About the Regional Event Fund

The Regional Event Fund was established in 1996. The program is a mechanism to grow regional visitation by assisting events that contribute to the unique character of the tourism regions of NSW to market themselves to visitors from outside of their Local Government Area.

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

The three individual streams of the Regional Event Fund are:

  • Incubator Event stream – supports the establishment of new events
  • Flagship Event stream – supports the marketing of emerging events to increase their profile and encourage visitation
  • Event Development stream – supports the strategic development of established 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.

The primary objective of the Regional Event Fund is to provide grants to events in regional NSW that have demonstrated they are, or have the potential to become, tourism drivers for their region. Depending on the stream, grants are focused on event delivery, event marketing or specific growth initiatives.

Secondary objectives include leveraging supported events through Destination NSW marketing and communications activities to build the profile of NSW and specific destinations, and, through the application and feedback process, to offer guidance to event organisers to improve event management capabilities.

Ultimately, the funding program aims to increase visitation to regional events and increase economic benefit to destinations.

This page provides information on the Incubator Event stream of the Regional Event Fund only. Guidelines for the Flagship Event stream and Event Development stream are available separately.

Incubator Event stream

The Incubator Event stream supports innovative events that demonstrate sound organisational planning, have a unique alignment with the character and culture of their local region and which can demonstrate a broad appeal likely to promote tourism and attract overnight visitation.

The Incubator Event stream offers annual grants of up to $20,000 (ex. GST) to events in Regional NSW to support costs including but not limited to temporary event infrastructure; venue hire; marketing and promotions; marketing, PR and digital consultancies; brand design and development; and attendee research.

Application to the Incubator 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.

To be eligible for Incubator Event funding an event must be held for the first or second time between 1 July 2024 and 30 June 2025 and must align with the fund criteria outlined in the Grant Guidelines.

Applicants are encouraged to read the Incubator Event Grant Guidelines before commencing an application to ensure your event meets the requirements.

View the guidelines here.


Who can apply

To be eligible to apply for any of the three streams of the Regional Event Fund, applicants must:

  • Be the event owner (i.e. own the rights to the event and hold the relevant approvals for the event)
  • Be financially solvent
  • Have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Be a sole trader, company, incorporated association or trust entity
  • Certificate of currency for at least $20 million public liability insurance, or evidence of ability to secure before entering into a funding agreement.

Who can’t apply

Ineligible applicants include:

  • Australian, State or Territory Government agencies or entities, including New South Wales
  • Destination Networks
  • Political parties

Types of projects funded under this grant

To be eligible for the Incubator Event Annual grant, your event must:

  • Take place between 1 July 2024 and 30 June 2025
  • Be held for the first or second year in the year of funding
  • Be held in one of the seven Destination Networks.

The Destination Networks include:

  • Destination Country & Outback NSW
  • Destination North Coast incl. Lord Howe Island
  • Destination Riverina Murray
  • Destination Southern NSW
  • Destination Sydney Surrounds North
  • Destination Sydney Surrounds South
  • Destination Central West

View map link here.

Please note: the Local Government Areas of Penrith, Hawkesbury, Blue Mountains and Wollondilly are no longer included in the below Destination Networks.

Please review grant guidelines for the types of projects not funded under this grant.

What can you apply for?

The Incubator Event stream offers seed funding for activities that are likely to establish the event as a driver of visitation. Activities for which funding will be offered include, but are not limited to:

  • Venue hire and other costs specific to the event, determined on a case by case basis
  • Temporary event infrastructure (marquees, stages etc.) that is likely to improve the visitor experience
  • Marketing and promotions
  • Marketing, PR and digital specialist or consultancy fees subject to Destination NSW approval of a brief
  • Brand design and development
  • Visitor research.

Destination NSW funding is intended to supplement existing expenditure and support the event to deliver a superior visitor experience or raise its profile outside of its immediate area.

What can’t you apply for?

Incubator Grant funds cannot be used to replace previous or other funding for the Event, such as:

  • Prize money, gifts, or contributions to charitable groups
  • Travel expenses
  • Local council fees
  • General administration costs such as staff costs, salaries, administration and services
  • Costs incurred in the preparation of a grant application or related documentation.

What your application needs to include

Applicants are encouraged to:

  • Read the grant guidelines in full
  • Check their eligibility for the program
  • Speak to their Destination Network to advise of their intent to apply

All applications for grants from the 2024/25 Incubator Event stream must be submitted through the Destination NSW online application platform.

Applicants will be required to attach the following documents to their online application:

Completed Event Plan detailing your:

  • Event overview
  • Operational processes
  • Risk management
  • Team structure
  • Evaluation plan

It also needs to include:

  • Itemised budget for the 2024/25 event including projected revenue and expenditure
  • Certificate of currency for at least $20 million public liability insurance, or evidence of ability to secure before entering into a funding agreement

The application form includes multiple opportunities to upload supplementary information in support of the application and applicants are encouraged to do so.

Address the eligibility criteria

Each applicant must confirm that they meet the eligibility criteria for the Incubator Event stream when completing the online application form.

Address the assessment criteria

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

1. Economic impact (30% weighting)

2. Strategic marketing alignment and community impact (30% weighting)

3. Event planning and due diligence (40% weighting)

Application process

Applications are now open for the Incubator Event stream of the 2024/25 Regional Event Fund.

Applications for grants from the 2024/25 Incubator Event stream must be submitted through the Destination NSW online application platform.

Applicants are encouraged to:

  • Read the program guidelines in full
  • Check their eligibility for the program
  • Speak to their Destination Network to advise of their intent to apply
  • Start their applications early during the application period to ensure they are completed in good time before the closing date. Destination NSW is not responsible for delays to the submission of applications caused by technology, connection or other issues outside of its control.

After the application is submitted

The Incubator Event stream of the Regional Event Fund is an open, competitive grants program.

Eligible applications will be assessed on their merits against the selection criteria, be compared with and ranked against other applications. Applications with the highest scores are more likely to be funded.

Applicants will be advised via email and/or letter of the outcome of their grant application once approval is determined by the decision maker.

Unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing and offered the opportunity of a feedback session about their application.

Support and contact

If you need assistance or further information regarding this fund please contact the Grants Administration Team via email on grants.admin@dnsw.com.au

Destination Networks

For information on Destination Management Plans, regional tourism strategies and local visitor economy stakeholders click here.

Event listings

For assistance or questions about the Get Connected program, Destination NSW websites or the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW), please call 1300 137 225 or email support@atdw.com.au.

Program evaluation

Destination NSW will undertake an evaluation of the program.

Recent recipients

Recipients of the Regional Event Fund Incubator Event stream 2024/25 will be published soon.