As a tour manager, you have the opportunity to make a very good living. Even though working as a tour manager is not all fun and games, it has many advantages above and beyond the financial ones.
Some of the biggest advantages are:
- Making your own flexible schedule
- Working less. Most tour managers work only 8-10 months per year.
- Being free to do what you wish for the rest of your year or until your next tour starts.
- Having the opportunity to live and work all around the country.
- Being able to meet hundreds of new people.
If you enjoy traveling, meeting new and interesting people, and you have great problem solving skills, becoming a tour manager could be for you!
How do we choose managers?
When we recruit tour managers we look for several different skills, knowledge sets, abilities and experiences for an individual to have.
Some of the experience, skills, and abilities needed:
Work history. Has the candidate been a brand ambassador and/or tour manager or market manager in the past?
Work ethic. Has the candidate shown a proven work ethic on events worked in the past? These types of individuals have usually shown up to events they were previously booked on: early, ready to work, followed directions well, followed paperwork and administrative guideline instructions well, have a positive attitude, and just went that ‘extra mile’.
Have expert problem solving skills. We know that trucks break down, generators stop working during events, flights get delayed. Tour managers need to be able to identify the problem at hand quickly and work efficiently to correct the issue as soon as possible.
Multi Taskers. Our tour managers need to be able to take on a variety of tasks. In any given week they could be expected to, drive up to 2000 miles, set up multiple events, manager several labor crews, manage many event staff teams, meet important clients for dinners, obtain appropriate permits from local governments and authorities, speak with consumers about the brand they’re promoting and be sure their team is doing the same.
In a perfect world, all workers would have the skills, abilities, and experience above, however, we all know that we don’t live in a perfect world. We look for people that have the above qualifications and go above and beyond for us and our clients.
So how do you become a tour manager?
The first step to becoming a tour manager is to work as many events as a brand ambassador as possible. Gaining experience in events not only will look great on your ‘tour manager resume’ but will also give you the much needed knowledge and problem solving abilities that you will need when you’re out in the field.
While working events be sure to go that extra mile! Get to know the tour managers and other event staff. The more people you know in the industry, the better!
Some of the things we suggest..
Offer to stay at the event and help with tear down.
Never complain to the tour manager about the conditions or ask for an extra break or if you can leave early, etc. (We understand everyone has emergencies and life happens.. But as a general rule!)
Ask the tour manager how you can help to make their event better. (They’ll notice you’re trying hard)
Always act professional. No one will hire you to lead an event for hundreds of teams if they can’t trust you to be professional at all times.
Always be sure you follow the guidelines set up for paperwork and payment by the agency you’re working for. The agency you’re working for always looks at how well you followed instructions when you were hired as a basis for what your work ethic will be like.
Be positive! Everyone likes to work with postivie and fun people.
Keep in touch with Staffing agencies and other industry professionals. Send thank you emails, cards and letters letting companies know if you enjoyed working with them, enjoyed their fast payments, etc. This will help you stand out from others. Let’s face it, staffing agencies (like us) get thousands of resume and emails a week. Standing out from the rest, as the best, is always a good thing!
Don’t be afraid to send your resume to many companies. Make as many contacts as you can.
Avoid companies that seem shady (go with your gut instinct)
Ask co workers on events about companies. Chances are other industry professionals have had experience with them and can let you know if they were happy working for them. (i.e. They were paid fast, or unfortunately in some cases, not paid at all), the tour was low budget, problems were not dealt with in a timely manner, etc.
Once you land you first tour, work hard, don’t quit, learn to manage, learn to problem solve, and work with your account manager in the office to make sure the tour is a absolute success. If you have to drive 800 miles to an event set up run the event, and then be in another city 3 days later. Get the job done!
Once you work one tour or a few and give %100 then you will find that companies will start to find you. Do you homework if you are offered a tour. Make sure the pay is fair, the per diem is up to par, and you will be driving in a safe vehicle. Be sure the company does what it says it is going to do and always get the information you need in writing.
if you are driving a box truck or something similar, make sure you are up to par on the legalities. If you have to have a driving log, your own insurance, etc. Some marketing companies will pay you to go to driving school to get a CDL or other driving licenses. Always find out all the tour details prior to accepting the job and remember nothing in life goes as planned. Cities might change, the tour might be cut short, or extended just remember to always give %100 and give a positive attitude and you will do well as a tour manager.