A quick post and a leading title!
Obviously, like any photography, if you can use a tripod. In fact, with any photo i would love to use a tripod, take my time with test exposures, spend time composing the image, etc. However, depending on the situation, you may just need to go with your experience, click and see after.
Crowds, you spot a 360 tour opportunity, what ever the situation, you need to spot the opportunity, setup and shoot quick.
‘P’ setting as a very rough average, then ‘manual’ mode, test shot, then shoot.

Software has come along way since the early days of 360 tours and can stitch panos, that would be un-stitchable in the past.
But, photography skills still come into play, when you are in tricky situations – low light, fast action, no good vantage point.
Handheld 360 tours need to replicate what you do on a tripod, so steadiness is key.
One tip – through your lens, push you foot/toe out in front of you until you just see at the bottom of the image.
Use that as a marker and rotate around that spot, keeping not of your general stance by keeping both eyes open when you move around.

This method works, but if you are getting pushed and jockeyed, like at a festival, etc., this you can’t do anything about, so try and up the ISO and use a faster shutter speed – grain is better than blur.

Hand held panos are very possible. Not as accurate as with a tripod, but think you are the sturdy tripod and eventually you will get some good ones.