards Tomorrow, emphasised the values of unity, teamwork and collaboration within the Stagecoach community.

Together Towards Tomorrow encapsulates the essence of Stagecoach’s collective vision,” explained Andy. “At its core, the theme highlights the power of working together to overcome challenges, embrace innovation and strive towards our shared goals. I’m delighted by the overwhelmingly positive response from our global network to this year’s theme, reinforcing our commitment to fostering a supportive and inclusive community that propels us forward as we navigate the ever-evolving performing arts landscape.”



Before dinner and an evening of entertainment, esteemed franchisees were honoured for their remarkable milestones in business alongside receiving awards that were voted for by the franchisee network. Nermin Avlar, franchisee and Principal at Stagecoach Hannover-Nord was one of the hard-working franchisees to receive an award, winning International Franchisee of the Year for her continued success within the German network over the last 12 months.

“I’m honoured to have received the International Franchisee of the Year award,” explained Nermin. “It’s truly humbling to be acknowledged for my passion and commitment, both in working with my students and supporting fellow franchisees. This award reinforces the importance of creating a strong and supportive community within the Stagecoach network, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to make a positive impact.”

Another franchisee recognised for her achievements was Melanie Edwards, franchisee and Principal at Stagecoach Hinchley Wood & Esher, who won Franchisees’ Franchisee of the Year Award voted for by her peers.

“Winning the award left me completely shellshocked,” said Melanie. “I thought it was a mistake! When a franchisee approached me and congratulated me, I expressed my disbelief and she said she’d voted for me. She said she asked for advice on the Principals’ Facebook page and I was the first to respond. I met another lady who shared a similar story. I’d helped her find pom-poms that wouldn’t shed for a High School Musical production by sharing a link. That’s when I finally started to understand the impact of my support.”

“At Stagecoach, we place immense value on fostering a sense of community, so it felt like the perfect moment to recognise the network’s achievements at the end of a productive day filled with learning and collaboration,” said Andy. “It filled me with pride to commend these exceptional franchisees and celebrate the collective successes of our global network. As we reflect on this year’s conference, I’m already looking forward to next year’s event, where we will once again take stock of another year of outstanding performances and continue to strengthen the bond within our Stagecoach family.”


To find out more about franchise opportunities with Stagecoach Performing Arts, visit