arTour is keen to encourage a more direct relationship between producers and presenters. Whilst arTour will be there to support and assist in whatever way needed, a direct conversation between artists and venues is a far more beneficial way to understand the requirements and demands of each group.
Queensland Touring Showcase has been shaped around increasing this connection between producers and presenters with plenty of opportunities to meet people who you haven't met before, learn about what works in which communities, tell people about your show and begin exploring possible tours.
So, how do you make the most of these new conversations?
Firstly, be ready to talk. Think about what you messages you want to convey, what is important for people to understand quickly and what makes you different from others. Having an 'elevator pitch' ready to go is an important way to spark further interest in what you have to offer.
Listen. It's easy to get excited talking about the things you're most familiar with. Make sure you are giving the other person time to talk as well. Ask questions, use the opportunity to learn as much as possible about them in the time you have.
Be flexible. Touring requires an open mindset focused on resolving challenges rather than looking for them. Consider in advance what options are available to you when presenting or performing shows. What other configurations are possible in your theatre or hall? How can your show be adapted to fit a larger or smaller space?
Don't try to be all things to all people. Think about the audience you represent or the audience your work has been created for. Be clear about this so that your conversations can be more targeted and productive.
Follow up. If you have had a great conversation, ask for the other person's contact details and remember to follow up soon after meeting. Ask what further information is useful to the other person and be sure to send it as soon as possible too.
Stay in touch. If you are genuinely interested in a particular show or venue remember to keep the lines of communication open. Respond to emails and phones calls, be open and transparent about your capacity, and position.
It won't always work out. There are many factors involved in getting a tour out the door and sometimes it just doesn't come together. Keep the conversation open though -- think about other times or ways to make it possible. If you or the other person loses interest in the project then badgering them won't make it any better.