Meeting and Events Incentive Direct Support Grant

Applications are no longer being accepted for Round One. If additional funding is available, Round Two applications will open on Dec. 15, 2021. 

The Meeting and Events Incentive Direct Support Grant provides up to 50% of eligible direct support costs, not to exceed $200,000 for hosting events in Colorado that take place on or before December 31, 2022. Unlike the Meeting and Events Incentive Cash Rebate, this direct support grant is for events that affect multiple counties and demonstrate the potential to have a significant impact to the local economy.

This grant has a separate application and requirements from the Meeting and Events Incentive Cash Rebate. Please review both program pages to understand the differences between the programs.

Overview

Type: Grant

For: Event organizers and hosts

Amount: Up to 50% of direct support costs up to $200,000 per event or meeting

Application period: November 15 to December 3, 2021

OEDIT division: Colorado Tourism Office

To receive the direct support grant, you must be the primary organizer or event host. Eligible events need to:

  • be held on or before December 31, 2022
  • generate at least 25 paid overnight room nights in a motel, hotel, vacation rental, or other lodging establishments – if vacation rentals are used towards the 25 paid overnight room nights minimum, the rental counts as “one paid room night” per night regardless of the number of bedrooms in the vacation rental
  • be a NEW event or an existing event in danger of cancellation, postponement, or relocation outside of Colorado without program support - existing business or recurring events do not qualify unless there is a detailed explanation stating the financial inability of the event to occur leading to a potential cancelation, postponement or relocation
  • affect multiple counties in Colorado
  • demonstrate the potential to generate significant economic impact 

Eligible events include:

  • conferences
  • consumer shows
  • conventions
  • exhibitions
  • trade Shows
  • festivals
  • sporting events

Priority will be given to events that have not received additional Colorado Tourism Office funding for the event in question.

Allowable direct support expenses include production costs and promotion costs. Grant funds cannot be used for indirect costs, general operating expenses, or alcohol.

Application process

Applications open on November 15 and close December 3, 2021, for the first round of funding. Depending on the availability of funding, we may have one to two more additional rounds of funding in December and January.

The application process is as follows:

  1. Verify your eligibility by reading through the guidelines carefully.
  2. Log in to your account on the OEDIT application portal or create an account. To protect your personal information, we manually add new users to the portal, so it may take several days to activate your account. Instructions for navigating the application portal are available.
  3. Submit your application in the OEDIT application portal. Prepare your application materials by reviewing the Meeting and Events Incentive Direct Support Grant application (DOCX) which includes all application questions.
  4. Applications will be reviewed once each application round closes (see timeline).
  5. Award status notification per timeline for each round.
  6. Approximately four weeks after award notification a commitment document for Direct Support Grant recipients will be executed allowing grant recipients to start to incur production and promotion expenses eligible to count towards the direct support costs.
  7. Host your event.
  8. Submit a final report. As part of your final report, you will be required to submit a finalized hotel room night pick-up report or room night written verification from the lodging property or properties listing the total room pick-up for verification of the 25 paid overnight room nights.

Supporting documents

You will need to provide:

  • a detailed budget outlining event production and promotion costs for grant purposes – high-level overview  - budget amount and  % of total for expenses incurred after commitment document execution - roughly four weeks after application notification
  • a completed economic impact chart (XLS)
  • an event affidavit
  • a letter from a public official in each affected county attesting to the changes evident in the county when similar events occur

Application timeline

The goal will be to have two rounds with additional rounds possible based on available funding.

  Application opens Application closes Notification of award decision Billable work for grant purposes to commence*
Round 1 November 15, 2021 December 3, 2021 December 10, 2021 To be determined (about December 31, 2021)
Round 2 (pending funding) December 15, 2021 January 5, 2022 January 12, 2022 To be determined (about February 2, 2022)
Round 3 (pending funding) January 17, 2022 February 4, 2022 February 11, 2022 To be determined (about March 11, 2022)

*This date is when you can expect to start charging expenses from the event to the grant through the purchase order with the state.

This is a competitive program, and not all applicants receive funding. Depending on availability of funding, we may have one to two additional rounds of funding in December and January. The Colorado Tourism Office will appoint a committee to review applications. We will award grants based on application scores and availability of direct support grant funding. 

Reviewers will score eligible applications on the following criteria:

  • Traveler spending (25%)
    • potential to generate a significant number of overnight hotel rooms
    • potential to significantly increase spending by travelers 
  • Event strength as an economic driver (25%)
    • demonstrate potential to be a significant economic driver for the local economy and support economic recovery
    • the direct economic impact will have a substantial impact on the local economy
  • Multi-county affect (25%)
    • demonstrated ability to affect two or more counties through significant economic impact
  • Organizer qualifications (15%)
    • demonstrated knowledge, resources, and proven track record to market and produce the event.
  • Budget (10%)
    • realistic and achievable proposed budget
    • includes funding and/or in-kind support from other sources

Our goal is to provide 100% of direct support grant funds upfront through electronic funds, subject to approval by the State Controller’s Office, so we reserve the right to award funds on a reimbursement basis.

If it is determined after the event that more than 50% of eligible direct support costs incurred from the date of commitment document execution (about four weeks after award notification)  were awarded, the grantee must return any grant funds over 50% of the eligible direct support costs incurred after the date of the commitment document.

The Colorado Tourism Office reserves the right to modify or amend the guidelines between application funding rounds as needed. This funding was enacted by HB21 - 1263 and is exempt from the procurement code.

Individuals or companies on the Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) suspended or disbarred list are ineligible to receive grant funds.

Applicants must attest that they have reviewed and agree to Small-dollar Grant Award Terms and Conditions.

Acknowledgment of funding

All events that are funded in part by a Colorado Tourism Office grant need to include acknowledgment of funding. A credit line or the official Colorado Tourism logo should be included on the event website or social media link and be displayed at the bottom of appropriate promotional material.

Event final report

All grantees awarded direct support funds are required to submit a final report within 90 days of the event end date through the OEDIT application portal. In the final report, you will be required to submit a detailed event expense report outlining the production and promotion expenses incurred after purchase order execution. The expense report must come from the organization's financial system and include a break out of the production and promotion costs to include vendor name, payment amount, and date. 

Expenses incurred before purchase order execution are not allowable direct cost expenses and do not count towards the 50% of eligible direct support expenses.

As part of your final report, you will be required to submit a finalized hotel room night pick-up report or room night written verification from the lodging property or properties listing the total room pick-up for verification of the 25 paid overnight room nights.

Room night written verification

If attendees stay at more than one lodging property, the property or properties needs to agree to report the room nights booked for the qualified meeting. Upon completion of the specified meeting, the lodging property must provide the total room pick-up report associated with the specified meeting. If a pickup report is unavailable, we will request other documentation. This documentation will need to:

  • originate from the property on business letterhead
  • be signed by the property general manager or another officer with the authority to make such a statement on the business's behalf
  • provide the titles and functions of the officer signing the report
  • include the statement, “I attest that (Meeting and Event Title) resulted in (identify the number of paid room nights) paid room nights at (include property name) between (include day, month, and year).”
  • include officer signature and date

Unused funds

If it is determined after the event that more than 50% of eligible direct support costs were awarded, the grantee must return any grant funds over 50% of the final eligible direct support costs.

If an event is postponed and not held by December 31, 2022,  or an event moved to 100% virtual all direct support grant funds must be returned within 45 days. 

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