Presenters are likely to book your show because: 1) they saw your show and think it would do well in their venue, or 2) they haven't seen your show but they believe it will do well based on what they see in your script, pitch, promotional materials, and archival video.
Of course it is ideal if potential presenters can see your show in person. Keep this in mind when you are putting on the initial run of your production, who are potential presenters you want to invite to see your show? Send them materials well in advance. If you've decided to go on tour after your run is already over, consider doing a remount locally first, even if it is a one-off performance. This will give another opportunity for presenters to see it.
Whether they saw it in person or not, make sure to send them a Presenter Package.
A simple and straightforward way to represent your production to prospective presenters is by putting together a Presenter Package. This looks similar to a media kit you may already have. Make sure it includes:
- Image(s) of the production
- Information about the original presentation (keep it brief) and its success
- Press and audience quotes
- Highlight other tour dates (past and upcoming)
- Contact info for booking inquiries
- Link to a promo video (1 to 5 mins max)
Also have your technical rider ready to share when requested.
Start by looking at the content of your show. If you feel the work aligns with another company or community, do your research and then start a conversation.
Many presenters also attend festivals in order to see multiple works for consideration at the same time. If your work is in a festival, make sure to invite attending presenters so that your work is on their radar.
There are organized events across the country (and the world) where artists can showcase their work and deliver pitches for the purpose of booking engagements with presenters. These often involve a submission process and a registration fee, keep this in mind for your planning and budgeting.
A pitch to a presenter is an opportunity to make a personal connection about the work. Share why your piece is exceptional and appealing to their needs. You must be very informed about the production, be prepared to answer questions that are artistic, technical, and marketing related.
Pitching opportunities might be formal, as in pitching sessions organized by a conference or festival. Or they may be more casual, such as asking for a coffee meeting with a presenter. In both cases it is helpful to incorporate or follow-up with audio/visual support material that gives a better sense of the actual production.
You want to have prepared pitch materials, and you also want to be prepared to have a deeper conversation. Write down and rehearse your pitch, but also practice talking about the production in your own words.
On Presenters, Pitching, and Getting Your Work Out There - A document by Made in BC-Dance On Tour
It Starts with a Conversation - A guide created by Ice Hot Nordic Dance Platform for working collaboratively in a global platform, with a focus on dance.
Arts Engage Canada - Information, tips and case studies on taking part in Community Engagement. A source by Ontario Presents.