Join the Louisiana Presenters Network on Jan. 21-22

For Backstage Pass 2015


The 4th Annual Back Stage Pass will be held at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

The conference is hosted by the Mississippi Main Street Association, Mississippi Arts Commission and the Visit Mississippi. The three statewide organizations will be partnering for the fourth year to present a high quality festival and event coordinators’ program. Each year, Back Stage Pass produces a new program with original sessions and speakers and the most current knowledge and information to help you build and grow successful festivals and events.
Back Stage Pass focuses on planning for festivals and special events that reveal your town’s authentic character through the sharing of ideas and like experiences with other event planners throughout the Southeast. We invite you to join us for fun, camaraderie and learning as we explore ways to develop and enhance events that build community character and contribute to the creative economy and community members’ quality of life.

The Audience
More than 200 professionals are expected to attend the conference designed for non-profit organizations, Festival and Event Planners, Fundraisers, Main Street managers, Universities, CVB and Tourism organizations, Chamber of Commerce members, and all others interested in putting on special events.


Wednesday, January 21

10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Registration and Exhibitor Check-in

10:30-11:30 a.m. Early bird session – Planning a Festival on a Shoestring Budget

10:30-11:30 a.m. Gulf States Presenters Network Annual Meeting

11:30 a.m. Lunch on your own

1:00-2:00 p.m. Opening Session and Keynote Address: More than a Funnel Cake…. New Trends with Food and Festivals – Robert St. John

2:10-3:10 p.m. Concurrent Sessions:

  • Crowdfunding
  • Get My Project Out Of The Red!
  • From the Hub City – Hattiesburg Live@Five

3:15-4:15 Concurrent Sessions:

  • Internship Programs for Event Coordinators
  • Documenting a Festival

4:15-5:00 Exhibitor Networking Reception

5:30-7:00 p.m. Artist Showcase and Reception, downtown Hattiesburg – The Thirsty Hippo

7:00 p.m. Dinner on your own in downtown Hattiesburg

Thursday, January 22

8:00-9:00 a.m. Exhibitor Networking Breakfast

9:00 a.m. Concurrent Sessions:

  • Building an Annual Event: Loblolly Festival in Laurel
  • Promoting and Supporting Live Music
  • Facebook Advertising for Events

10:00 a.m. Coffee Break

10:10 a.m. Concurrent Sessions:

  • How Events Translate into Tax Dollars
  • What If “IT” Happens? Panel
  • Best Practices Panel: Interpreting Mississippi Trail Markers

11:15 a.m. Closing Session: New Technology for Meeting and Event Planners

12:00 p.m. MAC Roster Artist Grand Prize Drawings (Two attendees will win $1500 awards for a MAC Roster Artist or Band of their choice to perform at a community festival within one calendar year. Note: The same city or town cannot win in consecutive years.)



$125 by Jan. 16. (Online registration closes after Jan. 16)

Student rate or One day registration: $55 before Jan. 7 or $75 by Jan 16.

On-site registration: $150

Questions about registration? Call Denise at 601-944-0113.


RESERVE YOUR ROOM – both hotels located two miles from convention center.
Fairfield Inn

173 Thornhill Drive

Hattiesburg, MS 39402

Phone: 601-296-7777

Rate: $139
Hampton Inn

4301 Hardy Street

Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Phone: 601-264-8080

Rate: $129

For more information on Backstage Pass, visit the Mississippi Main Street Association webite.

The Louisiana Partnership for the Arts (LPA)  and its umbrella organization Louisiana Presenters Network (LPN) serve Louisiana’s complex arts community, including artists, arts professionals, presenters, educators, patrons, nonprofit organizations, and numerous agencies, including local and regional arts councils.

Gulf State Initiative Grant for Presenters

Are you a Louisiana presenter?
A presenter is an individual, business or organization that has a venue used to present outside artists and showcases. Facilitating exchanges between artists and audiences through creative, educational, and performance opportunities.
Would you like up to $2000 for artist fees with no mandatory match?

If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, then it is in your best interest to keep reading…

Is there a catch? Of course, but it is actually pretty awesome!
Here is how it works

Step 1 – express your interest by replying “yes.” Click here or put “Yes” in the subject line of an email to

Step 2 – Pledge to become a member of the Louisiana Presenters Network (you must be a member to qualify for the grant). This will put you in a “pool” of applicants for the Gulf State Initiative Grant. It has a Rolling Deadline, so the faster you respond, the better your chances are of getting a slice of this delicious pie.

Step 3 – You will now automatically become a member of the exciting new Gulf States Presenters Network (GSPN). The GSPN is a collaboration of presenters from Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Step 4 – You must use the grant to showcase performers listed in issued rosters from Mississippi and Alabama. Enjoy the benefits of exposing up and coming artists to your community, and remember, your participation ensures Louisiana artists the same exposure in our neighboring states. It is win – win!

Step 5 – Reap the benefits of being an LPN member

What are the benefits of being a Louisiana Presenters Network member?

  • Access to funding
  • Access  to membership directory
  • Networking opportunities – digital and face-to-face
  • Block booking opportunities
  • Travel stipends to LPN & Gulf State meetings and events
  • Mentorship program
  • Information regarding current industry trends

What are you waiting for? Click here and start the ball rolling! Once you have expressed interest, all the information you need will soon follow.
We keep all email addresses private and will not share your information.
Please feel free to share this information with any Louisiana presenters you may know.

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