After lots of hard work, training and dedication, you have the opportunity to tour. Of course, this is great news, and everyone’s very excited! But then reality sinks in. You need to actually organize the tour. All those flights, all those hotel rooms, all those transfers, and all most likely against a strict budget. Where do you start? Take a look through our top tips to make your tour a breeze.
1. Make a packing list
Start off by writing down everything you can think of that you need to take with you. This could be anything from your equipment, your outfits – both for performers and sports teams– to your day to day items such as toiletries. If you prefer certain brands or have specific requirements, then it’s best to take these items with you rather than attempting to find them at short notice in an unfamiliar place.
2. Decide who is coming
When you’re on tour, some people are essential: coaches, musicians, and team members for example. But sometimes, you can fulfill certain roles yourself. The fewer people who come, the more money you save, so think about whether or not you need a massive entourage. Your first ever tour will no doubt have a tight budget, so don’t get carried away.
3. Decide who or where to play
What other teams are you going to play on your tour? Which venues are you going to perform in? To help you decide, think about where you might get the most support, or where logistics are easiest. You should also take travel time and distances into consideration; there’s no point travelling half way across the globe for one game or show when all the rest are in the US, for example. You also won’t want to be away for too long, as your team might start to get restless. Also keep in mind the places you’d like to eventually get to and remember that you can always tour again, so you don’t need to include absolutely everything the first time around.
4. Find the right travel management company
When embarking on a tour, you’ll want to ensure everything runs smoothly. Logistics are very important: you don’t want to have cancel shows or games because of booking errors made on your end. This requires considerable planning and attention to detail, so your best bet is to be as organized as possible. That’s when the services of a travel management company (TMC) come in very useful. A good TMC will arrange all aspects of your tour and logistics for you, ensuring you get to the right place, at the right time.
Look for a TMC who has a plethora of experience in organizing tours just like yours. They’ll not only have all the best supplier contacts, but they’ll be able to include extras such as excess baggage waivers or visa assistance and will be able to meet any special requests you may have. Additionally, specialist TMCs such as Corporate Traveler offer 24-hour emergency assistance, so if something does not go according to plan while you’re on tour, help is just a phone call away.
5. Don’t let the nerves take over
Finally, after all this careful planning, the last thing you want is for nerves to ruin your big game or performance. To help your team cope with playing in front of large crowds in unfamiliar places, mindfulness exercises can help ease stress and anxiety. Your first tour can be a little nerve-wracking, but you’ll get used to it- you’ve trained, you’ve warmed up properly, and your team is there to support you. Just remember to take a minute, savor the moment, and enjoy how far you’ve come.