Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County
Event, Festival, and Community Sponsorship Fiscal 2023 Program
Portal Closes April 1, 2023.
The Event, Festival, and Community Sponsorship Program was established to support Annapolis & Anne Arundel County community groups, event rights-holders, non-profit organizations, and tourism-related businesses and organizations with tourism sponsorship grants intended to support and attract major events, festivals, and exhibitions.
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 also encouraging travel to the destination.
Applications may be reviewed by a tourism marketing advisory group 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 prior to the event or sponsorship date and will be reviewed during the following cycle periods (by October 1, January 1, and/or April 1).
- Higher priority will be given to:
- Events/festivals that occur in the shoulder tourism seasons (November through April)
- First-time events, exhibitions, or festivals.
- A multi-day festival and, in particular, events that are multi-day and include weekday activities.
- Events that encourage or promote overnight stays in local accommodations and needs 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 length of stay and increased visitor spend.
- Events and festivals that provide a community benefit through tourism (events that connect the visitor to the resident).
- Events and festivals that create FOMO (a fear of missing out) and elicits demand and desire to visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County from outside the immediate area.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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 the 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.
Grants are available either for direct event support funding and/or marketing/advertising grant to increase awareness of the event to drive overnight visitation to the event.