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 2018 may submit an application for consideration beginning September 29, 2017. There is $500,000 available in the Special Event program for possible distribution.

The 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. 


Eligibility Guidelines:

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 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, 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 is not dependent upon receipt of RSCVA Partnership Funding to take place.
  • 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 determing 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 will be used for advertising, marketing and promotional efforts, not event operations.
  • The event is/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 it 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, conference registration 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. (Funding requests of less than $1,000 require only a single property partner).

Submit An Application

BEFORE preparing a funding application for submission, events are strongly encouraged to download the 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" document supplements the online application as a guide. It clarifies specific questions and provides details regarding the information to include in each supplemental document. Click here to download the document.

Funding Application
To complete and submit an application for funding consideration, click here. 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.

Events can work on their application in multiple sessions by using the "Save and Continue Later" button. However, once an applicant clicks "Submit," the application will no longer be accessible to make further revisions.


Optional Early "Trial" Application:
2:00pm (PT), Friday, November 3, 2017

Participation in the optional early "trial" application is limited to the following events:

  • An event that has never applied for RSCVA funding.
  • An event that has applied for RSCVA funding only one time since November 2014.

Events that have applied for funding two or more times since November 2014 cannot take part in the "trial" application.

This option could be helpful for events that are new to the Partnership Funding process and desire feedback regarding their application and supporting documents. To participate, submit an application and supplemental documents by the early application deadline. RSCVA staff will then review the submission and provide feedback/guidance, allowing ample time for the event to modify and resubmit their final application and supporting documents by the December 5, 2017 deadline.

It is not a requirement for new applicants to the funding program to participate in the early "trial" application option. Participation does not imply that a favorable funding recommendation will be the outcome. Staff review and feedback is only available to events that submit by the early application deadline and are new to the funding process.


Final Application Deadline:
2:00pm (PT), Tuesday, December 5, 2017

This is the final deadline to accept applications. Events are encouraged to apply 1-2 days prior to this deadline however to minimize the possibility of a late submission due to computer malfunctions or transmission errors. Applications and supplemental materials cannot be accepted after the final deadline.

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