As a veteran of 6 concert tours with my own various ensembles over the years, I have learned a lot. The most important thing that I have learned is all the work and effort to make a tour happen is worth it, every single time.
- Choose a really great company to work with to create irreplaceable experiences. A good travel company can make or break a performance tour. Over 95% of clients evaluate their travel experience with Encore Tours as excellent. Those are numbers you can depend on and is the most important piece of information for recruiting people for an international concert tour. People want to know they can consistently depend on good value, excellent service, exciting itineraries and meaningful performance opportunities in their trip. This kind of satisfaction and consistency will keep them coming back and establish a tradition with new participants who know that “yes, it is wonderful…go and make it happen!”
- Allow plenty of time to plan for the trip. Time is one of the greatest gifts you can give your participants. Get on a cycle: for example, my ensemble travels every two years so members can plan ahead. This way, even if a participant can only travel every four years, they know what the cycle is going to be.
- Restructure the shock of the sticker price. If your participants have 18 months to plan ahead financially, a $4,000 trip is only $7.50 a day, with over $80 more of additional spending money. Show them that the trip is doable. Another thing that can help with this is…
- Fundraising! For many, this is a four letter word, but it doesn’t have to be. Be smart about your fundraising efforts and find the right people to do the job. Fundraising doesn’t have to be complicated—here are some simple ideas to help. The right fundraiser can seriously lift a lot of the financial weight off of your ensemble’s shoulders: Encore’s Fabulous Fundraiser (included when you travel with Encore Tours) has raised over $50,000 for some groups, and the average earning is close to $10,000. Lastly, personal fundraising pages can also help individual passengers afford to travel and make a performance tour more accessible to those who might not have otherwise been able to go.
- Have people who have traveled with the group in the past speak about their experiences. This keeps the trips alive and in the forefront of everyone’s minds, and personal accounts of an experience are always best!
- Create a voluntary buddy system. Assign a person that you know is participating on a trip to a person who might be on the fence and needs some encouragement to sign up. People often need a nudge to make it to the finish line. have seen great results from this, and as a bonus it also often builds a stronger spirit within the ensemble. I even had one pair of buddies that ended up getting married. Another benefit of travel, I guess!