Special Event Partnership Funding
The Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority (RSCVA) facilitates a Special Event Partnership Funding program for annual special events. Submissions are accepted once a year (in early December) for events that take place in the subsequent calendar year. There is currently $500,000 available in the Special Events funding program for possible distribution.
The funding program is a marketing opportunity, providing financial resources that enable an event 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.
An event’s use of RSCVA funding dollars in their advertising and promotional efforts must positively highlight the communities of Reno, Sparks, Incline Village/Crystal Bay and Washoe County as an attractive place to live, work and play. Event messaging should support the RSCVA brand, not contradict it, and should never convey a negative parody of the destination, even if unintentional.
Events occurring in calendar year 2019 may submit an application for consideration, starting on November 1, 2018. The final application deadline is December 4, 2018 (2:00 p.m. PT). All submissions will be reviewed simultaneously by a panel consisting of RSCVA staff and executives. Award recommendations will be presented to the RSCVA board for review and possible approval in late January 2019.
The deadline to accept applications for funding of 2018 calendar-year special events was December 5 (2:00pm PT), 2017. Applications for existing events are no longer being accepted.
If an event is new to the destination and is interested in applying for 2018 funding, please contact the Special Events & Marketing Manager at the email or phone number below.
Applications for 2019 funding will be accepted starting November 1, 2018.
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 in an area without significant commercial lodging. The event must also promote Washoe County as the primary bed base and generate significant room nights in Washoe County.
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, please consult the Special Events & Marketing Manager prior to preparing a submission. The following guidelines may assist events in determining eligibility for, or compatibility with, the funding program:
- 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, even if 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 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 and the event will not be dependent upon receipt of RSCVA Partnership Funding in order to occur.
- A funding request cannot exceed 25% of an event's overall cash operating budget. In-kind goods or services extended to an event by suppliers and partners do not qualify towards calculating the 25% limit.
- The funding request should reasonably equate to the cost of the new marketing initiatives that the event wishes to implement. Awarded funds must be used for advertising, marketing and promotional efforts, not event operations.
- The event can/will occur annually in Washoe County and does not intend to be held one-time only. There is not a limit regarding the number of consecutive years the event can occur in the destination. The event is definite, not tentative.
- The event must have a spectator component, promote activities to the public (spectators), and does not require the public to purchase a membership or pay annual dues to attend. Spectator ticket or activity fees are acceptable.
- 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. The event will acknowledge their lodging partners on their website. Funding requests of less than $1,000 require only a single property partner.
BEFORE preparing a funding application for submission, events are strongly encouraged to download the two document links below, "Getting Started/Funding Program Overview" and "Application Explanations."
- Getting Started/Funding Program Overview
This document provides details relating to the following topics: How to save your online application for future work; acceptable attachment file types; program overview; application evaluation process; funding timeline; insurance requirements. Click here to download the document.
- Application Explanations
This "how to" guide clarifies specific questions in the application and details the desired information to include in the event's supplemental documents. The completeness and consistency of a submission could be improved by referring to this document during application preparation. Click here to download the document.
Deadline, Funding Application
Submission Deadline for 2019 Funding:
2:00 p.m. (PT), Tuesday, December 4, 2018
This is the final deadline to accept applications. To avoid the possibility of a late submission due to computer malfunctions or transmission errors, consider submitting the application prior to the deadline. Submission does not imply 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.
To complete and submit an application for funding consideration, click here.
Events can prepare their submission in multiple sessions by using the "Save and Continue Later" button at the bottom of the application. Once an applicant clicks "Submit" however, their submission is no longer accessible to make further revisions.
The RSCVA Special Events & Marketing Manager is happy to meet with an event to discuss the Partnership Funding program as well as the submission process.
Nina Brown |
RSCVA Special Events & Marketing Manager