Event maps are essential for day-of-show planning, but not everyone knows how to make them effectively.

When your event is outdoors or spread amongst several buildings – or if they just need to know where to park – an artist’s tour manager will ask for a clear set of directions and parking instructions. This is more important than you may think. If arriving via tour bus, the entire bus of tour personnel may be asleep upon arrival and they need to have clear instructions for their driver in order to avoid any confusion when they pull in. College campuses often only have one address for their entire campus, which can make it confusing for artist teams to navigate once they get to campus.

Your map doesn’t need to be beautiful, it needs to be functional. If you don’t have experience with photo-editing software, something like Paint on a PC or the “Markup” function in Preview on a Mac will work just fine. To get started, pull up a map of your event space on a Google Maps, take a screenshot, and add the following things:

  • Venue
  • Stage location if outdoors, or if you are sending a map of the inside of your space
  • Parking location
  • Cross streets nearby
  • Green room/hospitality/showers and other dressing room type spaces
  • Hotel if applicable and nearby
  • Catering location if separate
  • Meet and greet location if separate from other spaces
  • Event entrance if you are showing a map of the event grounds
  • Arrows if vehicles need to enter/exit through specific driveways
  • Arrows indicating routes for vehicles to take

At an absolute minimum, your map should include a parking location, with cross streets and the venue indicated, like this one:

And it gets more complicated from here. As touring teams are always in new and different places, and it’s easy to get confused and disoriented. It is very helpful for them to be able to visualize how their day will go, how far apart their resources are, and where the stage is in relationship to the other spaces. This allows them to plan a secure route for artists to move fluidly from vehicles to stage to green room.  

Here is an example of a map for a college campus event where there were many spaces, specific entrances, and even timing constraints involved in the event:

And here is a map from a local community event where the hotel, green room, and stage were blocks away from each other:

As you can see, the most effective maps are easy to follow. Locations are either in color or very clearly marked, and the map includes all the info the artist team needs to know. There is no need to give them additional information that won’t affect their day. 

When you send your event map to an artist team, be sure to include phone numbers for people that can help them if they get lost. If their bus is coming in the middle of the night, this may be a public safety 24-hour number, or someone who has their phone ringer on very loud should they need assistance. Also include a primary day-of-show phone number for someone familiar with the area, so anyone who is lost can get directions from that person. 

An effective map and an available contact number will help alleviate confusion and get artists to where they need to be in a timely fashion. This is a critical part of reaching your ultimate goal – a smooth and successful show day. 

Jolene Chevalier

Founder & Talent Buyer | How To Concerts

Jolene has been a middle buyer for over a decade, helping colleges and others with their concerts, comedians, and speakers. (And, yes, she is named after the Dolly Parton song.) She would love to talk with you about helping to book, plan, and prepare for your event.

920.764.1200   |   [email protected]

Jolene Chevalier

Founder & Talent Buyer | How To Concerts

Jolene has been a middle buyer for over a decade, helping colleges and others with their concerts, comedians, and speakers. (And, yes, she is named after the Dolly Parton song.) She would love to talk with you about helping to book, plan, and prepare for your event.

920.764.1200   |   [email protected]