Meeting and Events Incentive Direct Support Grant

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 June 30, 2024. 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.

 Applications for this grant are no longer being accepted.

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 - December

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 June 30, 2024
  • 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 a recurring/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 infeasibility 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 (CTO) or Office of Economic Development (OEDIT) 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.

 Applications for this grant are no longer being accepted.

Although not required, applicants are encouraged to submit a brief LOI prior to completing a full application so that CTO staff can learn more about the proposed event and the potential multi-county impact.

Application process

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 online 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 OEDIT online portal are available.
  3. Submit your application in the OEDIT online 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 the application round closes (see timeline).
  5. Award status notification per timeline.
  6. Approximately four weeks after award notification a grant agreement 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 through the OEDIT online portal. 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 – to include - 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 on official letterhead from a public official in each affected county attesting to the changes evident in the county when similar events occur

Application timeline

  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 (around December 31, 2021)
Round 2  November 1, 2022 January 12, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. February 9, 2023 To be determined (around March 9, 2023)
         

*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 additional rounds of funding. 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:

  • Applicant entity qualifications
    • demonstrated knowledge, resources, and proven track record to market and produce the event.
  • Event information
    • elevates Colorado's profile as a world class destination
    • demonstrates exceptional long-term impact potential 
    • strengthens the Colorado brand
  • Budget 
    • realistic and achievable proposed budget
    • includes funding and/or in-kind support from other sources
  • Economic impact 
    • potential to generate a significant number of overnight hotel rooms
    • 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 
    • demonstrated ability to affect two or more counties through significant economic impact

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.

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

If it is determined after the event that more than 50% of eligible direct support costs incurred from the date of grant agreement 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 grant agreement.

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 the State of Colorado Small-dollar Grant Award Terms and Conditions.

Grantees must:

  • keep the budget updated 
  • submit reports as outlined in the grant agreement including a final report describing what was accomplished with the grant funds, and a detailed event expense report outlining the production and promotion expenses incurred after grant agreement 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. 
    • 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.

Project requirements:

  • prior to production, publication, placement, and/or distribution, creative assets must be approved by the CTO 
  • all marketing and promotional materials that are funded in part by the Colorado Tourism Office need to include the official Colorado Tourism Office logo
    •  a credit line or the official Colorado Tourism logo should be included on the event website and be displayed at the bottom of appropriate promotional material.  
  • 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 June 30, 2024, or an event moved to 100% virtual all direct support grant funds must be returned within 45 days of the decision date to postpone or move to 100% virtual. 

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