STEP 6: Options, confirm details

At least two weeks before your show, you will want to make another phone call to make sure that everything is still on track.  Possibly your host will want to know about your food preferences because they are going to make you dinner.  Possibly they changed the venue at the last minute (make sure you change the details on the calendar if they did!).  Its always good to hear in advance that they think a lot of people will be coming (or very few).  If necessary, go over all the crucial details again – “you got a projector right?” or “you found us a place to sleep that doesnt have cats right?” – and ask them if there will be any local groups who want to speak about their work or make announcements.

Then let them know that there is one more big email coming their way, and if possible, send it immediately after you get off the phone.  That is #3 in the Standard Tour Responses doc, Confirmation & Promotion.  This is a great resource for your hosts, providing a full package of promotional materials, and it includes reminders about all the basic necessities.

By the way, it is much better to give links to cloud-stored flyers, pictures, promotional guide, etc, rather than to attach them.  Sometimes attachments dont go through, sometimes people cant open them, and sending 10mb out to every host makes for lots of wasted space in your sent box.

Its very important to insist that your hosts fill out the Confirmation Form  – pester them regularly if necessary.  The Confirmation Spreadsheet that the form dumps into gives you all the info you need to make sure the tour calendar is accurate, where to meet your host, where to park at the event, if the venue will be closed when you get into town – basically its all about ensuring that you show up in the right place at the right time.

If all has gone well, I usually will not talk to that host again until just a few days before our show.  All the logistics should be set, and they will just be promoting and waiting.  Some times, an event doesnt get confirmed until the last minute.  I will some times ask a host to fill out the confirmation form even if they dont know the time of the event, or the honorarium amount, or whether they have a projector or not – its just important to get date, venue, and address on the website calendar asap, and asking them to fill out that form is simply the fastest way to ask all the most important questions.

STEP 7: Present!

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