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 Flagship Event stream

The Flagship Event stream identifies and assists the development of events that contribute to the unique character and culture of the tourism regions of NSW and can demonstrate that they attract overnight visitation.

The Flagship Event stream offers grants specifically to support marketing activities aimed at increasing visibility and attracting visitation to the event from outside its immediate area. Grants through the Flagship stream are only available to events that have been running for more than 2 years.

The Flagship Event stream offers the following grants:

  • Annual grant - $20,000 (ex. GST)

Triennial grant - $30,000 (ex. GST) per annum for three years

A single event may receive an Annual grant a maximum of three times and a Triennial grant only once. An event will only be considered for a Triennial grant once it has received three Annual grants.

Application to the Flagship Event stream is a single-stage process consisting of an online application form responding to a series of questions that address the fund criteria. Strong applications require robust data and supporting information.

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

Economic Impact (40%)

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

The ability to attract overnight visitation, from outside the event’s Local Government Area and demonstrate that sufficient accommodation capacity exists. (40%)

Strategic marketing alignment and community impact (30%)

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:

Present a well-developed marketing plan aimed at delivering incremental audience growth with defined target audiences and measurable objectives. (15%)

Demonstrate alignment with the local tourism industry; including consideration of local and/or regional tourism strategies and display local council support. (15%)

Event planning and due diligence (30%)

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 clear event management plan detailing the event overview, operational processes, risk management, financial management incl. itemised budget, team structure, rationale for timing of the event, relevant insurance cover, method for collecting and measuring attendee and visitation number, and evaluation plan. 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. (30%)

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