Tips for the First Time Group Leader
Over the years, I’ve worked with a number of directors planning a trip for the first time. Here are some steps to take that I’ve found will help ensure your first tour is a success.
Assemble your support team
Doing everything on your own while juggling your other responsibilities as an educator is overwhelming for a veteran, let alone a first-time director. In addition to your travel planner, trusted parents and assistants are available to help as well. Collaborating with them on decisions and delegating tasks will further ensure your trip is a success. This collaboration also allows you to focus more on the music, and less on logistics.
Choose a destination that’s tried and true
A strong showing is important to the success of your first trip. Increase the trip’s appeal by choosing a destination that is proven popular among student groups. Orlando, New York, and Chicago are three of the most popular places to consider. If these options are further from home than you’d like for your first trip, your travel planner can help pick a destination that is both exciting for students and within reach.
Keep it simple
The top performance travel destinations offer a wealth of world-class attractions and performance venues. You may be tempted to pack in as much as possible, but it’s best to keep things simpler on your first trip. Focus on experiencing the top attractions and performance opportunities for your group’s needs. An experienced travel planner will craft an itinerary that strikes the right balance.
Run an amazing parent meeting
When much of the initial planning is complete, it’s time to officially introduce the trip to your students and their parents. The initial parent meeting is an opportunity to start building interest in the trip and share important details. Our guide can help make your parent meeting a home run.
Prepare your students
As you are preparing your students musically, ensure they are prepared to travel as well. Send out a packing list early on (so students have time to purchase any items they may not have) and then again close to departure (so students don’t forget any of the five most forgotten items). Set clear expectations for the trip and inform students of any necessary logistics (such as how long they have to prepare and warm up prior to a performance) to prevent surprises when you arrive.
Let your chaperones help
Keeping track of everyone and everything is not a one person job. Chaperones are an important part of a smooth trip. Start with a look at our previous blog post, which outlines how to select, prepare, and reward chaperones for your tour.
Relax and focus on the music
You’ve done what was needed to prepare, and now it’s time to shine! Your travel planner will be keeping an eye on things to ensure your tour goes off without a hitch. All you need to do is focus on the music, and on having a memorable experience.
Planning a performance tour is within reach. We’re here to help you plan a memorable tour for you and your students.
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