Annual Showcase & Conference
October 13-15, 2023 | Great Falls, Montana
MPAC’s Annual Showcase & Conference is a unique and important event for Montana presenters and any organizations that block-book with venues in our state. All are welcome, including presenters from outside Montana state lines.
Our conference: an important event for Montana presenters
Connect with artists
MPAC’s Annual Showcase & Conference provides ample opportunities to connect with artists and agents from throughout the continent (and beyond!). The juried showcase gives presenters a vivid sense of what artists offer to their audiences. It features 17 artists selected based on quality of performance samples, promotional materials, diversity, and marketability in Montana.
The conference schedule includes dedicated Resource Room (exhibit hall) time in addition to several formal and casual opportunities to network with artists and agents.
Accomplish more together and find community
The conference is an opportunity for presenting organizations to meet in-person to work together, learn from each other, and find community.
Block-booking meetings are scheduled twice during the conference to give presenters time to discuss interests within their own organizational group of attendees and initiate conversations about tours with other communities. These meetings are limited to presenters only so representatives can have candid conversations about programming for future seasons.
New for October 2023: The conference will begin with a presenter roll-call and orientation. This is a quick introduction to all attending presenters that will allow everyone to get to know who their “neighbors” are.
Throughout the conference, attendees are encouraged to ask questions, meet new peers, deepen relationships, and seek or offer mentorship. Our performing arts community represents a wealth of experience, energy, and innovation. No single person has all the answers but with over 100 like-minded community leaders in the room, we are poised to find our way together.
Access arts advocacy organizations
Representatives from the Montana Arts Council and the Western States Arts Federation are regular guest speakers at MPAC’s conference, providing important updates on state and federal funding opportunities as well as important legislative developments affecting the arts sector. MPAC continually reviews conference feedback to seek new workshop opportunities that benefit our arts community.
Have a workshop idea? Contact us.
Take the lead
Did your venue hit a significant milestone or achieve something amazing this season? Other organizations want and need to learn from you.
Are you interested in making your programming more impactful through cooperation and collaboration with other communities? Other presenting organizations (and artists!) are eager to work with you to make this happen.
Whether you’re on staff, a volunteer, or a board member, you are an arts leader in your local community. We need your leadership in our statewide arts community too. Join us!
Support a statewide arts community
(and our neighbors!)
We need you. It’s that simple. Our consortium is more effective when more communities are involved. Your participation adds to the rising tide that lifts all our boats. Presenting organizations from neighboring communities outside of Montana are welcome to join too!
Tips for Presenters
Come prepared with your venue and series information
Bring information about your venue, organization, and community. It will help artists and agents recognize if your series is a good fit for them and ultimately make planning and negotiating more efficient. You can create a simple document that describes your stage, seating capacity, tech capabilities, audience, types of events you present, outreach needs or desires, lodging options, and any other details that they will need to know. Not sure what to include? Look at artist tech riders—they basically say "we need this." Your document is from the presenter point of view and says "we have this" as the answer. You'll also want to be prepared for the Turn-The-Tables session at the conference and this informative document will help aid you with that!
Make new friends, but keep the old...
The conference is a great opportunity to reconnect with old colleagues and meet new ones! Enjoy reconnecting with old friends but make sure to introduce yourself to new faces too. There are new presenters and artists at every conference!
Use the conference as a starting point for your program planning.
The artist and agent information in our conference materials is gathered months in advance of the actual event and is subject to change. We encourage presenter representatives to confirm all details regarding fees and tech needs directly with an artist/agent before making decisions.
What are the registration dates?
mid-April: Registration will be available
August 15: Early bird registration discount ends
October 6: Final conference registration deadline
What are the conference registration fees for presenters?
The fees are on a sliding scale, which is determined by organization size and annual artist fees. Registration information will be available in mid-April.
My organization will have multiple conference attendees. What is the fee for each extra participant?
Presenter registration for one organization includes registration for one (1) attendee. Additional representatives with the organization may register at a discounted rate (typically $50-$65 per person). Registration will be available mid-April.
Are meals included?
Meals are not included with conference registration but attendees may purchase them separately. MPAC will have catered meals for Friday dinner, Saturday lunch, and Saturday dinner.
This conference event is for presenters only. During this time presenters gather to discuss possibilities for the next season(s). The Sunday morning meeting is typically when they see if there is enough interest in specific artists to form a tour.
Is there a virtual attendance option?
Unfortunately we cannot offer a virtual attendance option for the Annual Showcase & Conference. Contact Emily Wolfram for membership options that include access to conference resources (block-booking report, attendee contact list, etc.)