Tour Management Manual: Tour Well End Well – Part 4
Time to finish well – making sure everyone ends the tour with energy (not collapsing in a heap!) and is looking forward to working with you and your company again. It’s also a great opportunity to see what worked, and to express your sincere thanks and gratitude to the touring company for all their hard work.
Share tools and techniques to support the touring company with preparing for the end of the tour, financially and psychologically. See the final section of Tour Well for more information.
Communicate the end of tour before the end of tour. From a practical point of view, it is difficult to hold a touring company debrief after the tour has ended, so look to schedule your debrief in the last section of the tour, and see if you can attend, or at least phone in.
Hold individual exit meetings with touring company members. This allows you to both assess if additional support is required, and to hear feedback that can be considered for future tours. If the touring company are from across Australia, these meetings can be held by phone/video.
Recognise that, although it’s great to be at home, it’s ok and understandable to miss touring life. Acknowledge the transition phase for the company, and encourage them to seek help if they’re struggling with the return to home life.
Express your thanks and gratitude to the team through:
- Saying thank you
- Hand-written thank you cards
- Personal emails with genuine messages of what you appreciated about that person’s contribution
If you have received feedback from the company during the exit interview/debrief process, let the whole company know how feedback will be actioned to improve the next tour.
Set up a simple way to share photos – perhaps a shared folder, or a closed group on social media.
Airplane safety briefings always remind us to ‘fit your own oxygen mask before helping others’, and we know we can’t pour from an empty cup. As the tour manager, you are juggling a lot of responsibilities, personalities, challenges, schedules, pressures, finances, marketing, legislation, expectations and much more. It is essential that your mental health and wellbeing is not compromised because you’re too busy looking after everyone else!
Often we think of ‘self-care’ as indulgent – something we’ll do when we have time. Or worse, we only do it if we’ve become unwell and have no choice but to prioritise it! You can use your self-care for prevention – focus on getting plenty of sleep, maintaining exercise routines and eating well if you know you’re heading into a busy time (like planning a tour, writing a major grant).
Consider setting some personal goals for the tour. Is there something you’d like to focus on, learn, explore, test, or try? This can help reframe challenges during the tour, and see the challenge as a learning opportunity rather than an imposition.
Rather than completing one tour and moving straight into the next one, take time out to:
- Celebrate a job well done.
- Complete acquittals – while not renowned for being the most exciting job, use it as an opportunity to relish all the positive feedback that was received, and the successes of the tour. Look at the opportunities for growth and improvement, and savour all that you’ve learnt from the process.
- If possible, delegate some post-tour tasks to give you some breathing space.
- Have your own debrief – what worked well? Why did it work well? What would you like to do differently next time?
Pat yourself on the back. You’re doing an awesome job. Through your commitment, dedication and leadership in promoting positive mental health, you have made a huge difference not only to your company, but to our wonderful industry.