About the Regional Event Fund

The Regional Event Fund identifies and supports events in regional NSW that have the potential to act as ‘cornerstone’ or flagship tourism events for their area by attracting overnight visitation and delivering long-term benefits to the region.

Since it was established in 1996, the Fund has supported more than 440 individual events across regional NSW.

The Regional Event Fund comprises of three funding streams providing a development pipeline for events from inception, through emergence, to their establishment as tourism events:

  • Incubator Event stream, for the establishment of new events
  • Flagship Event stream, for the marketing of emerging events to increase their profile and encourage visitation
  • Event Development stream, for the strategic development of proven events as drivers of tourism

Each of the three streams within the Regional Event Fund have different eligibility, selection criteria and assessment processes. Applications for the three streams are managed separately.

About the Event Development Stream

The Event Development stream supports events that have previously received the maximum funding permitted through the Flagship Event stream and can present a comprehensive strategy for future growth that includes the continued development of its tourism potential to drive overnight visitation to the event.

The Event Development stream will offer one-off grants of up to $50,000 (ex. GST) to support key strategic growth initiatives that will have a direct impact on increasing overnight visitation to the event. A clear strategic rationale will be required for all initiatives together with a justification for the amount requested.

To be considered to receive funding from the Event Development Fund, an event must have received triennial funding through the Flagship Event stream and must meet the fund criteria.

Applications to the Event Development stream will remain open until available funds are exhausted. Only events that have previously received and completed triennial funding through the Flagship Event stream are eligible to apply.

Program guidelines

Eligibility criteria

Only events held in the seven Destination Networks are eligible to apply for funding through the three streams of the Regional Event Fund.

Events held in Local Government Areas not in a Destination Network are not eligible to apply for funding through the three streams of the Regional Event Fund.

Events held in areas on the border between NSW and another state should demonstrate as part of their application that at least 80% of the event’s activity is physically based in NSW or that at least 50% of its economic benefit flows to NSW.

The following event types are not eligible to apply for funding from the three streams of the Regional Event Fund:

  • Regular (e.g. weekly, monthly or held multiple times a year) community events such as markets, bazaars, sports meets (home/away games, local tournaments), club gatherings (RSL, Rotary, Chambers of Commerce etc.), classes and workshops
  • One-off events that are not planned to continue after a single year, such as anniversary celebrations, concerts, exhibitions and theatre seasons. This includes annual events whose location changes each year, or events that are not guaranteed to remain in a specific destination for the long-term
  • Events that have a religious ceremony or celebration as the principal focus such as Easter or Christmas celebrations or the similar festivals of other religions. Events held over religious holiday weekends will be considered if the religious festival is not the focus of the event (eg: food or music festivals)
  • Community public holiday celebrations such as Anzac Day, Australia Day, King’s Birthday if the holiday is the primary focus. Events held on public holidays will be considered if the holiday is not the focus (eg: food or music festival)
  • Event series such as sporting events held in multiple locations across the year
  • Extension activities or satellite events of already existing events. Only the parent event will be considered
  • Touring events such as concert tours, circuses and fun fairs
  • Promotional events where the marketing of a product is the principal objective
  • Events whose overnight visitor impact is not immediate ie: that promote visitation to a destination at a later date
  • Business events such as trade shows, exhibitions, conferences and industry meetings. Consumer events that include a business event as an extension event may be considered if the consumer event is the primary purpose of the event.
  • Events owned and/or operated by an agency or entity of the Federal Government, or a State or Territory Government including New South Wales.
  • Destination Networks are unable to apply for funding from this program.
Assessment criteria

1. Economic impact (50%)

Destination NSW targets its investment in events that will deliver new expenditure into a region through visitation. Applicants need to demonstrate:

a. That the event is seen as a high-profile event for its region, has clearly defined and sustainable initiatives for achieving visitation growth, including appropriate levels of accommodation and services to event visitors. (50%)

2. Strategic marketing alignment and community impact (40%)

This refers to effective promotion of your event and its region to visitors outside of the region while also engaging the local community. Applicants need to:

a. Present a proven marketing strategy that achieves measurable outcomes in driving overnight visitors from outside the event’s immediate region. (20%)

b. Demonstrate well-developed and collaborative relationships with local Council, the local tourism industry and Destination Network, including financial and/or in-kind investment. (20%)

3. Event planning and due diligence (10%)

Event organisers need to demonstrate sound event management practices and that they’ve undertaken sufficient due diligence in their event planning. Applicants need to demonstrate:

a. An organisational structure with demonstrated success in event delivery, particularly in operations, marketing, communications, finance and risk management. A mandatory requirement of this component of the criteria is a clear strategy and plan for collecting data and assessing ex-region visitation numbers and experience. (10%)

Applications to the Event Development Fund are open year-round but must be submitted a minimum of 6 months before the next event and in sufficient time to deliver the initiative the funding is being applied for.

Applications to the Event Development Fund must be in the form of a proposal document that addresses the fund criteria.

Terms and conditions

Applicants are encouraged to read the fund terms and conditions (below) prior to applying to ensure they meet the criteria before commencing their application.

Previous recipients

Visit the NSW Government's Grants and Funding page.

Appendix 1

Sydney Local Government Areas not eligible for the Regional Event Fund

The list below features the Local Government areas in Greater Sydney that are not represented by a Destination Network. Events held in these Local Government Areas are not eligible for funding from the three streams of the Regional Event Fund.

  • Bankstown
  • Blacktown
  • Blue Mountains
  • Botany Bay
  • Burwood
  • Camden
  • Campbelltown
  • Canada Bay
  • Canterbury
  • Cumberland
  • Fairfield
  • Georges River
  • Hawkesbury
  • Hills Shire
  • Hornsby
  • Hunters Hill
  • Inner West
  • Ku-ring-gai
  • Lane Cove
  • Liverpool
  • Mosman
  • North Sydney
  • Northern Beaches
  • Parramatta
  • Penrith
  • Randwick
  • Rockdale
  • Ryde
  • Strathfield
  • Sutherland
  • Sydney
  • Waverley
  • Willoughby
  • Woollahra
  • Wollondilly