A group of black people in costumes march in the Juneteenth parade in Annapolis, MD.

Luke Thompson Photography

Sponsorship Application

Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County
The event, Festival, and Community Sponsorship & Marketing Incentive Program | Fiscal 2023

The Event, Festival, and Community Sponsorship & Marketing Incentive Program was established to support Annapolis & Anne Arundel County community groups, event rights-holders, non-profit organizations, sports groups, and other tourism-related businesses with an opportunity to apply for sponsorship support intended to attract significant events, festivals, tournaments, and exhibitions into the destination.

The program is designed to generate an economic impact through tourism to the City of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County by promoting and supporting events and activations that enhance the visitor experience while encouraging travel to the destination. 

A tourism marketing advisory group may review applications made up of peers in the industry who are not directly related to the applicants. Applications will be scored based on the criteria below and the strength of the supporting documentation submitted with the application.

Applications must be submitted a minimum of 60 days before the event or sponsorship date and will be reviewed during the following cycle periods (by October 1, January 1, and April 1).

  • Higher priority will be given to the following:
    • Events/festivals that occur in the shoulder tourism seasons (November through April)
    • First-time events, exhibitions, or festivals related to tourism. 
    • A multi-day festival, particularly multi-day events, including weekday activities.
    • Events that encourage or promote overnight stays in local accommodations and need assistance from VAAAC to create a hotel room block.
    • Opportunity for Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County to reach visitors PRIOR to their arrival to encourage an extended stay and increased visitor spending.
    • Events and festivals that provide a community benefit through tourism (events that connect the visitor, the event, and related elements to our residents).
    • Opportunity for the Maryland Office of Tourism Development and/or Maryland Sports Commission to be included with logo/weblink representation.
    • Events and festivals that create FOMO (fear of missing out) and elicits demand and desire to visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County from 75 or more miles outside of our region. Extra consideration will be given to events/festivals that attract visitation from outside the DMV (DC/Maryland/Northern Virginia).


The Portal Closes on April 1, 2023.



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Application criteria:

  • The application form and all supporting documentation must be submitted IN-FULL at the time of application. No applications will be reviewed if not completed in full.
  • The event, festival, or sponsorship must directly impact the tourism economy of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County through promotion to both out-of-area and out-of-state residents (out-of-area is defined as 70 miles outside of the borders of Anne Arundel County). 
  • The event must be open to the public (private, political, and other fundraising events do not qualify).
  • Awarded funds may not be used for general organization operating expenses (payroll, rent, etc.), and awarded funds shall be designed to offer promotional support or for activating the event.
  • The event must occur between July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023. 
  • All applicants will be required to provide a Proof of Performance Report to Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County showcasing how the event provided a positive economic impact to the region with requirements provided by the organization (an explanation will be provided to all awardees in formal agreement).
  • Organizations must be in good legal standing with VAAAC, the City of Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, and within the community.


Awarded funds are available either for direct event support funding and/or marketing/advertising incentives to increase awareness of the event to drive overnight visitation to the event.