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Regional Events Fund

Visit Victoria

  • Hot air ballooning in the Yarra Valley, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

About

The Regional Events Fund was announced in the 2016/17 Victorian Budget to secure and develop a strong calendar of regional events for Victoria that align with the State and regional tourism brands and can drive economic impact through the attraction of intrastate, interstate and international visitation.

Visit Victoria and the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) administer the Regional Events Fund which will include the contestable Regional Events and Marketing Partnership Program (REMPP).

Visit Victoria

Visit Victoria brings together the functions of Tourism Victoria's marketing division, the Victorian Major Events Company and the Melbourne Convention Bureau to form a single, unified organisation dedicated to growing Victoria's visitor economy through tourism marketing and event acquisition. The organisation is spearheading a cohesive, new approach to marketing Melbourne and Victoria to attract more visitors and world-class events to the state and consolidate Melbourne and Victoria's position as a leading global tourism and events destination.

Visit Victoria is committed to working in partnership with government, regional tourism organisations, industry and commercial partners to achieve the collective goals of delivering a distinctive, world-class visitor experience and growing the state's $21 billion tourism and events industry.

Victorian Visitor Economy Strategy

Regional and rural Victoria has significant assets and visitor attractions, including world class food and wide, nature based experiences, and diverse artistic and cultural experiences.

Regional Victoria's calendar of events provides increasingly attractive experiences for visitors. Events such as the Rip Curl Pro and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race bring visitors to regional Victoria and showcase regional Victoria to the world.

This strategy will increase overnight stays and regional dispersal associated with Government supported events.

Objective

The $20 million Regional Events Fund 2016-17 to 2019-2020 is designed to support the attraction, development, marketing and growth of events in regional Victoria in order to:

  • Increase economic benefits by driving visitation from outside of the region and the State and extending length of stay and yield;
  • Showcase Victoria's key regional tourism strengths and build Victoria's reputation as an events destination; and
  • Develop a sustainable calendar of regional events

Funding Available

The Regional Events Fund is segmented into tiers in-order-to differentiate by size of event, support available and management. These tiers are outlined in the Regional Events Fund guidelines.

Who Can apply

Applications will be considered from a broad range of organisations including private sector organisations, local governments, regional tourism organisations, industry groups and not-for-profit organisations.

Under the Regional Events Fund only events held within the 11 campaign regions currently defined by Visit Victoria are eligible for funding.

All funding proposals received by Visit Victoria from external organisations must include endorsement by the Regional Tourism Board or Local Council and be sent to the Regional Events Fund Manager. A full EOI and Application process will define these requirements.

See a map of Victoria's regions.

Key Dates

Applications for 2017/18 rounds of the Regional Events Fund are outlined below. Applications must be received a minimum of six months prior to the commencement of the event (subject to the discretion of Visit Victoria).

Please note that the assessment process takes approximately eight weeks from the commencement of the process.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) applications at the earliest possible opportunity and take into consideration the following timelines:

Round Opens
EOIs Close
Applications Close*
Will be announced in:
R1 - 17 July
15 September
29 September
November
R2 - 2 October
15 December
29 December
February
R3 - 2 January 16 March
30 March
May
R4 - 2 April 15 June
29 June
August

*Applications will be considered outside these timelines on a case by case basis.
*EOI applications will only proceed to the REF Application process if the initial Event Criteria has been met.

Key Contacts

For further information relating to this Fund please contact Visit Victoria via email at events@visitvictoria.com.au.

Find out how to contact your Regional Tourism Board (PDF 361 KB).

Information for Applicants

Visit Victoria

The Victorian Government established Visit Victoria in July 2016 as an independent company limited by guarantee to drive the growth of the State's tourism and events industry.

Strategic Objectives:

  • Achieve the target set to grow the visitor economy by 2020
  • Position Melbourne and Victoria as the premier tourist and events destination
  • Maintain Melbourne's position as the Event capital
  • Drive visitation to Regional Victoria

The Regional Events Fund

The Regional Events Fund was announced in the 2016/17 Victorian Budget to secure and develop a strong calendar of regional events for Victoria that align with the State and regional tourism brands and can drive economic impact through the attraction of intrastate, interstate and international visitation.

Visit Victoria and the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) will administer the Regional Events Fund which will include the contestable Regional Events and Marketing Partnership Program (REMPP).

Objective

The objective of the fund is to manage the Victorian Government's commitment to supporting a strong calendar of regional events for Victoria

Use of Funds

The Regional Events Fund provides funding for activities that support visitation. Strong consideration for support through the Regional Events Fund will be given to Events:

  • with a strong estimated economic impact to the State and region;
  • whose brand is aligned with State and regional tourism brands; where there is a strategic alignment with the relevant Regional Tourism Board's Event Plan, Strategic Plan and Regional Partnership Priorities;
  • with demonstrated alignment with broader government priorities; and
  • with a financial structure in place beyond the funding provided by State Government including, local government, regional and local tourism organisations and sporting, cultural, industry and community organisations.
  • Demonstrated financial sustainability and management capacity;
  • Is aligned with regional calendar fit for the region proposed.

Funding must not be used:

  • As prize money, gifts or purchase of equipment
  • For staff costs and salaries or general administration
  • For local Council fees; or
  • Travel expenses

Fund Eligibility

Only events held in the RTB networks are eligible to apply for funding through the Regional Events Fund. This does not include events held in the Melbourne Metropolitan Area. A map showing the boundaries of the RTBs by Local Government Area (LGA) is provided in the link provided below.

Events held in Local Government Areas not represented by a Regional Tourism Board (RTB) are not eligible to apply for funding through the Regional Events Fund.

Events held in areas on the border between Victoria and another state must prove, as part of their application that at least 85% of the event's activity is based in Victoria to be eligible for funding.

All applicants must be the event owner and have demonstrated rights to the event, must be financially solvent and be a company or incorporated association with a registered Australian Business Number (ABN).

Fund Criteria

The level of investment that Visit Victoria gives to an event is contingent on a rigorous assessment process. This identifies up-front the key benefits that an event can bring to the State.

To be considered for support event organisers need to make a formal submission to the Regional Events Fund which details the economic, strategic, marketing and community impacts of their proposed event.

Strategic consideration is given to a broad range of potential impacts including visitation, expenditure, seasonal hotel occupancy, potential to encourage local development and economic flow on to the local business community.

Visit Victoria funds programs that align with our strategic priorities, help achieve Visit Victoria's tourism and visitor economy outcomes.

Funding must align with one or more of our strategic priorities:

  • Increase economic benefits by driving visitation from outside of the region and the State and extending length of stay and yield;
  • Showcase Victoria's key regional tourism strengths and build Victoria's reputation as an events destination; and
  • Develop a strong and sustainable calendar of regional events.

Funding must contribute to the achievement of one or more of Visit Victoria's strategic outcomes:

  • Compete globally for tourism, marketing and event procurement (major events and cultural events);
  • Deliver the greatest number of visitors to the State of Victoria and to derive the highest possible value from their stay;
  • Develop and implement strategies to deliver organization objectives in relation to tourism marketing and event attraction consistent with its constitution and the broader Victorian Government objectives and strategies.

If the funding does not align with the key criteria of the Fund, Visit Victoria will not enter the Funding Agreement.

Applicants should note that Visit Victoria reserves the right to award an amount less than that applied for if the information supplied in the application does not justify the amount requested.

The Review Panel

Applications for Regional Event Funds grants are assessed by a Regional Events Fund Committee convened by Visit Victoria and consisting of five representatives with experience in event development and delivery, regional tourism, marketing, sport, creative arts and regional development. The Committee will make its recommendations on the events to receive Regional Events Fund Grants according to the following criteria:

  • Economic Benefits
    This relates to the ability of an event to drive benefit into Regional Victoria in the form of new expenditure and/ or future investment to regions. They key factors that demonstrate this impact include:
    • Number of anticipated participants: These include participants, spectators, organisers and other visitors who will travel to the region specifically for the event;
    • Average Length of Stay: The number of days and (if applicable) nights that participants will stay in the region;
    • Expenditure: Estimated daily expenditure. Including expenditure from expected intrastate visitation from Melbourne.

If the proposed event is a new event, assessments will be made through comparison of events of a similar nature. If a previously held event, performance data will be used to assess the event.

  • Increasing Brand Equity
    Visit Victoria will assess the event's effectiveness in driving strategic brand and marketing outcomes for Victoria including:
    • Strategic alignment: the event aligns with the relevant Regional Tourism Boards Annual Event Plan, Strategic Plan, Destination Management Plan and Regional Partnership priorities;
    • Brand alignment: The brand the event delivers against the attributes of the State and regional tourism brands;
    • Location and timing: the nature of the event aligned with location and time of year the event is proposed to drive benefit to the region.
    • Audience: the nature and size of the event audience
    • Marketing alignment: How promotional strategies for the event support the marketing objectives of Victoria and the region;
    • Expertise: How the event may raise or create awareness of the regions expertise e.g. innovation, event delivery, cultural, sporting venues;
    • Media Impact: the potential for intrastate, interstate and/or international media coverage.
  • Government Priorities and Community
    Visit Victoria will assess the event's capacity to create positive engagement and generate community buy-in and pride:
    • Government Priorities: The Event is held in a Government funded venue or area or aligns with other strategic priorities or Government;
    • Satisfaction: Ensuring that the community and visitors have a positive event experience that enhances their perception of the region;
    • Community engagement: The opportunity to visitors and locals alike to participate in the event; and
    • Local Involvement: How the local business community and/or regional institutions can engage with the event.
  • Calendar Fit
    • Calendar: The overall events funded through this fund is distributed across Victorian Regions and supports regional visitation strategies and objectives of the Region.
  • Financial viability
    Visit Victoria will assess the event's ability to deliver:
    • Financial Management: demonstrated financial sustainability and management capacity; and 
    • Financial Support: the event can generate financial support beyond State Government funding including (but not limited to) local government, regional and local tourism organisations, corporate and community sponsorships and industry and community organisations;
  • Consultation
    Visit Victoria will take into strong consideration the endorsement of the Regional Tourism Board and regional stakeholders to demonstrate viability of the event.

Feedback

Applicants have the opportunity to contact Visit Victoria to receive feedback on applications following assessment, however, it is to be noted:

  • Information provided by Visit Victoria is a guide only
  • Feedback is supplied based on the information provided to Visit Victoria and no representation is assumed or warranties provided on the accuracy, suitability, reliability, currency or completeness of any feedback provided;

Apply Now

The first step in this process is to determine your eligibility for funding.

Click on the Expression of Interest link to start this process.

Applicants who meet the initial criteria outlined in the EOI will then be sent a link to the REF Application to formally apply. This is an online application process.

Applicants should note that events may not proceed to the formal application and assessment process where the event:

  • Cannot meet the minimum criteria set out in the EOI
  • Does not demonstrate economic and other benefits
  • Is not ready for implementation
  • Is not aligned to State or regional priorities
  • Does not demonstrate a need for Government funding
  • Does not maximise funding support from other sources

EOIs will be assessed by Visit Victoria and an assessment panel comprising representatives from Regional Development Victoria, DEDJTR, Sport and Recreation Victoria and Creative Victoria.

Please note that as this is a competitive program there may be a limit to the number of eligible activities which can be funded.

Support Documents