Home Programs Arts Midwest Conference 2021 FAQs

2021 FAQs

We know you’re hungry for information about the Arts Midwest 2021 Online Conference. Here are some answers to a few of your most pressing questions.


Jump to FAQ Sections

Registration Boomset + Profile Tips Exhibit Hall 2.0
Showcases Programming Networking + Connecting



You can find information on registration as well as the link to the registration form on our Rates webpage. Lead Attendee and Additional Attendee registration is open and will stay open through the end of the Conference on September 22. Lead Exhibitor registration closed on September 3. Early registration is encouraged for you to prepare and make the most of the Conference and networking opportunities.

Payment by credit card upon registration is required. Please note: a transaction fee of 2.9% plus 30 cents per successful card charge will apply.

Yes, scholarships can be found on our scholarship page. If a rate is out of reach, please contact us and we will work with you.

Sorry, no. Contact us at [email protected] if you need to cancel. Please be aware that requests for cancelations received in writing by September 3, 2021 are eligible for a refund less an administrative fee of $20. Additional attendees from your organization register individually to create their unique profile and login information to gain access to Boomset, the virtual conference platform.

Multiple attendees from your organization are welcome to attend but must register individually with a unique email. If two people use the same email, the system will combine their records.



Boomset + Profile Tips

The Conference will be hosted online through a virtual event platform called Boomset.

  • All attendees will receive an email from Boomset to access the Virtual Event Portal on Tuesday, September 14, which will include a link to the event, login information, and a unique pin. Please 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 will receive an email from Boomset in mid-August to create an unique pin for their booth portal credentials. These credentials allow you to set up and manage your exhibit. Lead Exhibitors who register after mid-August will receive access on a rolling basis after staff have processed their booth. On Thursday, September 9, exhibitors will receive an email from Boomset with early access to their attendee credentials. This link and pin will allow you to get a sneak peek at the attendee view of your exhibit set-up and give you time to familiarize yourself with the Boomset platform.

Google Chrome is recommended for the best Boomset experience, followed by Microsoft Edge. Desktop browsers are recommended over mobile devices.

If you need to update any of your registration information, you can do so in your virtual profile once the event is open on Tuesday, September 14. For consistency we recommend answering to the best of your ability at the time of registration.

  • There are fields in the registration form to include a website and blog link (this can be any social media link) which will be visible on your profile.
  • You are also encouraged to add a profile photo. Please make sure the photo you upload is in JPG, JPEG or PNG format and less than 1MB in size. Larger files may not upload. Choose a photo that’s clear, only includes you, and provides a full view of your face.

When attendees access the virtual event portal, times are automatically adjusted based on the browser’s detected location. As a result, attendees will be able to follow sessions along and schedule meetings with exhibitors based on their respective time zone.

The platform will open on Tuesday, September 14 for attendees to set up their profile and to browse the platform before programming starts on Friday, September 17 through Wednesday, September 22. Keynote Explorations, Workshops and Showcases will be available on demand after the initial airing until Thursday, September 30. The Exhibit Hall 2.0 will also be open until Thursday, September 30.

Conversations, including networking style sessions are live, which means you should plan to join these sessions at the scheduled start time if you are interested in participating.

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 plenary sessions.
  • 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.

Arts Midwest provides upon request, alternative formats and services necessary for individuals to participate in the programs and services provided by our Conference. Requests for services and accommodations should be given at the time of registration or submitted at least two weeks in advance of the Conference to [email protected]. 



Exhibit Hall 2.0

The Exhibit Hall 2.0 is the virtual marketplace where presenters, artists, managers, and agents connect and discover new work. Dedicated Exhibit Hall time allows attendees to explore booking options together, plant the seeds for future collaborations, and develop relationships.

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. Dedicated 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 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. 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 a booth visitor).

Any booth staff can click “Join Chat” to join a conversation. If multiple people click on the camera icon, they will be able to hold a group video call directly on the platform.

There are hundreds of organizations in the virtual marketplace representing thousands of artists, and it may take a couple of years to build relationships with presenters at the Conference. Don’t be discouraged if traffic to your virtual booth is slow. Below are some tips to maximize your time at the Conference:

  • Research the attendee list to find presenting organizations that align with your programming goals.
  • Reach out in advance to schedule meetings in Boomset during the Conference .
  • Get to know your fellow attendees by participating in as many Conference sessions as possible.
  • Develop your strategy for following up post-Conference and maintaining new relationships.

Exhibitors can learn how to build their booth and make the most of their Conference experience at this page.

Video tutorials will be released in mid-August on how to build your booth in Boomset and manage it during the event.

Lead Exhibitors will receive an email from Boomset in mid-August to create an unique pin for their booth portal credentials. These credentials allow you to set up and manage your exhibit. Lead Exhibitors who register after mid-August will receive access on a rolling basis after staff have processed their booth. On Tuesday, September 9, exhibitors will receive an email from Boomset with early access to your attendee credentials. This link and pin will allow you to get a sneak peek at the attendee view of your exhibit set-up and give you time to familiarize yourself with the Boomset platform.

Additional booth staff will not automatically receive access to the virtual booth portal. Lead exhibitors must create the booth and unique pin on their own from their email and can then share the booth portal link and unique pin with additional staff if they wish to grant them access.

None of that applies this year. As there is no physical expo hall, there is nothing for us to “place.” Regardless of when they register, all exhibitors will be listed alphabetically by organization, except for exhibiting sponsors who receive priority placement as part of their benefits.

Exhibit Hall 2.0, our virtual marketplace, is the primary location for promotion, conducting business, and sales-oriented conversations. Registrants are encouraged to limit conversations of this nature in public chat or programming channels. Promotional chats in these spaces may be removed by Arts Midwest staff.

Review Attendee Agreements. https://www.artsmidwest.org/programs/conference/2021-attendee-agreements




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).

Check out the showcase page for a list of panel-selected Spotlight Showcases and NEA Performing Arts Discovery artists and ensembles.

No; all independent showcase time slots have been assigned at this point.

Independent showcasing encourages artist discovery for artists at any stage in their career to showcase via video on the virtual Conference platform. Whether emerging, new to developing your career, or established, tour-ready artists are encouraged to apply.

Read more about this year’s lottery process and enter the Independent Showcase Lottery by July 30.

Yes. Only about one-third of exhibitors schedule performances during the Conference. The primary reason they attend is to make valuable connections with fellow exhibitors and presenters.




We’ll begin with kick-off events the afternoon of Friday, September 17. Boomset will remain open for attendee exploration over the weekend, but no programming is planned. We’ll pick back up on Monday, September 20th with events planned through Wednesday afternoon, September 22.

You’ll hear from field leaders, engage in meaningful discussion with colleagues, and discover artists through showcases and in the Exhibit Hall 2.0. If you miss a session, many will be available to watch later on-demand. We know the demands of an online conference are different than those of in-person events, so rest assured we’ll have scheduled breaks and opportunities for you to process.

The Conference schedule will be available in late August. Once you have access to the platform on Tuesday September 14, you will be able to browse sessions and add sessions to your personal calendar in Boomset.

This year we’re using new language to describe sessions to give you an idea of the different ways we’ll engage online:

  • Conversations are facilitated, interactive discussions with plenty of opportunities for attendee participation and peer-to-peer learning. Conversations take place in Zoom and will not be recorded.
  • Workshops are moderated panel discussions featuring peer leaders and field experts. Workshops will be recorded and available for later viewing.
  • Explorations are keynote discussions with field leaders exploring the most pressing questions for our field today and into the future. Explorations will be recorded and available for later viewing.

Sessions and speakers will be announced beginning in mid-August. Watch your email or check out the Program page for updates.

Session submission for this year’s Conference closed in June. Please watch for the call for proposals in early Spring 2022. In the meantime, please contact [email protected] with questions.



Networking + Connecting

If you’ve attended the Conference in the last few years, you’re already on our email list. Check your spam folders if you’re not getting our emails.

If you haven’t attended in the last few years, or your email address has changed,  sign up for our email list.

  • Networking sessions: get to know your colleagues through intentional networking sessions designed to build and strengthen relationships.
  • 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.
  • Group chat: all sessions allow attendees to chat with fellow attendees in the group chat.
  • 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.
  • Attendee list and organizational profiles: For those who want to connect off-platform, we will share an attendee contact list before and after the Conference. Want more details? Read through our exhibitor page for more information.

There are pre-determined tags that will be visible in the Community tab based on how you answer questions on your registration form. Tags can help you search for and connect with those who have like interests or traits.

For your reference, these are the fields that will be visible to other attendees in the Community tab:

  • First and Last Name
  • Title
  • Organization Name
  • Pronouns (optional)
  • Website, social media link
  • City, state, country
  • Region and demographic
  • Organization type
  • Discipline, genre, programming focus
  • Types of events
  • Identity group tags
  • Venue and season information

Come as you are! If you’re looking for support and ideas, we’ve got you covered. As you’re planning for reopening and future seasons, come prepared to talk about different scenarios for your organization. To make the most of your virtual experience, stay tuned for our Boomset tutorials to familiarize yourself with the platform.

Attendees can schedule meetings in the Community tab and the Exhibit Hall 2.0.

  • The Community tab allows you to schedule meetings with all fellow attendees. The primary way to set up a meeting in Boomset is to find the person you wish to connect with in the Community tab and send them a chat. Once they’ve accepted the “request to connect”, you can private message them and an option will appear for you to hold a video call.
  • The Exhibit Hall 2.0 allows you to schedule meetings with a specific booth or booth staff. Each exhibitor has a calendar that shows their available meeting times. Attendees can find exhibitor meeting availability by visiting their booth and selecting “Schedule a Meeting.” If the exhibitor accepts, a notification will be generated and it will be added to each person’s calendar.

Chats will be preserved in all personal inboxes, booths, and sessions that occur in Boomset as long as the event is live. There is not a way to access chats after the Conference platform closes on Thursday, September 30. Sessions that occur in Zoom will not be preserved or shared.

Attendee names and contact information are a benefit for Conference registrants only.

  • The list of registered organizations will be available prior to the conference. A complete list is sent following the Conference.
  • Arts Midwest does not maintain a list of presenting organizations in our region, nor do we maintain an artist roster of any kind.
  • We don’t sell or trade attendee lists or contact info. If you are contacted via email or phone by a third party, please be aware that they are unaffiliated with the Arts Midwest Conference and not authorized to contact you directly. We strongly encourage you to be cautious when receiving this type of scam solicitation, which is also damaging to Arts Midwest.

There are multiple options for displaying promotional materials in your virtual booth. Digital materials should be interesting to look at and easy to navigate and could include photos, press clippings, tech riders, brochures, previous bookings, information on programming you or your artists offer. For more information on how you can display promotional materials, visit the Exhibiting How-To page.

  • Use the attendee contact info and presenter profiles to research presenters coming to the Conference and how presenter goals might align with your own.
  • Bring an updated schedule so you can talk about availability for you or your artists’.
  • Practice your “elevator speech” so you can concisely describe what you/your artists do in one minute or less.
  • Approach each conversation individually, allowing time to learn about the presenter’s venue and goals.
  • Be prepared to email your press materials, recordings, etc. to presenters post-Conference.

  • Use the attendee contact info and profiles to research and take note on notes on artists, agents and managers coming to the Conference that interest you.
  • Know specifics about your venue: specs, audience, budget, housing for artists, and interest in residency activities. Come ready to discuss your venue and season, and technical capabilities.
  • Know your audience and your programming goals for your season and approach each conversation with artists as an opportunity to learn how their work can compliment your goals.
  • Practice your “elevator speech” so you can concisely describe what your organization presents and who you serve in one minute or less.
  • Bring an up-to-date schedule so you can talk about booking your current and upcoming seasons.

  • Accessibility plan for artists, including front of house, stage, and backstage access
  • Width, depth, height, and type of stage, apron, and pit
  • Wing space
  • Light and sound system equipment and capabilities
  • Curtain color and number of legs and borders
  • Layout and number of seats in hall
  • Loading dock location, size, accessibility
  • Availability and location of bus and truck parking
  • Number of dressing rooms and showers
  • Marley dance floor availability


Have more questions? We’re here for you! Please contact us at [email protected]