Juggling tour dates—frustration or flexibility?
When I was booking tours, I used to map out my ideal tour route and then begin to line up dates to fit into my route. At the start of the process, everything looked so neat and organized to fit my plan.
And then, BAM! Someone wanted a date that threw the whole darn thing into a complete mess. Of course it was one of the important high paying dates that we really wanted to do. It was one of those anchor dates that was originally the reason for the tour in the first place. But they wanted a date at the end of the tour, well not really the end, but sort of close to the end but really closer to the middle. And so juggling tour dates began.
Then the end of the tour becomes the beginning of the tour and the middle moves to either side of the main anchor date and so on and so on, moving dates here and there until my perfectly routed tour is completely unrecognizable.
Ah, I remember those days. I recall my frustration. And then I remembered how I used to think about it as an art form. Juggling is an art form and juggling tour dates so that I satisfied my artist’s needs for an efficiently routed road trip and my presenter’s needs to work within their programming schedule, is quite simply an amazing feat to accomplish. Yet, when booking tours, one must juggle. And one must meet the needs of both the artist and the presenter.
Become a Master Juggler
If you are booking your own tours, then becoming a master juggler of tour dates is something to which you must aspire.
I personally would consider tour date juggling to be of Ninja status and those who accomplish this artistically are to be highly revered.
I only bring this up because I hear so much frustration from artists who are always being asked to move a date here, change a date there and how challenging it is to shuffle and juggle all the dates that are then ultimately effected.
Perhaps when you find yourself faced with this situation, hold yourself up to that Ninja image. You might just approach the task with a little more finesse, be a little more artistic or gracefully even. Don’t allow your frustration to take over.
Become a Ninja Juggler and masterfully rearrange those dates to meet the needs of an efficient tour that also works for your presenters. Demonstrate flexibility and be accommodating in your interactions with your presenters and then artfully arrange your dates. Turn your frustration into flexibility. Remember, as I had to remind myself, initial tour routing plans are made by you and possibly with members of your team. Once you include the buyers, bookers and presenters into the mix, you have to be ready to move dates around, you have to be ready to juggle.
Master the art of juggling tour dates and become a Ninja Booker. Believe me, you’ll feel a lot better every time you are faced with the task. I can just see you now with your Ninja headband on, juggling tour dates.
How do you handle your tour planning? Have you had to juggle tour dates? How did it make you feel?
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