Special Event Partnership Funding

The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) facilitates a Special Event Partnership Funding program for annual special events. Submissions are accepted once a year (in the Fall) for events that take place in the subsequent calendar year. Events occurring in calendar year 2017 may submit an application for consideration beginning September 6, 2016. There is $500,000 available in the Special Event program for possible distribution.

The program is a marketing opportunity, providing financial resources for events to broaden their advertising and promotional efforts (to potential out-of-market visitors) that would otherwise not be possible. Partnership Funding is not intended to supplement event production expenses or to augment net income.

Eligibility Guidelines, Program Goals:

Relating to the Partnership Funding program, special events are defined as:

An organized annual event that generates overnight visitors for two or more Washoe County lodging properties, as well as out-of-area marketing exposure, and is of interest to the general public. Historically these events have included, but are not limited to: festivals, fairs, community events and certain sporting events. Qualified events must reinforce the RSCVA’s branding message, provide the RSCVA with a sustainable and appealing destination message, and attract overnight visitors.

The RSCVA is funded by transient lodging taxes and tourism surcharges generated when paid lodging is utilized in Washoe County. Therefore, Partnership Funding is earmarked for events that occur in Washoe County and have a history of, or the potential for, attracting overnight visitors to Washoe County. Communities in Washoe County Zip Code Map.

If an event occurs outside of Washoe County, it may be considered if the venue location is close to Washoe County and occurs in an area without significant commercial lodging. The event must also promote Washoe County as the primary bed base and generate significant room nights for Washoe County.

The RSCVA supports special events because they positively impact our community in various ways:

  • Room Nights: Events motivate travelers to visit the destination, thereby generating new incremental room nights at desirable rates for Washoe County lodging properties.
  • Destination Awareness: Events create positive perception for the destination due to their out-of-market advertising, social media and promotional efforts.
  • Repeat Visitation: Visitors who come to the destination and have an enjoyable experience at an event may be more likely to return in the future.
  • RSCVA Messaging: Events enhance the RSCVA's destination branding and communications to promote Reno Tahoe.
  • Economic Impact: Out-of-market spectators and participants that travel to the destination because of an event contribute to the financial vitality of Washoe County.

The goals of the RSCVA Special Event Partnership Funding program include:

  • Support new events that will grow to be future Legacy events for the destination.
  • Provide resources for special events to increase their out-of-market promotional efforts to potential visitors.
  • Assist special events to grow and realize their full potential in room nights and brand awareness.
  • Enhance the positioning of the cities of Reno, Sparks, Incline Village/Crystal Bay and Washoe County as a more attractive place to live, work and play.
  • Extend the special event season and fill holes in the annual calendar of major special events.

The RSCVA reserves the right to determine whether an event qualifies for Partnership Funding consideration. If an event is uncertain about whether their application would be considered, consult the Special Events & Marketing Manager prior to preparing a submission. The following guidelines may assist in determining eligibility:

  • Only the principal producing entity of a special event can apply for funding consideration. Likewise, only one organization will be considered for funding on behalf of any single event.
  • Venues do not qualify for funding consideration regardless whether their intent is to provide supplemental marketing support for one or more events taking place at their facility. However, if a venue is the principal producing entity of a specific special event, they may submit an application for consideration.
  • The event currently promotes, or desires to promote, to potential out-of-market, overnight visitors (spectators and/or participants) and is not primarily an activity for local residents.
  • The event can generate overnight visitors for Washoe County lodging entities.
  • The event is fundamentally not a conference, meeting, trade show, workshop or expo.
  • The RSCVA will not be the sole/primary revenue source for the event. The event is not dependent upon receipt of RSCVA Partnership Funding to occur.
  • The event's funding request does not exceed 25% of the overall event budget.
  • Awarded funds will be used for advertising, marketing and promotional efforts, not event operations.
  • The event is/will occur annually in Washoe County. The event does not intend to take place one-time only, nor is there a limit regarding the number of consecutive years it can occur in the destination.
  • The event is open to the general public (spectators), promotes attendance to the general public and does not require the general public to purchase a membership, conference registration or annual dues to attend. Spectator ticket charges are acceptable for gated events.
  • The event's venue capacity is not limited to a small number of people. It can accommodate hundreds (or thousands) of spectators.
  • The event will secure partnerships with at least two Washoe County lodging properties as the event must benefit more than a single lodging entity. Partnerships can be in the form of: cash/in-kind sponsorship, room block, special room rate, venue location or marketing/promotional assistance. (Funding requests of less than $1,000 require only a single property partner).

Submit An Application

BEFORE preparing a funding application for submission, events should review the following two document links below.

Funding Program Overview
Provides details about the following topics: overview of the funding program; application evaluation process; timeline for review, RSCVA Board approval and contracting; insurance requirements for funded events.

Application Explanations
Clarifies specific questions in the funding application and provides guidance regarding the required supplemental documents.

Funding Application
To complete and submit an application for funding consideration, click here. Submitting an application does not guarantee that Partnership Funding will be awarded.

The completed application and all required supplemental documents must be submitted by the deadline in order to be considered.


Early Application Option:
5:00pm (PST), Monday, October 3, 2016

The optional early application submission opportunity could be helpful for events that have not previously submitted a Partnership Funding application and would like to receive feedback. To participate in the early submission option, events must submit their "trial" application and supplemental documents by Monday, October 3, 2016 (5:00pm PST). RSCVA staff will review the submission, then provide feedback and guidance, allowing ample time for the applicant to modify and resubmit their application by the final deadline of November 3, 2016.

Participating in the early application option does not imply an event will receive a favorable funding allocation recommendation. Staff review and feedback is only provided to events that submit by the early application deadline.

Final Application Deadline:
2:00pm (PST), Thursday, November 3, 2016

The final deadline for submitting an application and all supporting documents is Thursday, November 3, 2016 (2:00pm PST). Late submissions of will not be accepted. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit 1-2 days prior to the final deadline to minimize the risk of a late submission due to computer malfunctions, email transmission difficulties or postal service delays.

The RSCVA Special Events Manager will meet with an event at any time to discuss the Partnership Funding program as well as the submission process.

Nina Brown | 775-827-7721

RSCVA Special Events & Marketing Manager