The performing arts sector has been one of the hardest hit during this pandemic. But that hasn’t stopped one theatre arts franchise achieving awards success and celebrating the strength and resilience of its students in their first virtual conference.

Multi-award winning Razzamataz Theatre Schools has seen thousands of children across the UK engage with interactive online performing arts classes plus hundreds of guest workshops from industry professionals. When the pandemic forced schools to close and classes to go online, Razzamataz provided each franchisee with a huge amount of support in order for them to run live lessons via Zoom, keep their teams motivated, engage children and remain positive as well as get to grips with all the technical elements.

One of the most significant changes that allowed franchisees to successfully pivot their business model to go online in just a couple of weeks was to completely rewrite the Operations Manuel, much of which came from researching different countries’ policies. This was on top of regular one to one support calls, closed Facebook groups that gave weekly tips and challenges and regular PR and communications templates.

All of this and more has been recognised with a number of Award nominations. Razzamataz is delighted to be a finalist in ‘Best Franchisee Support’ and to win Silver in ‘Best Franchisor’ category by the QFA (Qualified Franchise Association). Razzamataz has also been shortlisted as a finalist for the Best Franchise Award, where they were invited to present to a judging panel of industry experts.

“It goes without saying how challenging last year has been but the support and hard work from our Head Office team and inspiring franchisees has enabled us to emerge stronger and more resilient than ever before,” says Denise Hutton Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz. “The most satisfactory result from 2020 has been the feedback from our families. We have seen an average of 80% sign up for our online virtual Razzamataz classes and have received numerous testimonials about how they have brought structure, joy and improvement in mental health to thousands of children. This has been down to the sheer dedication of everyone involved with Razzamataz so the Award success must be shared with our entire team.”

Even through the challenge of the pandemic, Razzamataz has recruited ten new franchisees and successfully opened new schools. For current franchisees, they have seen their business still be able to run at a profit, which has given them the confidence to take on multiple territories and expand their regions.

Much of this was celebrated in the annual Razzamataz conference, which was taken online to keep within government guidelines. One of the big themes was looking at ways to continue to inspire and educate children who have spent so long locked away from their friends. Although the lockdowns and restrictions have been particularly challenging for theatre arts schools, it has also shown how important the arts are for everyone’s emotional and mental wellbeing.

“Our franchisees took on the task of supporting their teams and customers, resulting in some overwhelmingly positive testimonials,” adds Denise. “However, as franchisor, we recognised the toll that it could take on them so we provided resources to help them take care of their own mental health. We launched our own Wellness Service, in which franchisees could request additional emotional support with a coach that we have been working with.”

In fact, to highlight Children’s Mental Health Week and to raise awareness about the importance of the arts, even the future Queen of England has said that it is crucial that children and their parents find a way to express themselves. In a recent video, the Duchess of Cambridge spoke about finding creative ways in which to share your thoughts, ideas, and feelings through art, through drama, through music, or poetry.

The first virtual conference gave franchisees the chance to look back on 2020 and also look to the future with an exciting new vision, which will give them more time to educate students and more time to create exciting opportunities. This includes focusing on building back confidence, life skills and fitness for a generation that has been so badly affected by the pandemic.

There is also an exciting opportunity for current franchisees to be identified as a Regional Developer Franchisee, as opposed to single outlet owners as well as working with new technology and experts to streamline the admin and operations of each individual school.

Typical feedback from the Conference includes: “Thank you for an amazing day, I absolutely loved seeing everyone. You did a fab job at keeping us all engaged online; another great Conference. I came away with the same feeling I have had after every Conference, full of pride and buzzing to put everything I have learnt into action,” Charlotte Olivares, franchisee Razzamataz Maidstone.

Join our network

We are currently looking to launch more theatre schools across the UK and overseas. If you would like to find out more about our ambitious growth plans and be part of multi-award-winning Razzamataz Theatre Schools network, drop Charlotte a line from our friendly Head Office team to book on to one of our virtual Discovery Dens.


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