So You Want to Put on a Tour…

tours

LPR Tour Planning Guide

Things to Go Over 1-6 Months Before Your Tour tours First and foremost, try to attend the LPR PlanningMeeting and inform the Board of your desire to put on a tour. The Planning Meeting is usually held in November. Be sure to have an idea of the month you would like to conduct your tour, along with the type of tour you might be thinking about putting on (i.e., 1-day or 2-day, etc.). If, for whatever reason, you are not able to make the Planning Meeting, then simply contact the Tour Chairperson for LPR and express your interest in putting on a tour, and he/she will consult the calendar of events and see if there is an opportunity to squeeze your tour in. Now, let’s assume for the moment that you have got your tour on the calendar and everything is a go, here are some other things you should make sure to address prior to your tour date.

Make sure that all of the tour publicity is available 2-3 months prior to your tour. In other words, make sure to contact the Post Editor with all pertinent information regarding your tour, such as the type of tour (i.e., 1-day or 2-day), the name of your tour, its destination, etc. This will allow the Prieta Post Editor time to prepare a brief promotional advertisement in the POST approximately two months prior to the event, and then a larger, more detailed advertisement the month before the event. Approximately 1-2 months prior to your tour, you will need to contact the Activities Director to complete the requisite insurance forms for PCA.

Drive the tour route as many times as necessary to ensure that you have all of the route information correct, such as mileage, names of roads/streets, places to stop, etc. It is strongly recommended that you drive your route at least twice to make sure that there are no errors and/or surprises. Once again, be sure to write down the entire route of the tour from start to finish, such as street names, highways, turns, etc., along with mileages if possible. Remember, the more information you can provide regarding route instructions the better!

You should probably have your route determined at least 4-6 months prior to your tour date. That will give you ample time to drive the route several times, make modifications to the route should you decide to do so, take down all of the information regarding street names, mileage, etc., as well as investigate some of the various activities you would like to include in your tour, such as stopping at a winery for some wine tasting, etc. Additionally, it is strongly recommended that you drive your route once more about 3-4 weeks prior to your event to ensure that road conditions have not changed or been compromised since the last time you drove it. That way, if a new construction project has started up, or some of the roads on your route have been recently tarred and/or graveled, you will have ample time to find an alternate route.

Finally, if you need any help or have any questions regarding your tour, be sure to contact the Tour Chairperson. They will be more than happy to help you!

Things to Go Over 1-2 Weeks Before Your Tour

Select someone to do the Observer’s Report and get their agreement. Make sure to send an email to everyone who is participating in your tour. Be sure to remind everyone of the date and time your tour will be starting along with the start location and directions to it (you may want to include your cell phone number in this email as well just in case any emergencies arise on the way to the start location). It is recommended that the Tour Leader arrive at the start location at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the tour, and begin the Drivers’ Meeting approximately 20 minutes prior to the start time. If you have chosen to have your start location in a restaurant parking lot (assuming you are having breakfast at said restaurant), it is suggested that you leave any packets of information at the restaurant should you have any participants who might be running late. Typically, restaurant staff will be happy to hold those packets and give it to those who missed the start time of the tour.

In your email, be sure to discuss any other issues related to your tour, such as meals, hotels/motels (if you are doing a two-day tour), events such as wine tasting, etc., as well as their respective costs. In other words, make every effort to communicate all that there is to know about your tour to ensure there are no surprises. Tours that have a large number of cars should be broken up into groups of 10. Select leaders for the other groups in advance, preferably someone who has led a tour of their own in the past. It is strongly recommended that they pre-drive the route with the leader using the route instructions. By pre-driving the route they will be familiar with the route and can suggest changes to any instructions that they find unclear.

A list of all participants, by group if applicable, with their cell phone number and the year, model and color of their cars should be included in the drivers’ packet. Be sure to place route instructions, along with anything else that might be pertinent to the tour, in an 8” x 10” envelope and set them aside for your upcoming tour. Additionally, you may want to provide the participants a copy of a professional map highlighting the actual route. Be sure to write the participant’s name(s) on the outside of the envelope, along with your cell phone number in case of emergency. Though this is purely optional, you may want to consider putting a few snacks/goodies in the envelope to help your participants ward off any hunger pangs or grumpiness that might materialize during the course of the tour!

Make sure to bring maps of the area/region where your tour will be traveling through just in case of road closures due to accidents, weather, etc. In other words, having a map or two will go a long way in helping you locate an alternate route should these kinds of unforeseen (and unfortunate) events occur.

This is purely optional, but if you are planning a two-day tour, or perhaps hosting a one-day tour where restaurants or other things are planned, you may want to confirm any reservations you might have made 1-2 weeks before your tour date. One can never be too thorough when it comes to these sorts of things.

Things to Go Over at Drivers’ Meeting the Morning of Your Tour

tours Make sure that everyone who is going on the tour (drivers and passengers) signs the release form.

Make sure that everyone drives with their headlights on during the entire tour.

Make sure that everyone has a full tank of gas prior to the start of the tour.

In case of emergencies, make sure to give all of the participants your cell phone number, and remember to keep your cell phone on throughout the entire tour.

Make sure to announce the various forms of communication that will be used during the tour (i.e., CB’s, FRS, GMRS, etc.), and inform the group which channels will be used.  With multiple groups it is suggested that each group use a different CB channel to avoid confusing conversations. Let everyone know that the club has 2 loaner CB’s if anyone wishes to use one. It is the tour leader’s responsibility to get the loaners from the Tour Chairperson, if he/she is not attending the tour. It is a requirement that the group leaders and “Tail-end Charlies” have CB’s to communicate with each other. Good communication during the actual tour is essential to ensuring a successful tour. So, do not be shy about using them! More communication is better than less.

Stress the importance of obeying the speed limit throughout the entire tour. We are all ambassadors for the Loma Prieta Region, PCA, and Porsche. Therefore, we should make every effort to ensure that others we share the road with recognize us as responsible citizens and motorists. Furthermore, it is imperative that you (i.e., the Tour Leader) drive at (or even UNDER) the speed limit throughout the tour. Driving above the speed limit will invariably cause the cars behind to have to drive even faster to maintain contact with you (and the group), especially if there are numerous stop lights, stop signs, driving through congested areas, etc., along the route. These vehicular impediments will most certainly cause delays for those behind you. Therefore, drive at (or even below) the speed limit. By doing so, you will help keep the tour participants not only happier and less stressed, but also keep the group together, which is what a tour is all about!

Make sure to remind everyone participating to maintain visual contact with the car ahead of them AND behind them. If the route has numerous stoplights, stop signs, or travel through heavily populated areas, etc., it is very likely the group will become separated. It is your responsibility as Tour Leader to make certain that the group stays together. This may mean driving below the speed limit, or even pulling over and waiting, until the cars behind catch up and the group is once again reassembled. Use your communication device(s) to maintain contact with those behind to assess the situation, and if need be, slow down or pull over when it is safe and prudent to do so in order to allow ample time for those behind to catch up and reassemble. Passing on 2 lane roads is NOT ALLOWED.

If there are participants on the tour who are new to LPR and/or new to touring, it is strongly recommended that they be placed near the front of the group near the Tour Leader. This will help minimize any possibility of them becoming lost during the tour, etc., and will undoubtedly lead to a more enjoyable experience for them, thereby increasing the probability of their participation in future tours.

Distribute your information packets (please see “Things to Go Over 1-6 Months Before Your Tour” for more information on route instructions, etc.) It is strongly recommended that the packet of information be given to each participant after they sign the release form. This will help ensure that everyone signs the release form.

Have everyone reset their odometers to zero prior to the start of the tour, especially if route instructions provide mileages.

Make sure to select a “Tail-end Charlie” for your tour prior to departure. This person will typically be a seasoned veteran of many tours, have a CB, and loves to herd (Porsches in this case!) They will be invaluable, especially if your tour passes through heavily populated/congested areas.

Finally, be safe and have fun!