Tourism Grant Program
SPECIAL EVENT GRANT APPLICATION & GUIDELINES
FISCAL YEAR 2013 (1/01/13 - 12/31/13)
Visit Bloomington has set aside up to $30,000 in funding for the marketing of events exhibiting positive tourism potential to the Monroe County area. These funds are to assist qualified organizations with the promotion of tourism activities striving to directly increase hotel/motel occupancy and create positive image building publicity for Monroe County.
Applicants must be organizations seeking to produce and promote a well-defined tourism-oriented festival or event. Grant funds are issued to qualifying applicants through a reimbursement process. Applicants must submit a reimbursement form (supplied by the CVB) along with proof of payment to receive grant funds. Proof of event liability insurance and a completed W-9 tax form will need to be provided to BMCCVB prior to the organization receiving any funding reimbursement.
Timetable & Evaluation Procedure:
FY13 application requests for funding are for events scheduled January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013. Applicants are urged to schedule their events at times of the year when hotel occupancy rates are not at a peak in Bloomington. Dates of the event will be considered in the evaluation criteria when applications are scored. See criteria section for details. Application packets will be available at the BMCCVB offices at 2855 N. Walnut Street, Bloomington, IN 47404 beginning June 1, 2012.
BMCCVB will accept and evaluate completed applications beginning June 15, 2012 through October 1, 2012. A total of up to $35,000 in funding is available in the program and only those applications received by October 1 will be eligible for consideration.
Applications will be reviewed for completeness or missing information by BMCCVB staff immediately after they are turned in. BMCCVB will contact those organizations with incomplete applications requesting appropriate information to make them complete. A complete application does not guarantee funding. BMCCVB reserves the right to reject any application for any reason. BMCCVB staff and Board of Directors will review and score the applications. The BMCCVB Board of Directors will approve all funding decisions.
Once the final decision on funding is determined, applicants will be notified. Successful applicants will receive letters of agreement with funding levels, instructions on exact items that were approved for funding, as well as more information on invoicing, reimbursement and reporting. Those letters will need to be signed and returned to BMCCVB prior to the organization receiving any reimbursement funding.
Grant Guidelines and Requirements:
The maximum funding level for any one application is $5,000.
An organization may submit multipls applications for multiple events, but only one application may be submited for any event. Each application will be evaluated independently, based on grant criteria.
All applicants must designate a Project Manager for their application and event.
All events must be held within Monroe County.
All events must show the potential to generate overnight hotel stays. Applications will be assessed by considering the following:
- A. Event's ability to attract overnight visitors during previous years.
- B. Event's ability to draw visitors from outside a 50-mile radius of Monroe County.
Indianapolis is the one exception to this.
- C. Event's ability to grow, with funding support, over two or more years.
- D. Timing of event. More points will be given to those events which have the potential to generate overnight stays when history shows that occupancy in area hotels is not at a peak (Jan., Feb., March, Nov., Dec. and Sun.-Thurs.).
- E. Food, beverage and retail expenditures by out of market visitors.
- F. Event's ability to project a positive image of Monroe County through media activities and advertising efforts.
No event may have as its primary purpose the promotion of a specific candidate, political party or platform.
No event-related marketing efforts may promote lodging facilities located outside Monroe County.
Events must be open to the general public, not exclusive in regard to attendance and handicapped and programmatically accessible.
A post-event summary is due within 90 days after funded events. Form will be provided by Visit Bloomington. Failure to submit the summary within 90 days or submission of summary with incomplete or missing information may effect funding of future applications. Summary must include:
- A. Estimated attendance and hotel room nights generated. Describe method used to estimate attendance.
- B. Summary of advertising placed to promote the event. Include all placed, trade and in-kind advertising.
- C. General assessment of the event, which addresses the event's success and any concerns or recommendations for changes.
If for reasons beyond your control, you are unable to complete the project for which your original application was submitted, you may submit a request to the Visit Bloomington to substitute the current project with another that is comparable in quantity and scope. Failure to notify Visit Bloomington of changes can affect both current reimbursement and future funding opportunities.
If applicant cannot complete the approved project for which funds have been allocated, Visit Bloomington must be notified immediately. Failure to complete a project as submitted in the approved application may have an impact on future funding decisions and allocations.
Visit Bloomington must give advanced approval on all funded marketing activities. It is the applicant's responsibility to document this approval in writing. This includes event programs, advertising of any kind, posters, fliers, web sites, etc. Visit Bloomington must be given recognition as an event sponsor based on the level of funding. Separately, the Visit Bloomington web site must be linked on the home page of any event or funded organization's web site. Visit Bloomington will provide their logo and an electronic ad link to all funded applicants in the appropriate format.
Each applicant must include a detailed marketing plan and budget in their application. Only marketing efforts running outside a 50-mile radius of Monroe County (with the exception of Indianapolis) are eligible for funding.
All grant funding is awarded on a reimbursement basis only. Proof of payment by applicant must be provided to Visit Bloomington in order to receive reimbursement. Proof of payment includes copies of original invoice and check paid to vendor or copies of credit card or cash receipts from vendors documenting received payment.
Visit Bloomington reserves the right to disqualify any applicant or application for any reason.
Each organization receiving grant funding will be required to collect a number of Visitor Profiles utilizing Visit Bloomington's computer research system. The organization is responsible for staffing the computer and ensuring it is returned in operating condition. Failure to collect the surveys and return the computer in operating condition will jeopardize both current reimbursement and future funding opportunities. Visit Bloomington will deliver and pick up the computer research system and provide instruction on how to use it.
Eligible Expenditures For Reimbursement:
- Advertising placed outside a 50-mile radius of Monroe County (with the exception of Indianapolis). Applications must be specific on media, flight dates, size and number of ads to be placed.
- Production of promotional pieces to be distributed outside a 50-mile radius of Monroe County (with the exception of Indianapolis). This includes brochures, posters, direct mail pieces, etc. Applications must be specific on methods of distribution, production costs or any other expenses funded by the grant. Funds may not be used for promotional pieces distributed inside a 50-mile radius of Monroe County (with the exception of Indianapolis).
- Event web site development.
Please review and answer these questions as you develop your application (maximum point values are shown for your information):
Describe your event clearly and concisely. Your description should include name and purpose of event, dates, location, target audience, whether this is a new or repeat event, length of the event and market origin of attendees (use previous research if available). up to 15 points
Describe the specific marketing expenses within the event for which grant funds have been requested. up to 10 points
This program's primary mission is to increase tourism and generate overnight stays in Monroe County. Please explain how your project will:
- A. Increase event attendance. up to 5 points (automatic for 1st time events)
- B. Draw more people from outside the local market or attract new visitor audience. up to 10 points
- C. Generate non-local press coverage for the event. up to 10 points
- D. Generate overnight stays. up to 15 points
- E. Increase retail, food and beverage expenditures in Monroe County. up to 10 points
Explain why the date was chosen for the event. Events held on low occupancy dates will score better. If the event is held on a date when county occupancy is already high, describe how the event will extend visitor stays. Explain efforts to move the event to a lower occupancy date or explain why such a move is not feasible. up to 5 points
Attach your sponsorship solicitation packet and describe what steps you have taken to secure additional funding for your event. up to 10 points
Not-for-profit organizations are encouraged to apply. Attach not-for-profit status to application. up to 5 points
Up to 5 points will be awarded to first time grant applicants or events that have not previously been awarded a Visit Bloomington grant.
A total of 100 points are possible and a minimum of 60 points are required to be eligible for funding. Visit Bloomington has a maximum of $35,000 budgeted for this program and will accept applications through October 1, 2012. Again, events must take place between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013. Visit Bloomington reserves the right to offer partial funding to any applicants.
Information Required On Application:
1. Contact information - applying organization name, address (mailing and physical), phone number, fax number, e-mail and web address as well as name and signature of organization's President/GM and Project Manager (primary contact) and proof of current not-for-profit status (IRS determination letter) if applicable.
2. Event information - event name, dates, location, web address and proof that event and organization are covered by liability insurance. Also describe the purpose of the event, target audience, entertainment and any other relevant information.
3. Marketing Plan - provide a detailed Marketing Plan which includes local activities as well as those taking place outside a 50-mile radius of Monroe County and Indianapolis for which funding has been requested. This includes all types of media, names of publications, stations, web sites as well as flight dates, ad sizes, copies of ads if available, costs, impressions, audience and any other relevant information.
4. Promotional pieces - provide a brief description of the material and contents. Indicate number of copies to be printed, size, number of pages, whether the material will be black and white or color and where and how material is to be distributed. If costs exceed $3,000, include three written bids.
5. Web site development and enhancement - describe the purpose of the proposed website or website enhancements. Please provide copies of your proposal if the project exceeds $3,000.
6. Fundraiser - if a not-for-profit and this event is in anyway a fundraiser for your organization, please explain.
7. Budget - please include a detailed itemized budget for your entire event and for the specific items from your event that will be paid for by Visit Bloomington grant funding.
Evaluation Criteria above should be considered as you develop your application. Applications must be submitted via email in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.
If you have any questions or comments regarding this application or program, please contact our Director of Tourism.