Incubator Event Fund Terms and Conditions

10 October 2016

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

Note: This document describes the conditions of participation in the Incubator Event Fund of the 2020 Regional Flagship Events Program only. It does not describe the conditions of participation in the Flagship Event Fund or Event Development Fund. 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 Incubator Event Fund according to the terms in this document.


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

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 million in funding to 380 separate events throughout Regional NSW over 23 annual rounds.

As part of the NSW Government’s announcement of the DNs on 6 July 2015, 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 and Conditions document refers only to the conditions of participation in the Incubator Event Fund. Terms and Conditions for the Flagship 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 DN are not eligible to apply for funding through the three funds of the Regional Flagship Events Program. Local Government Areas not in a DN 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 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.
    More information on 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 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 must have an Australian Business Number (ABN). Destination Networks are unable to apply for funding from this program.

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The Incubator Event Fund offers seed funding to events in Regional NSW to support their first and second years of activity. The fund 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 Fund 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 Fund 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 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);
  • For local council fees; or
  • For travel expenses, staff costs and salaries or general administration costs.

Fund Eligibility

To be eligible to receive funding through the Incubator Event Fund, an event must have its first or second event in the year of funding. For the avoidance of doubt, an Incubator Event Fund grant will only be offered to an event being held for the first or second time.

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 Fund, 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 the 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 i.e.: during the off-peak or shoulder seasons.

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  • Grants in the 2020 Incubator 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 Incubator Event Fund specific to their start date. Applications made to the wrong round will not be accepted.
  • An application to the Incubator Event Fund is a single-stage process consisting of a short-form application form (Application Form) responding to a series of questions that address the fund criteria.
  • 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 from the 2020 Incubator 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 date. Applications received after this date and time will not be accepted.
  • Applications for Round 2 will open in February 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
  • All Application Forms will be assessed by a panel made up of representatives from Destination NSW. 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 Incubator Event Fund grants are assessed by a panel convened by Destination NSW (the Panel) and consisting of representatives with experience in event development, regional tourism, marketing, communications or visitor research.

The Panel will make its recommendations on the events to receive Incubator 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 establishment of selected regional events to achieve tourism outcomes of long-term benefit to Regional NSW.
  • The fund 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 Fund in 2020 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.

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 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 Incubator 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).

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 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 four 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
  • 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 Fund 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

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The following other conditions apply:

  • Destination NSW may provide additional in-kind marketing support to events funded by the Incubator Event 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 Incubator 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 Incubator Event Fund events being financially supported by Destination NSW are encouraged to consolidate their financial position through the seeking of corporate and other support whilst they are part of the Regional Flagship Events Program.
  • An event that is eligible to apply to the Incubator Event Fund is not eligible to apply to the Flagship 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 Incubator 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 in its discretion.
  • Funding through the 2020 Incubator 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 Incubator Event Fund, no further Incubator 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

Manager, Regional Event Development
Phil Ventham
GPO Box 7050
Sydney NSW 2001
P: 02 9931 1181
M: 0428 385 748

Regional Tourism Development Managers

Regional Tourism Development Manager contacts

Event Listings

Get Connected Team
P: 1300 655 077


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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