NSW Regional Business Event Development Fund

What is the NSW Regional Business Event Development Fund?

The NSW Regional Business Event Development Fund is designed to help stakeholders create, attract and support exciting business events for regional NSW and to support new business event initiatives. The Fund aims to enrich these business events with opportunities offered by iconic towns and regions, while helping secure successful conferences and events for their future. 

The four streams of the program are:

  1. Creation of a New Business Event – To encourage towns and regions to create their own new conferences and business events. 
     
  2. Attraction of an Existing Business Event – To assist rural and regional NSW to secure conferences, business events and major expos. The business event should have been held previously in a capital city, interstate or overseas and funding is being sought to bring the event to a regional NSW location.
     
  3. Support for an Existing Business Event – To support events that are held in regional NSW and may rotate between locations. Funds must be used to drive increased visitation for the event.
     
  4. Support for a Business Event Project – To assist rural and regional NSW to implement business event projects or initiatives aimed at driving growth in the visitor economy of regional NSW. This may take the form of a business event series or roadshow; a specific element of a business event where the main event is being held in a capital city or interstate; or a small-scale infrastructure project designed specifically to support growth in business events.

 

What level of funding is available?

An Applicant may apply for funding based on the following scale:

  • Up to $15,000 (ex GST) for a business event with up to 150 delegates (projected attendance)
  • Up to $30,000 (ex GST) for a business event with over 150 delegates (projected attendance)

Applications submitted prior to 5:00pm AEDT Monday 31 January 2022 will be assessed on a first-come-first-served basis until the funds have been expended. Funding is to be matched dollar-for-dollar by local communities, councils, entrepreneurs, associations, corporations, professional conference organisers or grants received by other local, state or federal government agency. 

 

Who can apply for funding?

The Fund is open to local government, local tourism organisations, convention organisers, chambers of commerce, business events industry operators, industry associations, sole traders, corporations and professional conference organisers which are looking to create or host a business event in regional NSW. Applicants who have received funding for a business event previously may be eligible to apply for funding under the third stream – Support of an Existing Business Event. Political parties are ineligible to apply. 

 

Who will administer the program?

Destination NSW will administer the Fund and the assessment of grant applications. Destination NSW will make payments against the achievement of milestones, to be mutually agreed. 

 

Business Event Development Fund criteria

Creation of a New Business Event criteria (where relevant):

  1. Number of anticipated delegates, region travelled from, expected number of bed nights, (and if relevant, anticipated accompanying persons).
  2. Evidence of local support. This can include support from chamber of commerce, local councils, civic leaders, local Member of Parliament etc.
  3. Sufficient quality infrastructure e.g. accommodation, meeting venues etc.
  4. The link of the conference or business event topic/theme to the local community and/or relevance and evidence of research to show that topic area is either unique and/or how it can leverage an existing similar event.
  5. Use of local produce, entertainment, venues, attractions and transport and pre and post local conference touring elements.
  6. Local resources to deliver the conference or business event and any jobs (full-time or part-time) that might be created.
  7. Future sustainability of the conference or business event, beyond one (1) year (if possible).

 

Attraction of an Existing Business Event criteria (where relevant):

  1. Number of anticipated delegates, region travelled from, expected number of bed nights, (and if relevant, anticipated accompanying persons).
  2. Evidence of local support. This can include support from chamber of commerce, local councils, civic leaders, local Member of Parliament etc.
  3. Sufficient quality infrastructure e.g. accommodation, meeting venues etc.
  4. Use of local produce, entertainment, venues, attractions and transport and pre and post local conference touring elements.
  5. Local resources to deliver the conference or business event and any jobs (full-time or part-time) that might be created.
  6. Future sustainability of the conference or business event.

 

Support for an Existing Business Event criteria (where relevant):

  1. Number of anticipated delegates, region travelled from, expected number of bed nights, (and if relevant, anticipated accompanying persons).
  2. Evidence of local support. This can include support from chamber of commerce, local councils, civic leaders, local Member of Parliament etc.
  3. Sufficient quality infrastructure e.g. accommodation, meeting venues etc.
  4. Use of local produce, entertainment, venues, attractions and transport and pre and post local conference touring elements.
  5. Local resources to deliver the conference or business event and any jobs (full-time or part-time) that might be created.
  6. Future sustainability of the conference or business event.

 

Support for a Business Event Project criteria (where relevant):

  1. Number of anticipated delegates, region travelled from, expected number of bed nights, (and if relevant, anticipated accompanying persons).
  2. Evidence of local support. This can include support from chamber of commerce, local councils, civic leaders, local Member of Parliament etc.
  3. Evidence of demand for business event project or initiative and demonstrated capacity to add value to the local visitor economy.
  4. Use of local produce, entertainment, venues, attractions and transport and pre and post local conference touring elements (where applicable).
  5. Benefits to the region able to be generated through implementation of the business event project or initiative.
  6. Future sustainability of the conference or business event.

 

What is ineligible for funding?

The funding requested must be directed towards initiatives which are likely to increase or extend visitation associated with the business event. Items that are not eligible include: 

  1. Applicant travel and accommodation.
  2. Any outbound promotion (including competitions, prize promotions and giveaways).
  3. Subsidising delegate attendance or providing travel or accommodation subsidies to attendees.  Funding can be used to cover the cost of point-to-point transfer services.
  4. Funding any projects which have already been provided with a grant under another Destination NSW incentive or investment agreement.
  5. Employment of local resources on an ongoing basis to drive business events growth overall.
  6. Applicants seeking support for a small-scale infrastructure project may not seek funding for the purchase of non-fixed equipment which may be removable, transportable or transferable. Funding for small-scale infrastructure projects may not be used to undertake activities that would reasonably be seen as regular repairs and maintenance.
  7. Travel, expenses and accommodation costs of staff working at the business event(s); this does not include costs associated with securing keynote speakers.
  8. Any other activity, as defined under the agreement.

 

Terms and Conditions

All Applicants are encouraged to thoroughly read the funding terms and conditions before beginning their application. Please read the funding Terms and Conditions here.

 

How to apply?

All applications for the Fund are to be submitted via the online portal. Applications submitted prior to 5:00pm AEDT Monday 31 January 2022 will be assessed on a first-come-first-served basis until the funds have been expended.

 

FAQs 

What is matched funding? 

Matched funding means the applicant needs to demonstrate that the business event is generating income across the entire event which is equal to, or greater than, the amount being requesting in funding. It does not mean that the items for which the applicant is requesting require a 50/50 split of costs between Destination NSW and the applicant.  

For example, if an applicant requests a grant of $20,000, they need to demonstrate they are receiving $20,000 in income from elsewhere (e.g., conference registrations, sponsorship income), or that the applicant is contributing greater than the amount requested toward covering the expenses associated with hosting the business event. 

 

What does ‘first come, first served’ mean?  

Applications are assessed in the order in which they are received. The funding is allocated progressively to eligible applicants until the Fund is fully expended. Applications received after the Fund is fully committed will not be considered. 

 

How much time does there need to be between my submission and my event date? 

Destination NSW recommends that applicants apply for funding at least three months prior to their event commencement date. This enables the application to be assessed by the panel and for the applicant to be advised of the outcome in a timely manner before the event commencement date or other critical event planning dates.  

Any application that is submitted with insufficient time to complete the assessment and contracting process will not be considered. 

 

When does my event need to be held? 

Business events often have long lead times. Accordingly, there is no time limit on when the event is required to take place. Events to take place in 2022, 2023 and onwards are eligible to apply. 

 

Does the requested amount of funding include GST? 

The Fund is GST inclusive, however financial amounts are referred to in exclusive terms. This means that an applicant with under 150 delegates applying for $15,000 is applying for $15,000 ex GST, which is then $16,500 including GST. Applicants that are not registered for GST are eligible to apply for funding and can be awarded the funds exclusive of GST. 

Destination NSW is not able to provide advice on recipients’ tax situation. Destination NSW recommends applicants contact the ATO directly or consult their accountant for information or advice relevant to their personal circumstance. 

 

How is the funding provided? 

The standard funding agreement provides payment in two milestones: 

  • 75% of the funding is paid on upon receipt of a signed agreement and a copy of the business event’s Certificate of Currency.  

  • 25% of the funding is paid after the event is completed, the agreed deliverables have been fulfilled and the post-event report has been submitted to Destination NSW. 

Any variations to the terms of the funding agreement – specifically deliverables and timelines – must be agreed by Destination NSW in a timely manner. 

 

For more information

For more information regarding the Fund please email conferencing@dnsw.com.au  or call 02 9931 1111.