Touring executives sat down today at Billboard's annual Touring Conference and Awards to give advice to up-and-coming artists about the basics of touring. Here are some excerpts from this afternoon's panel, How to Tour and Make Money (Even If No One Knows Who You Are).

-- "The oldest and truest trick in the touring business is for bands to start where they live. Be weary of creating a national audience from scratch." (Andrew Mains, VP of artist relations and marketing, Topspin Media)

Panos Panay, founder/CEO, Sonicbids, offered a counterpoint to that claim, saying, "Nowadays, with the Internet, audiences are becoming global. Maybe your biggest fan base isn't down the street -- maybe it's across the globe."

-- Many panelists noted that meeting agents and industry folks who will help you reach fans on tour is extremely important. Panay offered this insight: "The most important people for baby bands who are touring to meet are other bands. It's the surest way broaden a fanbase -- by swapping shows."

-- On the topic of smaller bands playing alternative venues, like house shows, CutMerch president Steve Gerstman said, "Rock clubs don't want to hear from a band if it can't being in at least 50 people."

-- "An intimate connection with fans in a young age group is invaluable. I encourage playing youth events and high schools -- you will find fans who will support you more than you'd believe." (recording artist Laura Warshauer)

-- When touring smaller markets, view it as an investment in the future. "Plan on going back to every place you had success, and figuratively, leave something of value behind," Mains said.

-- On the lack of tour support from record labels. "It is possible for a band to make it work on tour without tour support from a label -- all of our bands have done it." (John Chavez, agent, Ground Control Touring)

-- "More consumer brands are, in a way, stepping in to replace label funding," Panay said.

-- Tour merch. "Beyond making money on merch, you want someone to be a walking ad for your band," Panay said.

"Merch is two things: You need to make money, but on the other hand, it's important to create a bond between band and fan. Offer different kinds of merch for fans of all commitment levels," Gerstman said.