The purpose of the Hernando County Special Event Grant Program is to provide funds for marketing events that promote Hernando County as a tourist destination. Funds received from the Special Event Grant Funding Program must be used for expenses associated with marketing and promoting the event to visitors and guests outside of Hernando County, with the goal of encouraging overnight visitors.
GENERAL INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS
Applicants are required to provide a completed application and to make an oral presentation (5-minute presentation with 5-minute question and answer period) regarding their proposed event before the Hernando County Tourist Development Council (HCTDC).
Organizations requesting funding for their events must have a regional marketing plan, designed to bring visitors from out-of-county. The application should specify the dollar amount requested and include a detailed marketing plan for use of the funds.
Grant applications, presentations, and supplemental materials Applications should be submitted no later than end of business on July 1st.
Oral presentations will be heard at the October 14th TDC Meeting, held at the Brooksville Welcome Center, at 2PM.
The number of grants awarded and the amount of each grant will be dependent upon the availability of grant funds. There is a $5,000 funding cap per event.
All grants are reimbursement grants and will be paid upon completion of the event and submission of an invoice made out to the Hernando County Tourist Development Council. The invoice must be submitted within 45 days of the close of the event and include copies of paid invoices, cancelled checks, tear sheets, printed samples or other backup information to substantiate the request for funds.
All marketing materials must include the Visitors Bureau's logo; all press releases must include the language, "Funding for this event was provided in part by the Hernando County Tourist Develoment Council." All materials using the Visitors Bureau logo must be pre-approved; please provide a minimum of two business days for approval of materials.
Please read the entire application carefully. There have been a variety of changes to the program and the County’s insurance requirements. Failure to adhere to all policies, guidelines and requirements will result in forfeiture of any and all Hernando County TDC Funding.
Please note that the organization’s marketing coordinator and/or authorized agent are required to attend a grant funding workshop covering:
Working with the Visitors Bureau
Promotional Opportunties with the Visitors Bureau
Organizations whose marketing coordinator and/or authorized agent do not attend the designated workshop will not be eligible for any tourism funding.
NOTE: Workshops are typically held during National Travel & Tourism Week, traditionally the first full week of May.
Applications received after the submission deadline will NOT be considered (see Grant Request timeline below).
All Event Grant applications must be complete and include the following:
The organizations designated representative or marketing coordinator contact
A full description of the event
The marketing plan and budget for the event
The amount requested from the HCTDC
The grant application must be signed by the organizations Authorized Agent.
Applications must be submitted no later than end of business on July 1st unless an extension is approved by the Tourism manager. After receipt of the application and oral presentation, the HCTDC will review and score all applications based on the following:
• Is the application complete?
• Is the event fully described?
• Is this a new event or a repeat event?
• Is the event for one day or multiple days?
• Is the marketing plan fully described?
Once all scores are calculated, event grant applicants will be notified of the results and Purchase Orders will be created. All invoices must include the PO number.
NOTE: Visitor tracking of attendees is required. All tracking must include at minimum the zip code, number in party and lodging information of the visitor.
Organizations that do not submit Visitor Survey data will automatically forfeit any and all tourism funds awarded.
To request reimbursement, an invoice must be made out to the Hernando County Tourist Development Council and mailed/delivered to the Tourism Manager. Copies of paid invoices, cancelled checks, tear sheets, printed samples or other backup information to substantiate payment must be included with the invoice. Include a copy of the post event report and attendee tracking data. All requests for reimbursement must be received no later than 45 days from the close of the Event.
NOTE: The Hernando County Tourism Development Council has initiated a Social Media Policy. Violations by TDC Partners requesting a grant will terminate their right to apply for funding and may result in loss of any current Event reimbursement. A copy of the policy is available on the HCTDC web site.