On Friday, November 18, Belmont hosted Diving Deeper Into Tour Management, a Curb College seminar featuring Eric Kilby, music tours regional director at Compassion International. Kilby shared how to succeed in tour management and the importance of great leadership. Kilby is the former tour manager for Winter Jam Tour Spectacular, The Story Tour, Matthew West, Sara Evans and Little Big Town and the former tour manager and saxophone player for Denver & The Mile High Orchestra. Kilby is also a Belmont alumnus.
While on campus, Kilby began by saying that tour management depends upon who you know–not what you know. If you want to succeed in tour management, he said you have to be relational, understand how to talk to people and have a neutral mindset.
Kilby discussed the importance of being willing to learn from challenges, understanding that whoever writes your check is your employer, and you are their ambassador. As a tour manager, Kilby said you will not get the glory–if that’s what you’re hoping for, this might not be the career for you.
He went on to advise students that when you get a “no,” you must keep going until you hear “yes.” He said to ask questions ahead of time to be prepared and meet expectations. Kilby also advised students to find a mentor in the industry, someone that can “speak into your life” and provide the necessary wisdom to move forward.
Kilby concluded by stating that the world may say the most rewarding part of this business is bigger buses and arenas and more tickets, but that the people in his life have made the biggest difference. Kilby was introduced by Lucas Boto, Belmont’s coordinator of sound reinforcement and live events.