On Thursday 3rd November, Code Ninjas franchisees from the UK travelled nearly 5,000 miles to attend its annual convention, NinjaCon, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The convention was the first time since 2019 that hundreds of franchisees from across the US, Canada and the UK could come together in person to participate in training and networking, also celebrating the successes in the network within the last 12 months.
Lee Richards, who opened his Code Ninjas dojo in Epsom earlier this year, was one of the British franchisees who travelled to Las Vegas to toast to a year that has been jam-packed with success – both at his studio and many others across the international network.
“The conference was lots of fun! It was really encouraging to be surrounded by so much positivity, creativity and new ideas, not forgetting the bright lights of Las Vegas! It was a great opportunity to learn and socialise with so many in the network,” said Lee.
After two years of meeting franchisees virtually, this year marked the first time since the pandemic that the network could meet in person and recognise their collective efforts.
“We were thrilled to bring our franchise community together again,” said Justin Nihiser, CEO of Code Ninjas. “NinjaCon has always been such a special event, and we’d missed the opportunity to get together in one place and learn from each other.”
This sentiment was echoed by Lee, “Up until now, I hadn’t had the chance to connect with many of the Home Office team in person. Seeing so many others face to face was really exciting – especially those whom I had only ever been able to speak to virtually. I particularly enjoyed meeting and catching up with the support team who helped me a lot during the early stages of my new Code Ninjas business.”
One of the aims of NinjaCon is to offer franchisees the opportunity to attend sessions and keynotes from experts on a range of topics – from marketing and culture to technology and curriculum.
“The sessions were so useful – especially discussion-led sessions where we could bounce ideas off each other,” explained Lee. “I came back with lots of helpful tips for running my business, insight on exploring best practices and ways to teach kids from all backgrounds how to code. All the information I came back with from NinjaCon will help me improve how we run things at Epsom.
“The UK has some unique challenges compared to the USA and Canada, but I look forward to refracting some of the advice through a localising lens, so it focuses on my business. My drive to embed my Epsom franchise into my local community has been given greater impetus after hearing some of the great ideas already tried out by franchisees internationally.”
For Justin, it was important to host a range of sessions that meant franchisees would remain inspired to maintain their dedication and hard work while creatively approaching challenges ahead.
“The main goal of these sessions was to ensure franchisees run great Code Ninjas studios and help children become the problem solvers of the future,” says Justin. “This year’s NinjaCon purpose was to learn, connect and celebrate.
“NinjaCon is our way of taking stock of what we have achieved in relation to our strategic targets. In terms of the UK market, we have successfully managed to reach our goals, which is down to the ongoing commitment of franchisees like Lee. It’s great to see such passion from our Code Ninjas family on the other side of the Atlantic, and I can’t wait to see what they will achieve in the future.
I look forward to celebrating their 2023 achievements this time next year!” said Justin.