Travel Notes

Dream Big: Taking Your Program to the Next Level

Here at BRT, we’re buzzing from the excitement of our biggest travel season yet. This spring, we’ll host over 40,000 students from over 500 schools across the country, taking them to incredible destinations both on and off the beaten path. (We’re looking at you, St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin!)

Watching these student travelers grow as both young adults and seasoned performers is so meaningful for us. But we’re just as excited to see how our clients’ programs grow because of performance travel.

Many of our clients have become our close friends over the years, and we’ve watched some of their performance groups evolve into nationally recognized programs. We’ve noticed that the programs that take it up a notch have some similar qualities that we think are worth sharing. So, if you’re dreaming of growing your program and taking your student performers to the next level, this post is for you.

Here are the three biggest success factors we’ve noticed:

A Consistent Travel Calendar

When travel becomes part of your program, your performers know to expect an awesome travel experience with their friends every year or every two years. Some may even join (and stay) because of the trip!

A consistent travel schedule gives your program a foundation, creating a legacy that lasts long after your current students have graduated – and that acts as a magnet to recruit new students. Whether you’re traveling to one yearly competition or incorporating several events into your annual program, create consistency so students and families know what to expect and look forward to.

A Solid Fundraising Strategy

The most successful groups may have an army of boosters behind them now, but very few started out that way. Our clients with the most robust programs know that fundraising is an ongoing activity.

Fundraising campaigns for trips or competitions are necessary (and help build camaraderie and culture!), but once those funds are raised, successful programs keep on raising. This builds a nest egg for future activities and makes it easier to make the positive changes that a strong program requires.

Additionally, directors with successful programs are in tune with what’s realistic for their families. They understand the financial climate of their communities and they plan, fundraise and communicate accordingly. Many of them started off by using the fundraising ideas we shared with them!

A Great Attitude

While we don’t have hard data on this point, we believe that the attitude of the director affects everything. Students are keen observers – they don’t miss anything. And they’ll pick up on how you present and communicate an upcoming trip, performance or competition.

If you’re excited, they will be too. If you’re negative, nervous or even ambivalent, they will be too. Your attitude shapes how your students will perform – both in the classroom and on the road. Show your students that you’re confident in them, in the performance tour or competition you’ve planned and in your program in general (even if your own confidence hasn’t caught up just yet).

It’s such an honor for us to work with our clients in every stage of their programs. Whether you’re brand new, in program-rebuilding mode or a seasoned veteran, we’d love to partner with you on your next performance tour.


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