Terms and Conditions – 2022 Incubator Event Fund

3 November 2021

Funding Conditions for the Incubator Event stream of the 2022 Regional Event Fund

Note: This document describes the conditions of participation in the Incubator Event stream of the 2022 Regional Event Fund only. It does not describe the conditions of participation in the Flagship Event stream or Event Development stream, which are available via the Regional Event Fund page. Destination NSW is the administrator of this grants program.

Table of Contents

Please read the following conditions carefully. Destination NSW’s assessment panel will allocate funding for the Incubator Event stream according to the terms in this document.

Destination NSW

The New South Wales (NSW) Government established Destination NSW in July 2011 as the lead government agency for the New South Wales tourism and major events sector.

Our Role

Destination NSW’s role is to market Sydney and NSW as one of the world’s premier tourism and major events destinations; to secure major sporting and cultural events; to work in partnership with Business Events Sydney to win major international conventions and incentive travel reward programs; to develop and deliver initiatives that will drive visitor growth throughout the State; and to achieve the NSW Government’s goal of tripling expenditure within the State’s visitor economy by 2030.

Our Vision

To be the premier visitor economy in the Asia Pacific by 2030.

Key Themes and Actions

The Visitor Economy Strategy 2030 outlines five strategic pillars that underpin the NSW Government’s vision to be the premier visitor economy in the Asia-Pacific region by 2030:

  • Road to Recovery – a comprehensive program of marketing and industry development to ensure NSW recovers quickly from the impacts of COVID-19, bushfires, drought and floods
  • Build the Brand – compelling new brands will be developed for Sydney and NSW to provide a strong foundation for differentiation, consumer messaging, local pride and competitiveness to turbo-charge recovery and accelerate future growth
  • Showcase our strengths – NSW is a state of breathtaking diversity and bucket list visitor attractions and experiences. We will focus on existing strengths and develop new opportunities to ensure place making, destination marketing, events and visitor experiences drive visitation
  • Invest in world-class events – An accelerated investment in signature sporting and cultural events such as the 10 World Cups and Vivid Sydney as well as business events will help position Sydney and NSW as the events capital of the Asia-Pacific, drive visitation and enhance the social wellbeing of NSW residents
  • Facilitate growth – investing in infrastructure, job creation, industry resilience and sustainability, future planning, and better ways to do business will ensure the continued growth and future prosperity of the NSW visitor economy.

Learn more about the Visitor Economy Strategy 2030 on our website.

Destination Networks

In 2016 the NSW Government announced the creation of six professionalised regional tourism entities, to be known as Destination Networks (DNs), to work with Destination NSW to advance the interests of growing tourism in NSW.

The six (6) DNs are:

  • Destination Riverina Murray
  • Destination Southern NSW (including the Snowy Mountains and the Far South Coast)
  • Destination North Coast (including Lord Howe Island)
  • Destination Country and Outback NSW
  • Destination Sydney Surrounds North (including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, the Hunter, Penrith and Hawkesbury)
  • Destination Sydney Surrounds South (including the Southern Highlands, Wollongong, the Shoalhaven and Wollondilly).

A map showing the boundaries of the Destination Networks by Local Government Area is provided in Appendix 1.

The core role of the Destination Networks is destination management and, as such, their key responsibilities are industry engagement and industry development, product development, training and education, ensuring quality and compliance with funding application guidelines, and collaboration with Destination NSW on industry activities.

In addition, the DNs develop and implement their region’s Destination Management Plan (DMP), in alignment with the NSW State Destination Management Plan, and ensure its alignment with local tourism and other related plans. Please contact the DNs for all enquiries relating to the DMP.

Destination NSW’s support for the Incubator Event stream works alongside the strategies that each Destination Network has for the marketing and development of regional tourism.

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 to their region and delivering long-term benefits to the host destination.

Since 1996, the Regional Events Fund has provided almost $13 million in funding to more than 400 separate events throughout Regional NSW over twenty-four annual rounds.

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

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

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

This Terms & Conditions document refers only to the conditions of participation in the Incubator Event stream. Terms and Conditions for the Flagship Event stream and Event Development stream are available separately.

General Eligibility

Only events held in the six Destination Networks are eligible to apply for funding through the three streams of the Regional Event Fund. This includes events held in the Sydney metropolitan Local Government Areas of Penrith and Hawkesbury which are part of Destination Sydney Surrounds North, and Wollondilly which is part of Destination Sydney Surrounds South. A map showing the boundaries of the Destination Networks by Local Government Area is provided in Appendix 1.

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. Local Government Areas not in a Destination Network are listed in Appendix 2.

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 (e.g.: food or music festivals)
  • Community public holiday celebrations such as Anzac Day, Australia Day, Queen’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 i.e.: 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. You can find information on Destination NSW’s business events programs here
  • 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.

Incubator Event Stream


The Incubator Event stream offers seed funding to events in Regional NSW to support their first and second years of activity. The stream supports innovative events that demonstrate sound organisational planning, have a unique alignment with the character and culture of the local region and which can demonstrate a broad appeal likely to promote tourism and attract overnight visitation.


The Incubator Event stream offers one-off annual grants of up to $20,000 (excl. GST).

An event may apply for any amount up to and including $20,000 but must be able to provide justification for the amount requested within the context of their budget and event plan.

Use of Funds

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
  • Attendee 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.

Incubator Event stream monies must not be used:

  • As prize money, gifts or contributions to charitable groups. (Where some event proceeds go to charity, evidence will be required to show adequate funds are retained for the ongoing operation of the event
  • For local Council fees, or
  • For travel expenses, staff costs and salaries or general administration costs.

Fund Eligibility

The 2022 Incubator Event stream is available to events taking place between 1 January and 31 December 2022

To be eligible to receive funding through the Incubator Event stream:

  • The event must have its first or second event in the year of funding. For the avoidance of doubt, an Incubator Event stream grant will only be offered to an event being held for the first or second time
  • The event must be held in one of the six regional NSW Destination Networks geographical areas
  • The event must have a minimum of 80% of its activities physically based in NSW
  • The event must not receive funding from another Destination NSW regional event funding program in the same year
  • The applicant must be the event owner, own the rights to the event and have relevant approvals for the event
  • The event owner must be a sole trader, company, incorporated association, or trust entity
  • The event owner must be financially solvent
  • The event owner must hold public liability insurance
  • The event owner must not have debts to the NSW Government
  • The event owner must hold an Australian Business Number
  • The event owner agrees to enter into a contract for funding with Destination NSW.

Potential applicants should note that:

  • Destination NSW reserves the right to award an amount less than that applied for if the Assessors deem the amount requested is not justified by the information supplied in the application.

Fund Criteria

To be considered for funding from the Incubator Event stream, an event must demonstrate that they sufficiently meet the following fund criteria:

Key criteria:

  • Have a sound basis for the event concept that aligns with the character and culture of their local area
  • Demonstrate a strong appeal to audiences beyond its local area
  • Have a clear event plan detailing the event structure, operational processes and risk management
  • Have a well-structured and organised event management committee or company with appropriate skills to deliver and market the event.

Secondary criteria:

  • Complement the event landscape for the area
  • Demonstrate sufficient accommodation capacity to attract overnight visitation
  • Have clear strategies for raising awareness of the event outside its local area
  • Have strategies for measuring visitation and the visitor experience
  • Demonstrate sound financial management in budget planning
  • Have the strong support of the local Council
  • Take place outside the peak tourism period for the area ie: during the off-peak or shoulder seasons.

Application Process

Applications to the 2022 Incubator Event stream will open on Wednesday 3 November 2021 and close at midnight on Sunday 5 December 2021.

  • Grants in the 2022 Incubator Event stream will be allocated in a single round for events taking place between 1 January and 31 December 2022
  • An application to the Incubator Event stream is a single-stage process consisting of a short-form application responding to a series of questions that address the fund criteria (Application Form)
  • The Application Form includes opportunities to upload supplementary information in support of the application and applicants are encouraged to do so
  • All applications for grants to the 2022 Incubator Event stream must be submitted through the Destination NSW on-line application platform and received by Destination NSW no later than the advertised closing date. Application Forms received after this date will not be accepted
  • Application Forms sent via email, post or fax will not be accepted
  • Applications for the 2022 Incubator Event stream will open on Wednesday 3 November 2021 and must be received by Destination NSW no later than midnight (Sydney time) on Sunday 5 December 2021. Applications received after this date and time will not be accepted
  • Applicants are encouraged to 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
  • Receipt of Application Forms will be acknowledged by email following submission. If an acknowledgment email is not received following submission, please contact the Regional Event Fund Coordinator on 02 9931 1431 or email ref.admin@dnsw.com.au
  • All Application Forms will be assessed by a panel made up of representatives from Destination NSW. Based on the assessments, the panel will recommend the events to receive funding in 2022
  • If an application is unsuccessful the applicant will be informed in writing
  • Successful applications will be announced by the Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney. Successful applicants will receive a letter of notification following this announcement.

The Panel

Applications for Incubator Event stream grants are assessed by a panel convened by Destination NSW (the Panel) and consisting of representatives with experience in events and regional tourism.

The Panel will make its recommendations on the events to receive Incubator Event stream grants according to the following principles of the fund:

  • The Incubator Event stream is a co-operative arrangement between Destination NSW and the regional event
  • The Incubator Event stream is a Destination NSW financial sponsorship program that supports the establishment of selected regional events to achieve tourism outcomes of long-term benefit to Regional NSW
  • The Incubator Event stream seeks to provide seed funding to events that expressly contribute to the unique identity of the tourism regions of the State, and that demonstrate the potential to act as ‘flagships’ for those regions
  • Receipt of a grant from the Incubator Event stream in 2022 is no indication that a future application will be successful. The Panel will make its recommendations for future funding based on the merits of an event’s application for that year.

As part of the assessment process, Destination NSW may seek additional insights on the tourism potential of events that have applied for funding from the Destination Networks to help inform its decision-making.

Destination NSW reserves the right not to award funding if the applications are of insufficient merit in the opinion of the Panel.


Applicants will have the opportunity to contact Destination NSW to receive feedback on their applications following assessment but should note that:

  • Information provided by Destination NSW is a guide only and is prepared in good faith. Destination NSW has sought to ensure that the information is true and correct at the time of presentation
  • Feedback is supplied based on the information provided to Destination NSW. Destination NSW makes no representation or warranty about the accuracy, suitability, reliability, currency or completeness of any feedback provided
  • Destination NSW cannot promise any results or benefits from an applicant’s participation in any initiative or offering. Applicants are responsible for determining any further investigations, information and consideration that might be required
  • It is the applicant and event management’s responsibility to decide, based on their full knowledge and understanding of their business situation, how relevant the information is. Destination NSW recommends seeking independent professional advice (legal, financial or otherwise)
  • Destination NSW is not liable for any loss resulting from any action taken or reliance made by the applicant on any feedback and information provided. No guarantees are made of any particular outcome if an applicant chooses to rely on the feedback.

Event Agreement

The provision of Incubator Event stream grants by Destination NSW to successful applicants is subject to the event organiser entering into and abiding by the terms of an event agreement signed by the event organiser and Destination NSW (the Event Agreement).

Grant monies will not be released until the Event Agreement has been signed by both parties.

The Event Agreement details a range of marketing and other deliverables required by Destination NSW. These include, but are not limited to, a requirement to:

  • Include the NSW Government logo, as supplied by Destination NSW, on all marketing collateral and advertising associated with the event receiving the Incubator Event stream grant
  • Give Destination NSW the right to approve all marketing and advertising material that includes its logo at the artwork stage prior to printing or publication. Destination NSW requires a minimum of 4 working days to review the material for approval
  • Give Destination NSW the right to negotiate the placement, priority & prominence of its logo on event collateral
  • Create, update and maintain an event listing on www.visitnsw.com
  • Offer Destination NSW signage opportunities at the event
  • Offer Destination NSW the opportunity to integrate messaging into the event’s social media and digital channels
  • Include destination content on the event website
  • Provide progress reports on the delivery of the event to Destination NSW upon request at regular intervals and in accordance with the Event Agreement
  • Submit a post-event report and financial statement outlining the expenditure of the Incubator Event stream grant monies and an assessment of the success of the event. The report must be submitted using the Destination NSW online platform within two (2) months of the completion of the event. Failure to submit this evaluation report and financial statement may jeopardise the applicant’s future eligibility for Destination NSW funding.

If the event organiser does not enter into the Event Agreement or breaches its obligations under the Event Agreement, Destination NSW reserves the right to withhold funding or to claim a refund of any funds already provided in respect of the Event.

For more information on the Destination NSW Event Agreement please contact ref.admin@dnsw.com.au.

Other Conditions

The following other conditions apply:

  • Destination NSW may provide additional in-kind marketing support to events funded through the Incubator Event stream as part of its ongoing marketing activities. Destination NSW will, from time to time, request event information and high-resolution content to assist with the marketing of Incubator events. A photo brief can be requested from Destination NSW
  • Destination NSW reserves the right, as a condition of funding, to make use of event data for the purposes of market research and evaluation to enable the long-term development of events in New South Wales
  • Successful applicants should retain all records relating to the event, including expenditure, and make them available for audit purposes if required
  • All events financially supported by Destination NSW through the Incubator Event stream are encouraged to consolidate their financial position through the seeking of corporate and other support whilst they are part of the Regional Event Fund
  • An event eligible to apply to the Incubator Event stream is not eligible to apply to the Flagship Event stream or the Event Development stream in that same year
  • An event awarded a grant through the 2020 Regional Event Fund that has been deferred to 2022 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, is not eligible to apply to the Regional Event Fund in 2022
  • By lodging an application, applicants consent to the application, information in the application and the applicant’s contact details to be shared with the Destination Network in which the event is held. Please consult our Privacy Policy on the management of Privacy.

Destination NSW Discretion

Potential applicants should note that:

  • No funding application is guaranteed to result in funding from Destination NSW
  • No applicant is guaranteed funding to the full amount requested in their application
  • Destination NSW reserves the right to vary the amount of funding at any time
  • Destination NSW reserves the right to vary the terms of Incubator Event stream funding at any time in particular the awarding of funding
  • The number and location of events that will be funded by Destination NSW will be determined by Destination NSW in its discretion
  • Funding through the 2022 Incubator Event stream is available to events taking place between 1 January and 31 December 2022, although Destination NSW reserves the right to vary this as it requires. Following the announcement of events to be funded in the 2022 Incubator Event stream, no further Incubator Event stream grants will be available until a future Regional Event Fund program opens.

Important Contacts

Destination NSW Fund Administration

Co-ordinator, Regional Event Fund
Aida Hijazi
GPO Box 7050
Sydney NSW 2001
P: 02 9931 1431
M: 0419 903 701
E: aida.hijazi@dnsw.com.au

Manager, Regional Event Development
Phil Ventham
GPO Box 7050
Sydney NSW 2001
P: 02 9931 1181
M: 0428 385 748
E: phil.ventham@dnsw.com.au

Destination NSW Regional Tourism Development

Regional Tourism Development Managers

Destination Networks

Destination Network Contacts - for information on Destination Management Plans, regional tourism strategies and local tourism stakeholders.

Event Listings

Get Connected Team
P: 1300 655 077
E: getconnected@dnsw.com.au

Appendix 1 Destination Network Boundary Map

The map below shows the boundaries of the six regional Destination Networks based on local Government areas. If an event falls within a Destination Network area it is eligible to apply for a Regional Event Fund grant.

Destination Networks Map

Appendix 2 – Sydney Local Government Areas not eligible for the regional event fund

The table below lists 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.

Local Government Areas not represented by a Destination Network

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