Event Development Fund Terms and Conditions

20 December 2016

Funding Conditions for the Event Development Fund of the Regional Flagship Events Program

Note: This document describes the conditions of participation in the Event Development Fund of the Regional Flagship Events Program only. It does not describe the conditions of participation in the Incubator Event Fund or Flagship Event Fund which are available separately. Destination NSW is the manager of this program.

Table of Contents

The Regional Flagship Events Program - General

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


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The New South Wales (NSW) Government established Destination NSW in July 2011 to support the growth of the State’s tourism and events sector.

Our Role

Destination NSW is responsible for devising and implementing strategies to grow the visitor economy, with particular focus on driving tourism and acquiring and developing major sporting and cultural events for Sydney and Regional NSW. In addition, Destination NSW is the major investor in Business Events Sydney with the aim of securing more international conventions, incentive travel reward programs, corporate events and exhibitions for Sydney and Regional NSW.

Our Vision

To make Sydney and NSW one of the world’s most successful tourism and event destinations.

Our Mission

Is to triple visitor expenditure by 2030 and maximise the benefits of the visitor economy for NSW.

Our Strategic Objectives

The strategic direction for Destination NSW is currently led by the Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan.
Find out more about the Action Plan.

Destination NSW’s key strategic objectives are:

  • Achieve the visitor economy 2030 target
  • Position Sydney and NSW as Australia’s premier tourist and events destination
  • Develop the strongest and most compelling events calendar in Australia
  • Increase industry stakeholder and customer engagement
  • Deliver value in our partnership and co-operative programs
  • Attract and retain the best staff and build staff capacity and capabilities

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In 2015, the Board of Destination NSW was tasked with reviewing the existing model of the State’s Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs). This review recommended the urgent reform of RTOs, the implementation of a new regional tourism model and a redesign of regional visitor economy funding.

On 6 July 2016 the NSW Government announced that six (6) new and professionalised regional tourism entities would be established, to be known as Destination Networks (DNs). The DNs will replace the existing RTO structure and 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 will be 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 will develop and implement their region’s Destination Management Plan, in alignment with the NSW State Destination Management Plan, and ensure its alignment with local tourism and other related plans. Please contact the DN’s for all enquiries relating to the DMP.

Destination NSW anticipates that all Destination Networks will be operational from third quarter 2017.

Destination NSW’s support for the Regional Flagship Events Program works alongside the strategies that each Destination Network will have for the marketing and development of regional tourism.

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The Regional Flagship Events Program 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 Flagship Events Program has provided almost $12 million in funding to 380 separate events throughout Regional NSW over 23 annual rounds.

As part of the NSW Government’s announcement of the Destination Networks on 6 July 2016, it was advised that the Regional Flagship Events Program was to be expanded with the addition of two (2) new funds, the first to assist new events, and the second to provide support for events that have already received the maximum funding permitted through the existing program.

The name “Regional Flagship Events Program” will continue to be used as an umbrella title. Under this umbrella will sit the three (3) individual funds which will be known as:

  1. Incubator Event Fund
  2. Flagship Event Fund
  3. Event Development Fund

The three (3) funds in the Program will now offer a development pipeline that supports:

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

Each of the three funds within the Regional Flagship Events Program have different eligibility, selection criteria and evaluation processes. Applications for the three (3) funds will be managed separately.

This Terms & Conditions document refers only to the conditions of participation in the Event Development Fund. Terms and Conditions for the Incubator Event Fund and Flagship Event Fund are available separately. Other initiatives such as Event Investment funding are separate and outlined in the Destination NSW prospectus.

General Eligibility

Only events held in the six Destination Networks are eligible to apply for funding through the three funds of the Regional Flagship Events Program. 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 (3) funds of the Regional Flagship Events Program. 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 must prove, as part of their application, that at least 80% of the event’s activity is physically based in NSW to be eligible for funding from the three (3) funds of the Regional Flagship Events Program.

The following event types are not eligible to apply for funding from the three (3) funds of the Regional Flagship Events Program:

  • 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 (e.g: 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.
    More information about Destination NSW’s business events program.
  • Events owned and/or operated by an agency or entity of the Federal Government, or a State or Territory Government including New South Wales.

All applicants to the three (3) funds in the Regional Flagship Events Program must be the Event Organiser (i.e: own the rights to the Event and have the relevant approvals for the event), must be financially solvent, must be a company or incorporated association and have an Australian Business Number (ABN). Destination Networks are unable to apply for funding from this program.

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The Event Development Fund, supports events that have received the maximum funding permitted through the Regional Flagship Event Program (1997-2016) or the Flagship Event Fund (2017 onwards) and can present a cohesive event strategy for future growth that includes the continued development of its tourism potential to drive overnight visitation to the event.


The Event Development Fund offers one-off annual grants of up to $50,000 (excl. GST) to support key strategic growth initiatives.

An event may apply for any amount up to and including $50,000 but must be able to provide justification for the amount requested within the context of the event strategy and overall budget and event plan.

Applications will be accepted on an annual basis only and with reference to specific initiatives. Multi-year agreements will not be considered. An event may apply for funding in more than one (1) year, but the decision on funding will be based on the merit of the initiative being supported in each year of application.

The payment of any funds granted through the Event Development Fund will be tied to the delivery of key milestones and KPIs related to the initiative being supported

Use of Funds

The Event Development Fund provides funding to support initiatives that will have a direct impact on increasing overnight visitation to the event. A clear strategic rationale will be required for all initiatives, however activities that may be eligible for funding include:

  • Promotional activities with a measurable overnight visitation outcome (eg: promotions with a unique call to action).
  • Cooperative marketing activities with the tourism industry (eg: the development and promotion of packages to the event that include accommodation or access to other tourist attractions).
  • Costs associated with implementing robust visitor research methodologies.
  • Infrastructure costs associated with encouraging extended stays (eg: additional hire costs to extend the event an extra day).
  • Costs associated with the delivery of an improved visitor experience (eg: grandstands, information services, facilities).
  • Costs associated with developing broader accommodation options or the delivery of temporary accommodation (eg: shuttle buses to neighbouring towns, implementation of home hosting programs, creation of temporary camping grounds).
  • Consultancy fees for marketing, PR, digital or event management specialists provided there are clear and measurable outcomes that demonstrate an improvement on existing activities.

Event Development Funding is not intended to replace previous or other event funding. Event Development Fund grants must be expended on the initiatives described in the application. The applicant will be required to suggest milestones for the delivery of the initiative to which Destination NSW will assign fund payments.

Event Development Fund monies must not be used:

  • For existing marketing and promotional activities.
  • For existing infrastructure and operational costs.
  • For existing staff costs or expenses, including travel costs.
  • For event launches.
  • For live broadcast or webcast production costs.
  • 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); or
  • For performer / artist fees and travel expenses.

Fund Eligibility

To be eligible to receive funding through the Event Development Fund, an event must have received and completed triennial funding through the Regional Flagship Event Program (1997-2016) or the Flagship Event Fund (2017 onwards).

Potential applicants should note that:

  • Applications for the Event Development Fund must be received by Destination NSW at least six (6) months prior to the next event to allow for appropriate time to deliver the initiative that funding is being applied for.
  • Applications received less than six (6) months prior to the next event will not be considered.

Fund Criteria

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

Key criteria:

  • Have achieved a high profile as a key event in its region.
  • Have a long-term strategic plan that identifies the event’s potential to continue to grow overnight visitation.
  • Have clearly defined and sustainable initiatives and achievable milestones for achieving visitation growth.
  • Have well-developed and collaborative relationships with the local and regional tourism industry that drive positive outcomes for the event.

Secondary criteria:

  • Offer appropriate levels of accommodation and services to event visitors to sustain its growth projections.
  • Have an organisational structure with demonstrated success in event delivery, particularly in operations, marketing, communications, finance and risk management.
  • Have a proven marketing strategy that achieves measurable outcomes in driving overnight visitors from outside the event’s immediate region.
  • Have a rigorous approach to measuring audiences, overnight visitation and event experience with an emphasis on accuracy.
  • Have the strong support of the local Council, including financial and in-kind investment.

To be awarded an Event Development Fund grant, an application must score highly against the Key Criteria. The assessment panel must be convinced that the event has established itself as a Flagship event for its region, that the organising committee or group has a clear vision for the event’s future that is clearly articulated and supported by sound argument and data and that is driven by the desire and capacity to increase on existing overnight visitation levels, and that the organisers can demonstrate that they have established strong working partnerships with other tourism operators that have resulted in collaborative initiatives to broaden the event’s appeal, increased visitation and encouraged extended stays or dispersal throughout the region.


  • A description of the event, its history and relevance to the local region.
  • A city/town profile that demonstrates its capacity to absorb increased visitation beyond current event capacity, including the availability of full-time and temporary accommodation, transport and other services relevant to the event, infrastructure and venues.
  • A summary of the organisational and management structure of the event including a clear division of responsibilities, the skill set of key personnel, the use of external agencies and consultants and the reliance on and availability of volunteers.
  • A summary of event visitation trends over the last three (3) years of the event including data, audience/visitor research methodology, relevant industry partnerships, results and key learnings.
  • A strategic plan for the event for the next three to five (3-5) years outlining its growth potential, key opportunities, strategic initiatives for success, and including SWOT (strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, threats) analysis, limitations and risk areas.
  • A summary of the key growth initiative that funding is being applied for, including a detailed description, involvement of partners/contractors, delivery timeline and clear success metrics on which the milestones will be based.
  • A full event budget for the next event including a detailed cost breakdown for the initiative funding is being sought for supported by quotes or other relevant information.
  • A marketing plan detailing strategies for achieving growth beyond current attendance and visitation, key target audiences, marketing channels and measurable objectives.
  • Letters of support from local Council, key tourism or industry partners and other relevant stakeholders that clearly reference the initiative being proposed.
  • Any supporting information that the applicant considers relevant to their application.

All applications must be emailed to the Regional Flagship Events Coordinator at rfep.admin@dnsw.com.au

An email confirming receipt of the proposal will be sent to each applicant. It is recommended that applicants contact the Regional Flagship Events Coordinator on 02 9931 1431 if they do not receive an email confirmation.

The Panel

Applications for Event Development Fund grants will be assessed by a panel convened by Destination NSW (the Panel). The Panel will consist of representatives with experience in event development, regional tourism, marketing, communications or visitor research.

The Panel will assess each application and meet regularly to discuss the assessments and make recommendations for funding.

The Panel reserves the right to request additional information from the applicant where it deems it necessary to do so.

The Panel will make its recommendations for which events should receive Event Development Fund grants according to the following principles of the Regional Flagship Event Program:

  • The fund is a co-operative arrangement between Destination NSW and the regional event.
  • The fund is a Destination NSW financial sponsorship program that supports the strategic development of selected regional events to achieve tourism outcomes of benefit to Regional NSW.
  • The fund seeks to assist the development of those 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 Fund, the Flagship Event Fund, or the former Regional Flagship Event Program in a previous year is no indication that a current application will be successful. The Panel will make its recommendations for funding based on the merits of the event’s application for that year.

Destination NSW reserves the right not to award funding if the applications are of insufficient merit in the opinion of the Panel. Similarly, Destination NSW reserves the right to award an amount less than applied for if the assessors deem the amount requested is not warranted.


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 does not make any 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 initiatives or offerings. All applicants are responsible for determining any further investigations, information and consideration that might be required.
  • It is the applicant and the event management’s responsibility to decide, based on their full knowledge understanding of their business situation and 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.


The provision of Event Development Fund 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). 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:

  • Provide progress reports (in person or by phone) on the delivery of the event, including the delivery of the initiative for which funding has been awarded and its payment milestones, to Destination NSW at regular intervals and in accordance with the Event A
  • Include the Destination NSW logo, as supplied by Destination NSW, on all marketing collateral and advertising associated with the event that is receiving the Event Development Fund 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 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.
  • Submit a detailed post-event report and financial statement outlining the expenditure of the Event Development Fund grant monies and an assessment of the success of the strategic growth initiative. The report must be submitted within two (2) months of the completion of the event unless otherwise agreed with Destination NSW. 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, breaches its obligations under the Event Agreement including failure to deliver on a milestone, Destination NSW reserves the right to withhold funding or claim a refund of any funds already provided in respect of the event.

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

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The following other conditions apply:

  • Destination NSW may provide additional in-kind marketing support to events funded by the Event Development Fund as part of its ongoing marketing activities. Destination NSW will, from time to time, request event information and high resolution imagery and video content to assist with the marketing of events supported through the fund.
    Download a photo brief here.
  • 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 Event Development Fund are encouraged to consolidate their financial position through corporate and other support whilst part of the Regional Flagship Events Program.
  • An event that is eligible to apply to the Flagship Event Fund is not eligible to apply to the Incubator Event Fund or the Flagship Event Fund.
  • By lodging an application, you provide consent to share your application, information provided by you and contact details with the Destination Network you are located in. 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 Event Development Fund 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 at its discretion.

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Fund Administration

Co-ordinator, Regional Flagship Events
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

Regional Tourism Development Managers

Regional Tourism Development Manager contacts

Event Listings

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


For information on Destination Management Plans, regional tourism strategies, local tourism stakeholders and assistance with your funding application please contact your Destination Network.

Destination Network contacts


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The map below shows the boundaries of the six new regional Destination Networks based on local Government areas. If an event falls within a Destination Network area it is eligible for Regional Flagship Event Program funding.


Download a PDF version of Destination Networks map (PDF 786 kb)


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 funds within the Regional Flagship Event Program.

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

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