We were recently invited by Making Music to attend and present at their 2021 members online event. Attended by a cohort of ensemble representatives and suppliers we were all provided with a platform to discuss what we could offer making Music Members. High on the agenda were discussions around the challenges that COVID has presented and how we work together to overcome these as we make our way safely out of the pandemic and return to rehearsals and performing.
As Concert Tour Operations Manager at Rayburn Tours it was a great opportunity for me to enjoy some ‘face to face’ style contact with members and other suppliers. There were many friends of ours in attendance as well as a host of ‘new faces’ eager for information and advice about our topic of common interest – Making Music!
Barbara Eifler, Chief Executive of Making Music kicked off the day with an update on the outcomes of research conducted during the pandemic and addressing how groups in different areas of the country were dealing with getting back to rehearsals. Guidance is complicated and challenging to say the least, but there is no doubt that there was an absolute desire to ‘get things going’ as soon as possible. The research also showed that while technology has been a god send for many during the last year, it had also been a challenge and often a barrier to many members attending remote rehearsals.
The 17th May 2021 is the next key date in the roadmap out of the pandemic where guidance for groups will be updated and we will again be able to take further steps towards in person rehearsals and performing to an audience. It’s been a long wait for all, but it’s definitely coming!
In my 2 minute presentation slot I quickly provided members with an open and honest account of how we dealt with the monumental challenges that the pandemic presented to us and how we strived to keep our customers best interests at the heart of everything we did, achieving the best possible outcomes for all. As we start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, reassurance was provided in terms of how we would support members in getting back to embarking on international concert tours.
Break out rooms were then formed and we were all ushered into our respective meetings. We crossed paths with other respected suppliers and ensemble representatives who were armed with a host of questions and a desire for information and advice to take back to their group members. It quickly became apparent that members welcomed our attendance at the event, with many keen to explore providing their group with an opportunity to tour. The mood was very much of the essence that after the year we’ve all experienced, never would these experiences be needed more.
This train of thought has also been mirrored when we’ve been talking to groups over the last couple of months. There’s no doubt that the early signs are that the desire and demand to tour in 2022/23 is going to be at an all-time high.
I felt privileged to be representing Rayburn Tours at the event. It was impeccably ran, Making Music again doing an astounding job of forging the way forward for their members and like us doing everything they can to support them every step of the way.
For anyone reading this and feeling inspired to travel and tour – please remember when you’re ready, we’re ready.