Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Performing Arts Exchange?
When and where is the conference?
Do I have to pay a membership fee to take part in PAE?
What do the different registration types mean?
What are the registration fees?
How do I register?
What does my registration include?
What is the cancellation policy?
I’m in the area and just want to check out the conference.  Can I attend for a day?
Do I need to pre-register for professional development workshops?
How do I showcase at PAE?
How do I secure my hotel accommodations?
What should I wear?
This will be my first time attending – what should I know?
Can I volunteer?
How can I find out last-minute news and information on the conference?
Where can I find all the PAE policies?


What is the Performing Arts Exchange?

The Performing Arts Exchange (PAE) is a four day conference that supports the presentation and touring of performing artists along the east and gulf coasts. Conference activities include live performance showcases, professional development workshops, networking and hospitality events, and business time in the Marketplace.

When and where is the conference?

PAE is usually held during the last few weeks of September or the first week of October. PAE is typically held in Atlanta or Orlando. South Arts also regularly explores the option of holding PAE in Miami, Nashville or New Orleans. The most critical factors in choosing a location for PAE are: the amount of space available for our Marketplace/Showcasing needs and the availability of the properties.

Do I have to be a South Arts member to take part in PAE?

South Arts is not a membership-based organization, and thus, there is no annual fee to participate in PAE.

What do the different registration types mean?

Presenters are people who and bring artists to communities and “present” art. Outside of the US, presenters are known as programmers. Presenters may run venues or secure places for the touring artist to perform. Supporters are people from arts organizations who are associated with the presenting and touring but are not typically directly responsible for touring or presenting. Supporters may also be agents, managers, or artists who are  Performing Arts Exchange to observe – but not engage in – any business. Exhibitors are artists, agents and managers that are attending the conference to book tour dates and showcase their artists. All exhibitors must purchase booths or agency registrations in order to engage in business.

What are the registration fees?

There are a variety of attendance and pricing options for PAE. Pricing is posted in the Registration & Pricing section. Booth costs are posted in the Buy a Booth section.

How do I register?

Conference registrations are available online before the conference, and onsite during the conference.  South Arts PAE does not offer any option to register by paper.

What does my registration include?

A registration badge (presenter, supporter, exhibitor) includes access to all conference activities: professional development workshops, hospitality events, Independent Showcases, Juried Showcases, and the Marketplace. One complimentary registration badge is included with the purchase of each booth. However, note that purchasing the booth is a separate process from registering for the badge. You must first purchase the booth, then you will be instructed on how to register all of the humans that will staff the booth starting with the complimentary badge.

What is the PAE cancellation policy?

If a registrant seeks a badge cancellation/refund up to 30 days before PAE, South Arts will honor the refund request of the registration fee minus a $100 administrative fee. Thereafter no refund requests will be granted. All badges/registrations are transferable. All badge transfer requests and all refund requests must be submitted in writing to the Assistant Director of Presenting and Touring. All Showcase fees and Booth Lottery fees are non-refundable.

If an exhibiting organization cannot attend the Performing Arts Exchange, South Arts will refund the booth cost minus a $250 administrative fee provided the request is 30 or more days before conference and the booth is resold. For exhibitors who take part in the booth lottery, the initial non-refundable booth deposit of $250 will be held as the administrative fee.

For more detailed information, see the PAE Policies and Guidelines.

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I’m from the area and just want to check out the conference. Can I attend for one day?

Yes. Single Day registrations are available online or onsite at the conference. If you are an artist seeking work, you cannot solicit presenters unless you or your management are officially represented in the Marketplace with a booth.  If you are new to presenting and touring and would like to know more about booking conferences, consider volunteering at PAE.

If you are not a registered attendee and would like to come to one of our Juried Showcases, they are free and open to the public. You are welcome to attend! No tickets required.

Do I need to pre-register for professional development workshops?

Pre-registration may be required for pre-conference sessions. For workshops during the conference (often referred to as “PD sessions”) just show up; if you’re really interested in a topic, arrive a little bit early to ensure a good seat!

How do I showcase at PAE?

So you’re an artist who’s ready to get your work in front of some presenters – great! In order to showcase at PAE, you must be represented in a booth in the Marketplace, or have purchased one of a limited number of agency registrations. There are three different opportunities to showcase at PAE: apply to be part of the conference’s Juried Showcases, buy a Sponsored Showcase, or connect with someone who has obtained space to produce Independent Showcases.  Showcasing and exhibiting at PAE can be costly; you or your ensemble must be ready to make the investment. It is recommended that artists or agents attend PAE at least one year prior to showcasing at PAE, and plan to attend three years in a row to make the investment worthwhile.  If you wish to observe but not do business at PAE, consider volunteering at the conference.

How do I secure my hotel accommodations?

Attendees secure accommodations via the online booking links provided on the Venues and Accommodations page in the spring. Conference Management has arranged special rates to help keep costs low for attendees. The posted link must be used to access these negotiated conference rates. The room block is used to secure hotel space for all conference activities; staying outside the block hinders South Arts abilities to keep conference costs low for attendees.

What should I wear?

PAE is business casual. Wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be spending your time on your feet in the Marketplace, PD Sessions and moving from showcase to showcase. Be sure to pack an extra sweater, as regulating the temperature in a large space can be a challenge. In other words, hotels are always cold!

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This will be my first time attending—what should I know?

The PAE New Colleague program is designed for you! Whether an artist, agent or  presenter, the New Colleague program will help you foster your first relationships, navigate your first conference experience, and to continue to build relationships after the conference. You’ll be able to talk with your mentor before the conference, meet up with them during the conference, and debrief on your experience afterwards. Before arriving at the conference, read the PAE Policies and Guidelines, and visit Marketplace Business 101. See showcasing FAQ for more details on showcasing at PAE.

Can I volunteer?

Yes, you can volunteer, especially if you’re an arts professional or are interested in becoming an arts professional! Check out all the details and find the link to sign up on the volunteer page.

How can I find out last-minute news and information on the conference?

Any changes, alerts and news are posted directly on the PAE homepage. Onsite, the best way to get current information is to download the PAE mobile app.

Where can I find all the PAE policies?

See the Policies and Guidelines page for all the nitty gritty details.

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