Home News & Events Know Before You Go: Arts Midwest Conference

Know Before You Go: Arts Midwest Conference

The Arts Midwest 2021 Online Conference is just one day away. Here’s everything you need to know to make the most of your Conference experience!

It’s not too late to register!

Lead attendee, additional attendee, and student registration is still available. Registration will stay open through the end of the Conference, and rates will not increase. Registration starts at $110. Learn more.

Register Now

Log In to Boomset

All attendees received an email from Boomset to access the virtual event portal on Tuesday, September 14 (or immediately following their registration after this date), which included a link to the event, login information, and a unique pin. This email came from “Arts Midwest Conference.” Save this email for future reference and bookmark the Boomset login page on your browser. Once logged in, you may personalize your profile, view sessions and speakers, and curate your virtual schedule.

Lead Exhibitors: please note this access is separate from your booth portal, which you should have received access to by email already. If you have not yet gotten into your portal to build your booth, please check your spam folders for an email from [email protected]. If you can’t find it, please email [email protected] and we can re-send it.

Chrome or Edge are the preferred browser to access Boomset and desktop browsers are recommended over mobile devices. Please also note that if you use a VPN it will need to be disabled for the best connection.


Information Tab and Customer Support

Check out the Information tab to access important information for the Conference, like the 2021 Attendee Agreements, FAQs, Accessibility resources and contact info for customer service support.

Need help with logging in or adjusting your webcam and audio connections? Boomset technical support can be reached at [email protected] and is available to help during the following hours:
  • Friday, September 17 from 10:30am – 2:30pm (CST)
  • Monday, September 20 from 9:30am – 6:30pm (CST)

Arts Midwest staff can be reached at [email protected] for other Conference or Boomset questions during the following times:

  • Thursday, September 16, 8:30am – 5:00pm (CST)
  • Friday, September 17, 10:30am – 6:00pm (CST)
  • Monday, September 20, 9:30am – 6:30pm (CST)
  • Tuesday, September 21, 9:30am – 6:00pm (CST)
  • Wednesday, September 22, 9:00am – 3:00pm (CST)

If you are experiencing technical issues, please take a screenshot of the error you’re experiencing and include it in your email to assist our support staff in solving your connection issues.

Quick tip: sometimes just a quick refresh of your web browser does the trick!


Set Up Your Profile to Maximize Connections

Your profile helps you meet and connect with fellow attendees. One of the first steps you’ll want to take when you log in is to update your profile.

  • Click on your name in the top right corner and select “manage profile.”
  • Add a photo (photo must be JPG, JPEG or PNG format and less than 1MB in size. Larger files may not upload).

You’ll see the questions and answers from your registration form below. No need to update your answers unless you want to make a change. Keep in mind changes will be reflected in the post-Conference attendee list. Additionally, these answers will be visible to others when they click on your profile and can also be filtered and searched by in the community tab, when attendees are looking for others with similar interests.


Connect with Fellow Attendees

The Conference offers many ways you can find and connect with fellow attendees.

  • Community tab: Boomset offers the ability to search attendees by a variety of tags under the Community tab to help filter others you’d like to connect with in real-time private messages or one-on-one video calls. To connect with another attendee, visit their profile and send them a direct message. This first message will come through as request to connect. Once they respond you’ll also have an option toclick the camera icon to meet with that person via video chat. You can access your inbox at any time through the chat bubble in the upper right corner of the screen. These will reflect messages with other attendees as well as chats from booths.
  • Group chat: all sessions allow attendees to chat with fellow attendees in the group chat. Please use the Showcase Shoutout Discussion Board to promote your showcase and refrain from conversations of this nature in the public chat or programming sessions. Promotional chats in these spaces may be removed by Arts Midwest staff.
  • Networking sessions: get to know your colleagues through intentional networking sessions designed to build and strengthen relationships.
  • Exhibit Hall 2.0: the virtual marketplace, Exhibit Hall 2.0, allows you to initiate one-on-one chat and video conversations.
  • Discussion boards: there will be specialized discussion boards to connect with attendees over topics of interest. You can search for topics you want to be a part of and join the conversation by chat.
  • Attendee list and organizational profiles: For those who want to connect off-platform, we shared an attendee contact list on September 14 and will share a final list post-Conference.

Quick tip: For best search results in the Community tab, filter by one tag at once. Filtering by multiple tags will bring up attendees who match at least one of the tags, not necessarily all of the tags you’re sorting by.


Explore Sessions + Earn Gamification Points

You’re going to be seeing some new language that describes the different ways we’ll engage online.

  • Conversations are facilitated, interactive discussions with plenty of opportunities for attendee participation and peer-to-peer learning. (Think Zoom meetings!) This year we have everything from topic and identity-based conversations to networking conversations to look forward to. Conversations will not be recorded.
  • Workshops are moderated panel discussions featuring peer leaders and field experts digging into a particular topic. Workshops will be recorded and reposted within 48 hours of their initial airtime.
  • Explorations are keynote discussions with field leaders exploring the most pressing questions for our field today and into the future. This year’s Explorations set the tone for our gathering and highlight the amazing arts and culture leadership in the Midwest. Explorations are recorded and available following the initial airtime.

You can find any scheduled sessions and showcases under the Sessions tab in Boomset. You can search for these by date, track or tags (which mostly apply to showcases). Build your personalized schedule by clicking “add” to calendar next to the session you are interested in attending. Please note time will automatically be blocked on all attendee and exhibitors’ calendars for the Opening and Closing Plenaries.

Attending sessions, showcases and visiting sponsor booths enters you in a friendly competition. The more you explore, the more gamification points you will earn. At the end of the Conference, those with the highest points will be entered in a lottery for a chance to win one of four complimentary registrations to the 2022 Arts Midwest Conference. To keep track of your standing check the “Gamification” tab in the menu on the left side of your screen.

If you missed a workshop, exploration or showcase, these recorded sessions will be available on demand after the initial airing. Please see the Sessions tab and filter by “On Demand” in the date field to see the list of available sessions. Please also apply the available tags and tracks to help refine your search.


Explore the Exhibit Hall

The Exhibit Hall 2.0 is the virtual marketplace where presenters, artists, managers, and agents connect and discover new work.

The virtual marketplace will be open for exploration and scheduled meetings Friday, September 17 – Thursday, September 30. Please go to the Sessions tab and filter by the Exhibit Hall track to find dedicated Exhibit Hall hours. Exhibit Hall time allows attendees to explore booking options together, plant the seeds for future collaborations, and develop relationships. Booths can be filtered by discipline, genre and other programming interests to facilitate connection.

Booth visitors can contact booth staff via chat or video.

When an attendee enters a virtual booth, they will have a few options for connection.

  • Start a Chat: attendees can request to start a chat and will be assigned to a booth staff currently available.
  • Connect & Drop Business Card: attendees can “drop a business card” which will request a private chat with a booth staff and share the attendee’s preferred full contact information.
  • Schedule a Meeting: Attendees can also start a 1:1 video call with a particular booth staff, or schedule a future meeting based on the booth staff’s availability.
  • Any booth staff can click “Join Chat” to join a conversation in progress. If multiple people click on the camera icon, they will be able to hold a group video call directly on the platform (multiple booth staff and one booth visitor).

Lead exhibitors: we highly recommend watching our Exhibiting how-to tutorial for instructions on building your booth and managing it on the front end. Quick tip:
All booth staff have a “my calendar” and an “exhibitor schedule.” These are completely separate; “my calendar” is where sessions they add to their schedule will appear. They can manually block off times under “exhibitor schedule” for when they’re not available to meet with booth visitors. It is suggested that booth staff block these times off according to when they’ll be participating in sessions, have other responsibilities, or are generally unavailable. Please note Arts Midwest will block meeting time when all-Conference events are scheduled such as the Explorations plenary presentations.


Explore Showcases

A diverse range of more than 100 artists/ensembles will be featured during this year’s Conference. All showcases are viewable via Boomset, the virtual conference platform and will air at an initial scheduled time. Showcases will be available on demand after the original airing until Thursday, September 30.

Showcases can be accessed under the “Sessions” tab in Boomset and are searchable by type of session and discipline (Independent Showcases, Spotlight Showcases, NEA Performing Arts Discovery).

If you missed a showcase or would like to watch it again, they will be available on demand after the initial airing. Please see the Sessions tab and filter by “On Demand” in the date field to see the list of available showcases. Please also apply the available tags and tracks to help refine your search.



The Conference offers the following accessibility tools in our virtual platform Boomset, which is WCAG compliant:  

  • Closed Captioning: Arts Midwest will provide closed captioning for all sessions.  
  • ASL: ASL interpretation will be provided at the Friday Welcome event and Opening and Closing Explorations.  
  • Translation: In the upper right corner of the virtual platform, there’s a dropdown window to translate event text to a different language. 
  • AccessiBe widget: The people icon in the upper right corner of Boomset contains several accessibility tools for those with cognitive disabilities, visual impairment, and more. 

To learn more, visit our accessibility page.


Watch the Arts Midwest Conference Orientation

Hear programming highlights, learn how to navigate Boomset, our virtual platform, and discover answers to pressing questions about this year’s online Conference in this orientation webinar that aired on September 8, 2021.

It’s not too late to register!

Lead attendee, additional attendee, and student registration is still available. Registration will stay open through the end of the Conference, and rates will not increase. Registration starts at $110. Learn more.

Register Now