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Southern Lakes Regional Events Funding

Queenstown / Wanaka / Central Otago

This is a bi-annual contestable fund. Refer to the following timeline for 2021 funding rounds.

Application window open Outcome communicated Event dates                         Status 
11 January 2021 - 15 February 2021 Early March 2021 1 March 2021 - 28 February 2022 Closed
1 July 2021 - 6 August 2021  1 September 2021 1 November 2021 -  August 2022 Closed

About the Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund

THE PURPOSE OF THE REGIONAL EVENTS FUND IS TO STIMULATE DOMESTIC INTER AND INTRA-REGIONAL VISITATION THROUGH FUNDING EVENTS THAT WILL ENCOURAGE EXPENDITURE MISSED BY INTERNATIONAL VISITOR MARKETS.

Reference: https://www.mbie.govt.nz/immigration-and-tourism/tourism/tourism-recovery/regional-events-fund/

The fund is available to the nine International Marketing Alliance (IMA) groupings of the Regional Tourism Organisations (RTO’s). The Southern Lakes IMA (Queenstown, Wanaka, Central Otago & Fiordland) have been allocated $8.5million over a 2-4-year timeframe, commencing in 2021.

Destination Fiordland’s portion of the fund ($850,000) has been allocated as a separate amount, while the Queenstown, Wanaka and Central Otago allocation will remain pooled at $7,650,000, to be invested via bi-annual contestable funding rounds.

Events that receive Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund investment must demonstrate that the event meet the Fund’s criteria.

Please ensure you read the information contained in these pages and download the Southern Lakes Regional Events Funding Guideline before applying.


 

Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund Executive Summary

The key focus of the Southern Lakes Events Investment Panel (SLEIP) will be to ensure that those events funded from the Regional Events Fund maximise economic benefit to the region, optimise the regions assets and venues, replace the current lack of sponsorship and drive out-of-region, non-competing domestic visitation to help compensate for some of the shortfall created by lack of international visitors. This supports the immediate goal of supporting the wider business community in the region while supporting local event operators and suppliers that have felt the full impact of border closures during 2020 and beyond.

It also aligns with longer term strategic goals to develop the region as an event friendly destination that encourages and supports the development of a balanced portfolio of events that reinforce the key economic, community and strategic directions of the region.

Success will be measured via economic, social and sustainability criteria with weighting towards the economic benefit that events bring, to replace the loss of international visitation to the Southern Lakes region.


 

Fund Foundation Principles

The Foundation Principles of the fund include prioritising events that;

  • Drive out of region visitation
  • Bring measurable economic benefit to the region
  • Collaborate with, but do not compete with other regional or large national events
  • Compliment a regional calendar of events that is well-balanced to create year-round stimulation
  • Offer leverage opportunities to local business
  • Engage the local workforce
  • Demonstrate community and social licence
  • Demonstrate a prospect for enduring legacy and stability
  • Utilise current regional infrastructure
  • Use 50% local suppliers
  • Demonstrate strategies to mitigate, reduce and offset carbon footprints.

     

Application expectations

All applications will be considered on:

  • Strength of the funding proposition;
  • Scope of the event;
  • Implications of investment against the pool of funds remaining in the total fund for allocation;
  • Previous funding and funding from other sources.

 

The Fund Criteria

The Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund is an investment fund to primarily support commercial events that maximise economic benefit to the region, optimise the region’s assets and venues and drive out of region visitation. To be eligible for investment the event must be held within the Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago districts.  Some events, depending on if the event is new, it’s size and the expected investment, will be subject to a pre economic and social impact evaluation. All events will be subject to post economic and social impact evaluation. This relates to the ability of an event to drive and stimulate benefits to the region in the form of new expenditure and or future investment to the region.


Before you apply for regional events fund investment, please make sure you fully understand the eligibility and assessment criteria.


 

Eligibility and Assessment Criteria

Foundation principles and a robust set of criteria have been created to focus the investment of the Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund. Criteria will be updated as required. Current criteria apply to all investment decisions made within the 2021 period.


The Foundation principles state that the Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund will give priority to events in the Southern Lakes region that are or have the potential to;

  • Drive out of region visitation
  • Bring measurable economic benefit to the region.  
  • Collaborate with, but do not significantly conflict with other regional or large national events.
  • Compliment a regional calendar of events that is well-balanced to create year round stimulation.
  • Offer leverage opportunities to local business.
  • Engage the local workforce.
  • Demonstrate community and social licence
  • Demonstrate a prospect for enduring legacy and stability
  • Utilise current regional infrastructure.
  • Use 50% local suppliers.
  • Demonstrate strategies to mitigate, reduce and offset carbon footprints.

The organisation responsible for the event must be a legal entity with a demonstrated ability to deliver significant events.


 

An event can apply for funding to support costs including, but not limited to:

  • Enhancement which will increase attendance from out of the region
  • Infrastructure which is able to be redeployed supporting the event to become more cost-effective to deliver in future years i.e. signage which is generic and not labeled with an event year or sponsors.
  • Process development such as Waste Management and Marketing plans which will form the basis for future years delivery of the event
  • Reporting measurement of the event

 

An event is unlikely to receive investment if it:

  • Is a community focused event, that does not appeal to attendees outside of the region;
  • Is looking to support capital works costs;
  • Is seeking investment to underwrite an event;  
  • Will adversely affect an existing event due to timing or any other reason;
  • Does not allow sufficient time to develop and activate leverage and legacy planning;
  • Does not allow sufficient time to apply for and attain council consent – e.g. resource consent or permits;
  • Does not procure 50% of local suppliers;
  • Engages out of region human resource at the expense of local resource; 
  • Is not supported by an experienced event management team;
  • Does not provide a complete and up-to-date health and safety plan that incorporates a risk management plan;
  • Is generating a large profit or surplus, suggesting that investment is not required;
  • Does not meet minimum criteria via mandatory economic impact pre event reporting; 
  • Does not attempt to mitigate, reduce or offset its carbon footprint;
  • Cannot be supported by regional infrastructure;
  • Fails to prove that the event has the social licence to take place within the region; 
  • Primary purpose is to promote religious, ministry or political objectives;

 

How to apply for funding support

The Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund is contestable. Funding rounds are bi-annual.  Applications can be made only once a year at either the January or July funding rounds.  

Before you apply please make sure to read the terms and conditions and prepare any required supporting documents.

Take note that when filling in the application ‘region’ refers to the Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago districts combined.

Expressions of Interest

Applicants must complete the Expression of Interest registration form in the first instance. The next round for expressions of interest will open 1 July, 2021 until 6 August 2021.

EOI’s can be made year round and applicant support can be sought via the Southern Lakes Business Development Events office.  

Applications

An invitation to present a full application (following approval of an EOI), does not guarantee Southern Lakes REF investment. Events will undergo a rigorous due diligence assessment prior to any referral to the Southern Lakes Events Investment Panel (SLEIP), who allocate the fund at their sole discretion.

Investment Limit

The minimum funding allocation is $25,000.

SLEP Process


 

Timeframes for applications

The Southern Lakes Regional Events Fund is allocated bi-annually.  Applications for each round will be open for 4- 6 weeks prior to allocation of the fund. Applicants must complete an Expression of Interest in the first instance.

Application window open Outcome communicated Event dates
11 January 2021 - 15 February 2021 Early March 2021  1 March 2021 - 28 February 2022
1 July 2021 - 6 August 2021 Early September 2021 1 November 2021 - August 2022

 

Expressions of Interest Stage

Applicants can register expressions of interests all year round.  
Applicant support is provided as appropriate, via the Southern Lakes Business Development Events office

 

Submission Stage

Once approval has been given to proceed via the EOI process the applicant will be asked to submit a full application. Eligible applications will be assessed using the information given to the answers to each question in the application form, as well as required supporting documentation. Applications that do not address each question adequately may not be considered.

To ensure all application criteria is met the following is requested in this process;

  • Events Business Plans
  • Communications Plans (essential for all events)
  • Event Budgets
  • Health and Safety / Risk Management Plans Declarations
  • Lists of key suppliers
  • Copy of public liability insurance certificates
  • Evidence that the event/applicants are aware of and will comply with all of QLDC and CODC regulatory and statutory requirements relating to preparation and delivery of the event, including obtaining the necessary permits and consents within the allowable timeframes.

After the submission has undergone due diligence, successful applicants will be referred to the Southern Lakes Events Investment Panel made up of representatives from the regions RTO’s and 2 x independent members.  All investment decisions are made by the SLEIP are full and final.


Successful applicants
Once funding has been approved, all successful applicants will receive a funding agreement. This is a formal contract which outlines what is expected of event organisers and the amount of funding the SLEIP is granting.  The funding agreement will also outline the post-event reporting requirements for event organisers.


Issuing funding
75% of funding will be available at time of confirmation of funding.
25% within 2 weeks of completion of the event post event criteria (refer Post Events below). 

 

Post Event requirements
After the event, all successful applicants will be required to formally report to the SLEIP on the following:

  • An overall summary of the event addressing how the conditions outlined in the contract have been met including proof of delivery/success of the event for all measures stated in the application form;
  • A description of the overall success/failure of the event via a post event economic/social impact evaluation;
  • Copies of receipts showing the expenditure of the funding or verified event P&L; audited attendance figures including an outline of the methodology used and a breakdown of confirmed figures and estimated totals;
  • An analysis of how the Funding has enabled the Recipient to achieve the expected outcomes of investment; and
  • Any other information requested by SLEIP.

     

SLEIP Discretion

The SLEIP reserves the right to:

  • Accept or reject any application at its sole discretion
  • Change the criteria, parameters, date, timeline or any other aspect of the funding application or decision making process, and to waive any application requirements at is discretion.
  • Require applicants to provide additional information if required
  • Suspend or cancel the funding process in whole or in part
  • Impose conditions on the approval or payment of funding, such as a requirement to generate a certain number of entries for an event.
  • Do any other act that it sees fit in relation to the funding process

 


Business Events Incentive Scheme (BEIS) 

Within the Regional Events Fund, the Southern Lakes Events Investment Panel (SLEIP) has earmarked budget to encourage conversions for high value business event leads. The aim of this is to accelerate conference and incentive visitation into the Queenstown, Wānaka and Central Otago regions. This scheme will be open for applications over two funding rounds in 2021. Successful applications will receive the support of $150 per actual attendee to the event. 

This funding can be used to/for: 

  • Travel expenses to the region
  • Boost delegate numbers through strategic marketing campaigns (public events only)
  • Offset costs which would have otherwise prevented the event from being able to take place in Queenstown, Wānaka or Central Otago

Applications for the Business Event Incentive Scheme have now closed. If you have any queries please contact Southern Lakes Business Development Events office.  


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