The Regional Events Fund (REF) provides funding for activities that support regional visitation. The level of investment that Visit Victoria gives to an event is contingent on a rigorous assessment process.
To be considered for support event organisers need to make a formal submission to the Regional Events Fund which details the economic, strategic, marketing and community impacts of their proposed event. Strategic consideration is given to a broad range of potential impacts including visitation, expenditure, seasonal hotel occupancy, potential to encourage local development and economic flow on to the local business community.
Visit Victoria funds programs that align with our strategic priorities, help achieve Visit Victoria's tourism and visitor economy outcomes.
Increase economic benefits by driving visitation from outside of the region and the State and extending length of stay and yield;
Showcase Victoria's key regional tourism strengths and build Victoria's reputation as an events destination; and
Develop a strong and sustainable calendar of regional events.
Funding must contribute to the achievement of one or more of Visit Victoria's strategic outcomes:
Compete globally for tourism, marketing and event procurement (major events and cultural events);
Deliver the greatest number of visitors to the State of Victoria and to derive the highest possible value from their stay;
Develop and implement strategies to deliver organization objectives in relation to tourism marketing and event attraction consistent with its constitution and the broader Victorian Government objectives and strategies.
If the funding does not align with the key criteria of the Fund, Visit Victoria will not enter the Funding Agreement. Applicants should note that Visit Victoria reserves the right to award an amount less than that applied for if the information supplied in the application does not justify the amount requested.
Expression of Interest (EOI) Submission;
Regional Event Fund Application Online (if criteria of the EOI is met);
Confirmation (if applicant is successful);
Regional event team support throughout development and execution of your event;
Reporting into Visit Victoria your event outcomes and joint de-brief post event.
Applicants are encouraged to submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) at the earliest taking into consideration the timelines. All applications are to be made via the online 'SmartyGrants' portal. Any applications received outside of the timeframes will be at the discretion of Visit Victoria to review on a case by case basis.
EOI applications will only proceed to the official REF Application process if the initial event criteria has been met.
Applicants who meet the initial criteria outlined in the EOI will then be sent an online link to the REF Application to formally apply.
Applicants should note that events may not proceed to the formal application and assessment process where the event:
Cannot meet the minimum criteria set out in the EOI;
Does not demonstrate economic and other benefits;
Is not ready for implementation;
Is not aligned to State or regional priorities;
Does not demonstrate a need for Government funding;
Does not maximise funding support from other sources.
EOIs will be assessed by Visit Victoria and an assessment panel comprising representatives from Regional Development Victoria, DEDJTR within the Victorian Government, Sport and Recreation Victoria and Creative Victoria.
Please note that as this is a competitive program there may be a limit to the number of eligible activities which can be funded.
Only events held in the Regional Tourism Board (RTB) networks are eligible to apply for funding through the Regional Events Fund. This does not include events held in the Melbourne Metropolitan Area.
Events held in Local Government Areas not represented by a Regional Tourism Board (RTB) are not eligible to apply for funding through the Regional Events Fund.
Events held in areas on the border between Victoria and another state must prove, as part of their application that at least 85% of the event's activity is based in Victoria to be eligible for funding.
All applicants must be the event owner and have demonstrated rights to the event, must be financially solvent and be a company or incorporated association with a registered Australian Business Number (ABN).
Consideration will be given to events who:
With a strong estimated economic impact to the State and region;
Whose brand is aligned with State and regional tourism brands; where there is a strategic alignment with the relevant Regional Tourism Board's Event Plan, Strategic Plan and Regional Partnership Priorities;
With demonstrated alignment with broader government priorities;
With a financial structure in place beyond the funding provided by State Government including, local government, regional and local tourism organisations and sporting, cultural, industry and community organisations;
Demonstrated financial sustainability and management capacity;
Is aligned with regional calendar fit for the region proposed.
Funding must not be used for:
As prize money, gifts or purchase of equipment;
For staff costs and salaries or general administration;
For local Council fees or personal use;
Any questions in relation to the REF process, please send us a regional event enquiry via the Visit Victoria online contact form.