Let me paint the scene. It is Wednesday afternoon. I’m sitting at my desk at school, attempting to grade as many semester exams and essays as quickly as I can while adding report card comments and filling out some paperwork on a specific student. To say that I was multi-tasking is probably a bit of an understatement. At about 3:45, the student teacher I was working with came in to ask questions about how to grade the finals when I declared that I could not take one more thing. I felt like screaming. I had plans in the evening and grades were due in about 18 hours. My plate was full. Very full. Then, at 3:55, I get a text message from a member of the Daily Duranie “reserves”, those friends of ours who would alert us if there is any Duran news worth noting.
As I debated about whether or not to check the phone, my colleague from across the hall called for me. I remember walking over to talk with her. I know that we exchanged words. What were those words about? No clue. I had a text message from a Duranie. As I turned back to my room, I looked at my phone. Before I could even get to a more private location, I found myself screaming very loudly and calling the band a VERY AFFECTIONATE name. This name isn’t necessarily school appropriate however. Nonetheless, since I was in the hall while I screamed this name, it is now on film since my school has cameras in the halls. Perfect. Just perfect. I knew that my grading would now wait! Why? Simple. I had a tour to plan and here’s how I did it in less than 2 hours!
Step One: Grab the nearest calendar and put the dates in calendar form. It doesn’t matter what kind of calendar but I recommend a monthly calendar. Perhaps, I should have chosen wiser than to use the Holocaust Museum calendar that I have for work but whatever…
Step Two: Look for shows that are close together in terms of dates and locations and eliminate the shows that aren’t. For example, Denver would be super cool but the next concert after that is a few days away and would require an additional flight. That won’t work! I can’t be gone from work that long!!!
Step Three: Look at the possible tour dates that are left. From there, look at the details. You want to hit the most number of shows possible within a short time (stupid work responsibilities get in the way again!). You also want to pay attention to location. Can we get to them without too much hassle? How close are the shows, geographically? Are the shows in cool locations? Anything special to the show? These things can all be determined relatively quickly. Usually, one show immediately sticks out. If so, build a tour around that. For example, we build our UK Tour around the show in Birmingham.
Step Four: Now, that the dates of choice have been picked, re-read the email about presale information and package information. Consider your budget and your desire for good seats and figure out what kind of tickets to buy for next show(s) you are planning on attending. The ticket types you buy may not all be the same for each show, if you are buying for multiple shows, especially now that there are different kind of packages involved with the fan presale. Speaking of presale, it is a good time to check your schedule and determine what needs to be changed, if needed, in order for you to participate in presale. Thankfully, the Duran Gods realized that I’m done with work for these upcoming presales.
Step Five: Present the tour plan to your partner(s)-in-crime. Be prepared to explain why you chose those shows and those ticket packages. After your partner(s) agrees with the plan, set aside another time in order to make more specific plans like plane tickets, hotels, and whatever else is needed.
How long did all of this take? I received the text message at 3:55. Rhonda called me at 5:05. We had the plan in place by 5:43 and had talked to other friends of ours about their plans, too. If there is nothing else we have learned over the last 10 years or so, we have learned how to plan a tour quickly, very quickly. Of course, while I think my method is solid, I would love to hear yours! Maybe with tricks from you guys, we could have a plan for the next one in place within 90 minutes!