Flagship Event Fund Terms and Conditions

12 September 2013

Funding Conditions for the Flagship Event Fund of the 2020 Regional Flagship Events Program

Note: This page describes the conditions of participation in the Flagship Event Fund of the 2020 Regional Flagship Events Program only. It does not describe the conditions of participation in the Incubator Event Fund or Event Development Fund which are available separately. Destination NSW is the manager of this program.

Table of Contents

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

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The New South Wales (NSW) Government established Destination NSW as a statutory authority 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 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 6 new and professionalised regional tourism entities would be established, to be known as Destination Networks (DNs). The DNs have replaced the previous RTO structure and work with Destination NSW to advance the interests of growing tourism in NSW.

The six 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 DNs by Local Government Area is provided in Appendix 1.

The core role of the DNs 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 Regional Flagship Events Program works alongside the strategies that each DN has 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 $12.0 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, additional funding was allocated to expand the Regional Flagship Events Program with the addition of two 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 individual funds which will be known as:

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

The three funds within the Program 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 and selection criteria. Applications for the three funds are managed separately.

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

General Eligibility

Only events held in the six DNs 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 DNs 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 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 funds of the Regional Flagship Events Program, 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 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 (eg: 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. More information on Destination NSW’s business events programs.
  • 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 owner (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 Flagship Event Fund, formerly known as the Regional Flagship Events Program, identifies and assists the promotion of events that contribute to the unique character of the tourism regions of NSW and can demonstrate that they attract overnight visitation. The fund is open to events held in Regional NSW that have been running for more than two years and offers grants specifically to support marketing activities aimed at increasing visibility and attracting visitation to the event from outside its local area.


The Flagship Event Fund offers two grants:

  • Annual grants of $20,000 (excl. GST); or
  • Triennial grants of $27,500 (excl. GST) in cash and $2,500 (excl. GST) in value-in-kind research services per year, guaranteed for three years.

Grant monies must be spent on marketing initiatives that encourage overnight visitation from outside the region in which the event is occurring.

Use of Funds

The event marketing activities that will be supported by Destination NSW’s Flagship Event Fund must:

  1. Be directed at specific domestic and/or international markets outside the immediate Local Government Area of the event; and
  2. Aim to increase tourism business by influencing visitors’ intention to travel to, and stay overnight in, the region and/or to extend their length of stay.

Funding will only be made available to enhance the marketing and promotion of an event and is not intended to replace previous or other event funding. Flagship Event Fund grants must be expended on marketing and promotional costs, for example advertising, PR, brand design, co-operative marketing or visitor research.

All visual communication materials (advertising, fliers, posters, image gallery etc.) must be of an appropriately high, professional standard. If required, grant monies should be used to achieve this standard.

Flagship Event Fund 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); or
  • For performer / artist fees, infrastructure costs, travel expenses or general administration costs such as staff costs, salaries, administration and services.

Fund Eligibility

To be eligible to receive funding through the Flagship Event Fund, an event must have been held at least twice prior to receiving a grant. For the avoidance of doubt, Flagship Event funding will only be offered to events being held for the third or more time in the year of funding.

Potential applicants should note that:

  • A single event may receive an Annual grant a maximum of three times.
  • A single event may receive a Triennial grant only once.
  • An event will only be considered for a Triennial grant once it has received three Annual grants. Events that have already received three Annual grants may only apply for a Triennial grant.
  • Events that have previously received Triennial funding under the Flagship Event Fund (or former Regional Flagship Events Program) are not eligible to receive any further funding from the Flagship Event Fund and should refer to the Terms and Conditions for the Regional Flagship Events Program’s Event Development Fund.

Fund Criteria

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

Key criteria:

  • Define the character and culture of their local area.
  • Attract overnight visitation from outside the event’s Local Government Area.
  • Have a well-developed marketing plan aimed at delivering incremental audience growth with defined target audiences and measurable objectives.
  • Demonstrate clear strategies for measuring and evaluating visitation and the visitor experience.

Secondary criteria:

  • Contribute to local and/or regional tourism strategies and align with relevant Destination Management Plans.
  • Demonstrate engagement with the local tourism industry with a view to building partnerships that drive visitation.
  • Have a well-structured and organised event management committee or company with access to operational and marketing expertise and the ability to handle issues such as public liability and insurance matters. The event must demonstrate that it has adequate public liability insurance and other relevant insurance cover.
  • Have the support of the local Council.
  • Demonstrate sound financial management and the ability to budget appropriately.
  • Have a capacity to grow and be sustainable without Government funding.
  • Take place outside the peak tourism period for the area ie: during the off-peak or shoulder seasons.

To be awarded a Triennial grant, an application must score highly against the Key Criteria. The assessment panel must be convinced that the event attracts strong overnight visitation measured through robust methodologies, has a clear capacity to continue to grow overnight visitation, and has marketing strategies to deliver this growth.

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  • Grants in the 2020 Flagship Event Fund will be allocated in two rounds:
    - Round 1 - for events taking place in January – June 2020
    - Round 2 - for events taking place in July – December 2020.
  • Events that start in June and end in July should apply in Round 1.
  • Events that start in December and end in January should apply in Round 2.
  • Events may only apply to the round of the Flagship Event Fund specific to their start date. Applications made to the wrong round will not be accepted.
  • An application to the Flagship Event Fund is a single-stage process consisting of a long-form, on-line application form (Application Form) responding to a series of questions that address the fund criteria. Strong applications require robust data and supporting information.
  • The Application Form includes multiple opportunities to upload supplementary information in support of the application and applicants are encouraged to do so.
  • All applications for grants from the 2020 Flagship Event Fund must be submitted through the Destination NSW on-line application platform and received by Destination NSW no later than the closing date of the round being applied for. Application Forms received after this date will not be accepted.
  • Application Forms sent via email, post or fax will not be accepted.
  • Applications for Round 1 will open shortly and must be received by Destination NSW no later than midnight (Sydney time) on the advertised closing date. Applications received after this date and time will not be accepted.
  • Applications for Round 2 will open in January 2020.
  • 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 Flagship Events Coordinator on 02 9931 1431 or email rfep.admin@dnsw.com.au.
  • All Application Forms will be assessed by a panel made up of representatives from Destination NSW and the NSW tourism and events industry. Based on the assessments, the panel will recommend which events should receive funding in 2020.
  • 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 Flagship Event Fund grants are assessed by a panel convened by Destination NSW (the Panel). The Panel will consist of representatives from:

  • Destination NSW; and
  • NSW tourism & events industry

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

  • 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 promotion of selected regional events to achieve tourism outcomes of benefit to Regional NSW.
  • The fund seeks to assist the promotion 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.
  • It is the aim of Destination NSW, but not a certainty, that at least one event will be supported in each of the six Destination Network regions, subject to the quality of the applications received.
  • 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 2020 funding based on the merits of the event’s application for that year.

Destination NSW reserves the right not to award funding in any region 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 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 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.

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The provision of Flagship Event 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 to Destination NSW an updated marketing plan and budget for the expenditure of the Flagship Event Fund grant, in the context of the event’s broader marketing expenditure, before 1 June 2019. The plan and budget must be submitted through the Destination NSW online platform and be approved by Destination NSW in order for the Flagship Event Fund monies to be released.
  • Include the NSW Government logo, as supplied by Destination NSW, on all marketing collateral and advertising associated with the event receiving the Flagship Event 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.
  • Provide progress reports on the delivery of the event, including its marketing activities, to Destination NSW upon request at regular intervals and in accordance with the Event A
  • Submit a detailed post-event report and financial statement outlining the expenditure of the Flagship Event Fund grant monies and an assessment of the success of the marketing initiatives. 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.

Events awarded triennial funding will be required to work with Destination NSW to facilitate access to the event for its nominated research company if required to undertake visitor surveys and crowd counting as part of Destination NSW’s in-kind support.

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 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 Flagship Events 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 Flagship events.
    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 Flagship Event Fund are encouraged to consolidate their financial position through corporate and other support whilst they are 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 Event Development Fund in that same year.
  • 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.

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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 Flagship Event 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.
  • Funding through the 2020 Flagship Event Fund is available to events taking place between 1 January and 31 December 2020, although Destination NSW reserves the right to vary this as it requires. Following the announcement of events to be funded in Round 2 of the 2020 Flagship Event Fund, no further Flagship Event Fund grants will be available until Round 1 of the 2021 Fund opens.

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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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