The Idea Swap is an annual event for New England-based nonprofit cultural organizations and touring artists to network and share ideas for touring projects.
$40 if registered by October 9 | $60 after
To ensure diversity of participating organizations and allow for optimal networking, there is a limit of three individuals per organization. Organizations are strongly encouraged to prioritize participation by staff directly involved in arts programming.
Call for Touring Ideas: How to Submit & Present Projects
In addition to networking, Idea Swap participants are encouraged to share touring ideas in all stages of development with their colleagues from around the region. Approximately 15 project ideas are selected in advance to make five-minute presentations at the Idea Swap. Please see below for more details and how to present.
Mini-swaps are changing this year! Participants must submit projects by October 9 for a chance to pitch in a mini-swap time slot.
How to Submit & Discover Touring Ideas
Submit your project idea on the Project Ideas page by October 9. Visit the page to find out what other New England presenting organizations and performing artists are working on. Project ideas will be listed on this page before and after the Idea Swap, and will be distributed in hard copy to all event participants.
Present Your Project Idea at the Idea Swap
In advance of the Idea Swap, NEFA selects approximately 15 projects from the Project Ideas page to make five-minute presentations at the Idea Swap. Participants also have opportunities to pitch ideas in smaller breakout sessions.
Tuesday, October 29
Presenters and artists are invited to join New England Presenters (NEP) and Arts Presenters of Northern New England (APNNE) for an evening social gathering that will include opportunities for networking.
5:00-7:00 | New England-based Presenting Organizations
Join your peers on the eve of the NEFA Idea Swap to network, exchange ideas/challenges, learn more about NEP and APNNE, and share your professional development and career advancement needs. *NEP/APNNE membership not required
7:00-8:30 | Meet & Greet with Idea Swap Participants
New England-based artists and presenters are invited to mingle the night before Idea Swap to get a head start on getting to know new faces and catching up with colleagues. The event will be informal, unstructured, and requires no preparation.
Light fare and cash bar. RSVP encouraged, but not mandatory. Please click here to RSVP.
Wednesday, October 30
09:30-10:00 | Registration, Light Breakfast & Networking
10:00-10:45 | NEFA Welcome & Overview of New England Presenting & Touring Programs
An overview of the New England Presenting & Touring programs and application process.
10:45-12:00 | Project Presentations – Part 1
5-minute project presentations by New England-based presenters and artists. Projects will be selected in advance of the event. Info TBA.
12:00-1:00 | Lunch & Networking
1:00-2:00 | Facilitated Networking
2:00-3:00 | Project Presentations – Part 2
3:00-4:00 | Dessert & Networking
Mix and mingle with folks you haven’t met yet and connect with peers.
Travel Support for Idea Swap Attendees
NEFA is pleased to offer travel funds to Idea Swap attendees. If you meet the following eligibility requirements, please contact Daniela Jacobson, Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org to request travel support.
The following individuals are eligible for travel reimbursements from NEFA:
- Artists traveling more than 100 miles
- Presenters who have not attended Idea Swap before or have an organizational budget under $1 million
Parking & Carpool
Mechanics Hall does not have parking for visitors, but there are several parking options in downtown Worcester. The nearest parking lots are on Waldo Street, Exchange Street, East Central Street, Main Street, and the Elm Street Garage. There is limited on-street parking available. Remember to bring cash for parking.
Need a ride/have a ride? Sign up to carpool
Mechanics Hall Accessibility
Individuals with disabilities are welcome to participate at Idea Swap. The main meeting spaces are accessible for individuals who use wheelchairs. If you need any ADA accommodations, services, or auxiliary formats to support your full participation, please contact Daniela Jacobson, Accessibility Coordinator at email@example.com or 617-951-0010 ext. 528 by October 9.
- The front entrance to Mechanics Hall on Main Street is not wheelchair accessible. For elevator access, enter Mechanics Hall at the back entrance on Waldo Street.
- We recommend parking on Waldo Street for individuals who use wheelchairs or other mobility aids. On-street parking is available on Waldo Street, and the sidewalks have curb-cuts. There is a parking lot directly across from Mechanics Hall’s back entrance.
- Wheelchair accessible restrooms are located on the 3rd level at the back entrance to the Great Hall.
- Please note there are steps to the restrooms and Board Room on the 2nd level, both of which are not wheelchair accessible.
The following hotels are listed in order of proximity to downtown Worcester:
- Holiday Inn Express Worcester Downtown, 110 Summer Street, Worcester, 508-757-0400
- AC Hotel Worcester, 125 Front Street, Worcester, 774-420-7555
- Hilton Garden Inn, 35 Major Taylor Boulevard, Worcester, 508-753-5700
- Courtyard by Marriott Worcester, 72 Grove Street, Worcester, 508-363-0300
- Beechwood Hotel, 363 Plantation Street, Worcester, 508-754-5789
- Residence Inn by Marriott, 503 Plantation Street, Worcester, 508-753-6300
- Quality Inn & Suites, 50 Oriol Drive, Worcester, 508-852-2800
- Fairfield Inn & Suites Worcester Auburn, 718 Southbridge Street, Auburn, 508-832-9500
- Holiday Inn Express Auburn, 10-12 Johnson Street, Auburn, 508-832-2500