If you are a music director leading a group of musicians on a performance tour, you may find that the administration or board of your school or organization will need to approve your upcoming trip. This is especially true if you are a teacher leading a group of students and, in addition to the school board, may need to convince your principal or superintendent. It is a good idea to set up a meeting with the administration to go over details of the tour and answer any questions they may have. Here are the best-kept secrets to getting your administration’s approval for your tour!
1. Provide a Detailed Proposal for the Tour
The proposal should include a fully detailed itinerary which will have a sample list of the hotels being used, suggested venues for your performances, any meals provided, and all included activities. If taking students on a tour, be sure to focus on the educational value of your daily activities and how it will positively impact the young people who travel. If traveling with adults or musicians outside of a school setting, focus on the value the experience will bring to your musicians individually and your program collectively. Performance tours can help with recruitment and retention, as well as improving the quality of your ensemble’s performances. Your tour company can provide you with all the information needed to give your administration a clear view of the performance tour goals and expectations.
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2. Discuss the Performance Tour Company’s Safety and Security Policy
Your tour company should have a variety of security measures in place to make sure your travelers have the coverage they need in case of any emergencies. Ideally, the tour company will have a 24/7 emergency on-call team and a network of overseas staff to assist if any additional support is needed throughout the tour. A professionally-trained Tour Manager is a must for any overseas tour! Some companies, such as Encore Tours, will automatically provide a basic health insurance plan to cover all of your passengers overseas as well as have general liability insurance and indemnity bonds! Once you go over the security measures, your administration will feel much more at ease sending its members or students overseas.
3. Have a Funding Plan in Place
Finding the funds for a tour can be difficult. Make sure you have a plan in place to help ensemble members raise the funds to go on tour. Are you hosting a fundraising concert? Is your organization providing any of the passengers with scholarships? Your tour company can help you too! At Encore Tours, we give each international traveling group a free trip to Paris or London to use as a fundraising tool! Throughout the year, Encore also provides various opportunities for passengers to enter contests to win prize money and enter applications for scholarships.
Additionally, Encore provides each passenger with their very own personal fundraising page, where individuals can send emails to friends and family and post on social media to crowd-fund for their trip.
Once you have this plan in place, it will be difficult for your administration to say no! You may consider having your tour company’s representative available at the meeting to help discuss any questions or concerns.
If all else fails, see if your performance tour company can offer you a site inspection for you and an administrator or member of the board to check out the hotel and meal quality, performance venues, and the destination in advance!