Producing a Showcase: FAQs

Why produce a showcase during the CAPACOA conference?

 

Should I produce a showcase?

 

What factors should I take into consideration before deciding to produce a Showcase?

 

What are some of the expenses for me to consider in planning for a Showcase?

 

Do I have to be an exhibitor and have a booth in the CAPACOA Exhibit Hall to produce a Showcase?

 

I am an independent artist or artist company without an agent or manager. Can I use my showcase as an opportunity to try to get the attention of an agent or manager?

 

How long should the actual showcase be?

 

How can I find out who has RSVP’d for my showcase?

 

If I find a CAPACOA member who is willing to include my work in their showcase, what questions should I ask and what services or expenses should I anticipate?

 

Why produce a showcase during the CAPACOA conference?

You have the potential of reaching an audience of 250 presenting organizations, agents, managers, artistic companies and other industry stakeholders from across diverse regions and artistic disciplines. It is the national convening of the presenting sector, and an exceptional opportunity to showcase your work to presenters, agents, managers and potential partners. If you decide to showcase, you need to be confident you have the capacity to create awareness of your showcase in advance of, during and after the conference. The wide-variety of showcases produced by CAPACOA members is part of what makes the conference such an exciting, diverse and inspiring celebration in the host city. It is an exceptional opportunity to build your business.

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Should I produce a showcase?

You should think carefully before deciding to invest the time, energy and significant resources required to produce an outstanding, well-produced, well-promoted and well-attended showcase. Ultimately, you are responsible for making your showcase a success. It takes not only money, but hard work and an ability to successfully promote your work to an audience whose time is stretched to the maximum during the four days of the CAPACOA Conference. Many presenters determine which showcases they will attend and who they will meet with at least a month prior to the CAPACOA event. You will need to spend time in the summer and early fall preparing/scheduling/designing your showcases – as well as marketing them to the presenting professionals and audience you want to reach.

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What factors should I take into consideration before deciding to produce a Showcase?

  • You should have work that has a high degree of artistic integrity.
  • A budget and plan to cover your expenses.
  • A history of good relationships with prospective presenters who are or are likely to be interested in seeing and presenting your work or your artists.
  • An understanding of the types of presenters who might be interested in your work or your artists.
  • Managerial and administrative capacity to solicit and follow through on the interests of presenting professionals in you or your work prior to and after your showcase.
  • Determine well in advance the type of venue in which your showcase will take place. Select the work you feel best represents your artistry and what you wish to have presented. Some artists produce work-in-progress pieces during the conference. If you choose to do this, make sure the audience understands they are seeing a work that is not yet finished and has an opportunity to learn about the concept for and full realization of the work.
  • Provide conference attendees with program notes, your contact and biographical information as well as an artist statement about the work. This can also be provided in advance of the conference and certainly during your showcase. If you are showcasing a work-in-progress, use program notes and an artist statement to give them a fuller idea of exactly what the piece they are seeing is to be like when it is fully produced.
  • If you have a colleague who is well-respected in the field and who knows your work or has experience in your art form, ask him/her to introduce your work to the audience and ask this colleague to provide comments about your work for the program notes.
  • You are responsible for the expenses and coordination of the venue, sound, lighting, instrument rental, tech crew, musicians, production manager, rehearsals and artists' contracts. As the producer you will manage sound checks, front of house, maintenance, artist and presenter hospitality, promotion, advertising and printing. Should you contract with a producer, you need to still be responsible for associated costs and follow up with those who attend your showcase.

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What are some of the expenses for me to consider in planning for a Showcase?

  • Rehearsal salaries and rehearsal space.
  • Travel expenses to include roundtrip travel to Toronto, housing, per diem and ground transportation in Toronto.
  • Freight for any costumes, props, sets or instruments.
  • Phone bills, postage, overnight shipping, promotional materials, advertising and catering for presenters and artists in attendance.
  • CAPACOA fees, which could possibly include membership dues, possible conference registration and exhibit booth fees (if you are also exhibiting).
  • Space rental plus crew plus production costs to include: staging/flooring, lights, sound, backline and soft goods.
  • Lead follow-up: telephone and email to presenters, printing and distribution of press kits, CDs, DVDs.

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Do I have to be an exhibitor and have a booth in the CAPACOA Exhibit Hall to produce a Showcase?

No. Although strongly recommended, you are not required to purchase a booth in the Exhibit Hall in order to showcase. You are strongly encouraged to register for the conference and become a member of CAPACOA. Many showcase producers choose to purchase a booth in the Exhibit  Hall in order to have a location during the conference to promote their artists and showcases. For more information about exhibiting, please visit the www.capacoa.ca.

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I am an independent artist or artist company without an agent or manager. Can I use my showcase as an opportunity to try to get the attention of an agent or manager?

Agents, managers and producers have a heavy schedule of meetings, showcases and their own roster of artists to represent during CAPACOA.   You should not plan your time to search for or obtain an agent or manager in the Exhibit Hall or during the conference.  Exhibiting agents, managers, producers and artists spend considerable time and dollars to exhibit and are specifically there to promote the work and artists they are currently representing. They have scheduled their meetings in advance of coming to the conference and will not have the time to talk with you about representation. If you have chosen to showcase and have researched appropriate agencies, managements or producers for your kind of work, be sure to invite them and their entire staff to attend the showcase and plan to follow up after the conference.

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How long should the actual showcase be?

There is no single answer to this question. It is strongly recommended that you not organize a showcase for more than an hour or for one set. Conference attendees have the opportunity to see a large amount of work in the space of four days. So, the length of time someone can commit to any one showcase will be limited.  Should you decide to showcase a full length work, be clear in all your promotions, and confirm the length of the showcase with all who plan to attend.

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How can I find out who has RSVP’d for my showcase?

T.O. TIX: Toronto’s One-Stop Ticket Shop will be the official online and on-site box office of the CAPACOA showcase and performances. All participants are required to comply with the administrative requirements (no fees apply) upon request. Names of ticket holders can be sent to showcase producers after the event upon request.

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If I find a CAPACOA member who is willing to include my work in their showcase, what questions should I ask and what services or expenses should I anticipate?

You should:

  • Obtain information or a fact sheet that lists the services the producer will provide to produce and support your showcase.
  • Understand and confirm your costs and share of showcase expenses, such as production or equipment costs, rehearsals, sound checks, insurance, etc.
  • Understand and confirm the details of your showcase schedule – performance and rehearsal times, green room availability, etc.
  • Understand and confirm what assistance, if any, is provided for travel, housing and per diem costs to bring your showcase to Toronto.
  • Understand and confirm what, if any, support the producer provides before, during and after the Showcase in terms of cultivating showcase attendee interest.
  • Determine in advance and confirm with the showcase produce when and how you will obtain the list of those who attended your showcase.
  • Make sure you have everything in writing and be sure you understand and formalize everything that has been promised to you by the showcase producer responsible for the showcase.

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