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Artist & Agent Conference Info

MPAC’s Annual Showcase & Conference is a truly unique event. It is the only place to find a gathering of over 17-20 different presenting organizations from this one state alone. It’s also an inspiring look at what is happening in the performing arts world all over Montana, in communities big and small. The conference is a place to make genuine connections with these communities and bring your art to appreciative audiences.

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Tom & Kalissa Landa
January 2023 Showcase Artist

Artist Testimonial
The Montana Performing Arts Consortium is a fabulous music conference! It has proven to be very beneficial to us both from a business perspective, but more importantly from a community/relationship perspective. The atmosphere and general feel of the conference is conducive to making true and valuable connections with presenters and fellow artists/bookers. I would definitely recommend it to other artists and will be attending future conferences.

Pro Tip for Artists

If you’re showcasing, your 12 minutes in the spotlight might be the best thing since wireless mics but, on its own, it probably won’t get you maximum exposure to Montana presenters. Likewise, if you don’t have a showcase spot, you can still make excellent connections by engaging in these networking events.  

Make sure you attend these events!

  • Turn-The-Tables (Friday)

  • EVERY Resource Room session (Saturday)

  • Artist Jam Session (Saturday night)

We know you’re busy and you probably have to rush off to the next gig or conference. With this in mind, MPAC always makes sure these three important networking opportunities are scheduled on Friday and Saturday—when you’ll probably have a tech/sound check or on the day of your showcase. (You’re welcome!) 


Feel free to book your return flight early Sunday morning. If you can participate in conference events through the end of Saturday night, you’ll get the most out of this conference!

Why come to MPAC?

Realize the full potential of touring in Montana

Many MPAC presenters come from small, rural communities and are completely volunteer-run. These organizations are small but mighty! They don’t typically have the resources to send a representative to a larger regional conference (e.g. ANW, WAA, APAP, etc.) Additionally volunteer representatives typically cannot take time off to accommodate travel and attendance to an out of state conference. 


These presenters can attend MPAC because it is scheduled on a weekend and a central state location is chosen so it’s a drivable distance for a majority of our presenter membership. Most presenters bring multiple representatives.

Montana presenters work together to support artists they book 

MPAC presenters are a well-connected and collaborative group! They will work together to create a tour that works well for everyone. What’s more, they love to advocate for the artists that come to their communities. It’s not uncommon for one tour to lead to another because of recommendations that come after great performances. 

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Dr. Daylight's Jazz Co.
2022 Showcase Artist

Artist Testimonial

I discovered the world of conferences and showcases in 2021. On a whim, I applied to MPAC for a showcase and booth for my Louisiana-based group (Dr. Daylight’s Jazz Company). We attended and showcased in January of 2022 with hopes of receiving a single booking to make up for the investment of flying across the country. Not only did we receive that booking, but an entire tour for 2023 fleshed itself out! One of the dates had fallen through and I returned to MPAC in January of 2023 (just a booth). Familiar faces greeted me and helped fill the date! All of the MPAC crew have constantly been helpful and pleasant folks to work with. MPAC is one of the smaller conferences in the U.S., but well worth the trip! That second trip felt like a family reunion, everyone is down-home sweet. If you are considering attending MPAC, I would highly recommend it!

—Jake Spinella
Dr. Daylight's Jazz Co.

MPAC's conference is well done

The October 2023 showcase will have professional sound engineering by Mike Jones, stage management by Don Phillips, and a union stage crew. The weekend goes by fast but effective networking events and an efficient schedule ensure we have plenty of opportunities to get things done!

Acoustic Eidelon
2022 Showcase Artist

Artist Testimonial

We attended and showcased at MPAC in 2022 and can honestly say that it was the best showcase experience we've ever had! From the sound to the stage management everything was in order and very professional. We especially liked the way that they interviewed the acts right after their showcase while they were setting the stage for the next artist. It gave you a little extra time with the presenters. We booked several concerts and we will attend again and apply to showcase as well. 

—Joe and Hannah 
Acoustic Eidelon

Important conference events for artists and agents 

Translation: don’t miss these events!

Turn the tabls

Turn The Tables

For an hour, artists and presenters literally switch places in the resource room! Presenter representatives are assigned a table where they can display season brochures and other information about their venues. Artists have the opportunity to move about the room and meet with presenter reps. This is a popular event for artists and agents because they have the chance to be the one to “approach” and ask questions. Presenters expect to meet artists here so make sure you’re present!


And there’s a contest…

Presenters compete for the status of “best booth” during Turn The Tables. They get pretty invested in this prize and will often bring elaborate decorations and baked goods to sway things in their favor. (Yum!) A secret judge scrutinizes the displays and announces the winner on Saturday night.

Resource Room Sessions

Access to the Resource Room is by conference badge only. Artists and agents set up booths in the Resource Room with samples of their work and information related to booking. A detailed Resource Room map with artist booths labeled will be made available.


A dedicated “Resource Room Hour” is scheduled directly after each showcase. These events are excellent for continuing conversations started at the Turn The Tables event, building up hype for an upcoming showcase, and following up on interest after a showcase. 


Don’t leave early! If your showcase is early in the day, it still pays to make sure you have booth representation through the end of the last Resource Room hour. There are a lot of people at the MPAC conference so it might take an interested presenter the entire day to make their way to your booth and they will take note if you’ve left early.

Etiquette is important in the resource room. Click here for tips.

Jam Session

Artist Jam Sessions

The Jam is an informal, artist-run gathering of attendees held Saturday night after dinner. Participation is voluntary and open to all. No special registration is required—just show up! Beverages are available at a no-host bar. 


The sound engineer and stage crew provide a basic set-up with amplification. Spontaneous collaboration is a highlight of this event and it is well attended by conference registrants. 


Tips for the Jam Session:

  • Perform one act at a time and allow everyone who wants to participate a chance to do so

  • Shorter performances are most conducive to this setting

  • Be prepared to cover hits that other musicians can easily join in on. Collaboration is key!

Artist meetings

New for October 2023: Artist Orientation Meeting

Kick off the conference by meeting your fellow artists and agents and getting tips for a successful conference experience. 


Artist closing meeting

This meeting is scheduled on Saturday because we are aware that many must leave by Sunday morning. You won't miss any important networking events because all the presenters will be in the first Block-Booking Meeting at the same time. During this time artists elect a representative for a 1-year term on the MPAC Board. It's also a chance to discuss how their MPAC conference experience and make s​suggestions for improvements. Feedback is reported to MPAC's Board of Directors by the current Artist Board Representative. 

Also recommended

Conference dining events

The MPAC dining tables have seats reserved for artists and agents to encourage mingling and making new connections! Meals are a great opportunity to get to know other conference attendees. Chandee Bomgardner has been catering MPAC’s Annual Showcase and Conference for years and always gets excellent reviews. We are pleased that she’ll be back to feed us in Great Falls in October 2023! Catered conference meals are not included with registration but can be purchased separately or added on at the time of registration purchase. 


Other artists’ showcases and booths

If time permits, artists and agents are encouraged to watch other showcases and visit other booths. (Be mindful of the right time to engage other booth exhibitors. Don’t interrupt conversations between presenters and artists/agents.) There’s much to learn from each other and MPAC supports a collegial atmosphere.

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