PURPOSE

The purpose of the Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) Grant Fund is to provide funding to new and/or growing meetings/events that will provide economic impact through increased hotel room nights and other spending within the Missoula community.

GOALS

  • To fund meetings/events that generate NEW hotel room nights, preferably in non-peak months (October-April).
  • To fund meetings/events that reach potential visitors outside of Missoula, preferably 100+ miles.
  • To fund meetings/events that have potential to increase the number of visitors or to extend the visitors stay.
  • To fund meetings/events that economically benefit the Missoula community.

FUNDING SOURCE

These funds are made available through the support of the TBID lodging partners. For every occupied room night, guests are assessed $2.00 that is returned to Missoula to aid in tourism, promotion and marketing within the district.

NUMBER OF GRANT AWARDS

There is no set number of grants that may be awarded in any fiscal year. However, the total dollar amount of grant funds awarded may not exceed the total amount of funds allotted each year by the TBID board. To date the TBID has awarded grant funds as small as $1,500.00 and as large as $15,000.00 per event.

FUTURE FUNDING

Funds should be viewed as money to assist with meetings/events in the formative years and should not be viewed as a guaranteed continuous source of funding. Applicants will not be guaranteed funding after the first year of the award and will need to reapply in subsequent years.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS 

Any organization or individual presenting an event that supports the TBID Grant purpose and goals is eligible to apply for funding. Applying organizations or individuals must be prepared to meet the following criteria:

  • Provide proof of dollar for dollar match for the requested grant funds.
  • Proven ability to generate, track and report hotel room nights and economic impact of the event. A minimum of 100 NEW room nights is required for all meetings/events.
  • If 75% of the committed new hotel room nights listed on the application are not realized, 50% of potential grant funds will not be awarded.
  • Marketing plan, budget form (use the TBID downloadable template on the grant application page) and event planning timeline must be provided with application submission.
  • Existing meetings/events must submit event history (up to 3 years), including number of hotel rooms booked, attendance and financial reports.
  • Communication with hotels regarding hotel arrangements must begin with the TBID Sales Manager.

CRITERIA

MISSOULA TBID HOTELS USAGE

  • Missoula TBID hotels will be used exclusively as the official event hotels until such time as room blocks at the participating hotels are filled. Overflow may go to non-TBID hotels after such time.
  • Event website and attendee communications must include an “Accommodations Page” providing direct links to all chosen Missoula TBID hotels.
  • A hotel room block is required to be established with at least one Missoula TBID hotel. Please keep a copy of all hotel agreements made for the Post Event Report. Assistance from the TBID Sales team is available.
  • Final actualized hotel room nights (final pick up numbers) must be tracked and collected based upon reporting from chosen Missoula TBID hotels, i.e. Group Pick-Up Reports.

EVENT MATERIALS

  • Event materials to include acknowledgement of TBID grant (“produced with support from Destination Missoula & the Missoula Tourism Business Improvement District”) and approved Missoula TBID and Destination Missoula logos.
  • The Missoula TBID and Destination Missoula will receive advertising opportunities in premium position relative to cash investments made by other sponsors. Event Owner is responsible for providing the Missoula TBID with ad specs and due dates with at least 30 days notice.

MARKETING

Marketing efforts should include, but are not limited to:

  • Use of Destination Missoula and Missoula TBID logos on all materials.
  • Use of the Destination Missoula website – DestinationMissoula.org on materials and link on event website.
  • Acknowledgment of TBID grant (“This event was produced with support from Destination Missoula & the Missoula Tourism Business Improvement District”).
  • A Destination Missoula-Missoula TBID banner prominently hung at the event location for the duration of the event. Banner placement should be reflective of title sponsorship and visible to all event attendees. Banner will be supplied by Destination Missoula.
  • Event Owner must track all media advertising placement for the marketing performance report.

EVENT SURVEY

Conduct a survey to event attendees collecting data on room nights generated from the event and estimates on spending in the local economy.

At a minimum, survey questions to include:

  • Where did you stay during your visit?
  • How many rooms did you book? How many nights did you stay? How many people were in your group?
  • What were the highlights of your visit to Missoula?
  • What would have made your Missoula visit better?
  • Will you return to Missoula? If not, why?
  • Estimated total cost for your trip?

POST EVENT REPORT CONTENT

Provide a written post event report to the Missoula TBID staff no later than 30 days after the event end date. The Post Event Report should include, but is not limited to the following:

  • The total number of hotel rooms blocked and picked up at TBID Hotels compiled in the Event Owner Hotel Report
  • Hotel room block agreements and pick up reports from Missoula TBID hotels to reconcile the Event Organizer Hotel Report
  • Total number of local and out of town event participants and spectators
  • The percentage of spectators that live in Missoula
  • The percentage of out of town participants and spectators that traveled by air
  • The average daily hotel room rate paid by participants and spectators
  • Event attendee survey responses
  • Level of event growth as a result of grant funds received
  • Examples of sponsorship recognition, including copies of ads and images of event collateral
  • Provide a summary of all marketing. Event Owner must provide a performance report including media advertising placement performance metrics

APPLICATION DUE DATES

  • March 1st by 5pm MST:             Application deadline for meetings/events taking place the following October or beyond.
  • September 1st by 5pm MST:      Application deadline for meetings/events taking place the following April or beyond.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Step One: Eligible applicants must complete the standard grant application form and submit it by the appropriate application deadline (March 1 or September 1). A Destination Missoula-TBID staff member will confirm the receipt of your application within 2 business days via email. If you do not receive confirmation please contact Destination Missoula-TBID at 406-532-3282.

Step Two: A Destination Missoula-TBID staff member will review all applications for eligibility after the deadline. Applications that do not meet all the criteria, are incomplete, do not include required event documents or are received past the deadline listed above will automatically be disqualified, and will be notified.

Step Three: All qualified applications will be submitted to the Grant Selection Committee for review and scoring. All applications that score a minimum of 60 points will be given an interview with the Grant Selection Committee and will be contacted by a Destination Missoula-TBID staff member.

Step Four: After applicant interviews have been conducted the grant selection committee will deliberate to select successful grant requests. A Destination Missoula-TBID staff member will contact each applicant to inform them of the outcome. All grants will be awarded by either April 1st or October 1st, depending on the grant application cycle.

Before grants can be awarded, grant recipients are required to sign a letter of agreement committing to meet all the criteria previously listed in this document. After the letter of agreement has been signed, 50% of the grant will be awarded and the remaining 50% will be awarded when the complete post event report is received. The report must be submitted to services@destinationmissoula.org no later than 30 days post your event end date.  If the report is received past the deadline, or if 75% of the committed new hotel room nights are not realized, the remaining grant funds will not be awarded.

APPLICATION SCORING

Each application will be scored using identical criteria and can earn a maximum of 130 points. The point distribution is as follows:

  • Maximum 30 Points – New room nights generated
  • Maximum 15 Points – Event taking place in off season (October-April)
  • Maximum 10 Points – New event
  • Maximum 30 Points – Application questions
  • Maximum 20 Points – Budget Plan
  • Maximum 7 Points – Marketing Plan
  • Maximum 3 Points – Event Planning Timeline
  • Maximum 15 Points – Interview process