Seeking a bigger bang with CVB resources

4/30/2014

By SCOTT AUST

By SCOTT AUST

saust@gctelegram.com

The Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau is considering making some changes to its grant program intended to allow it more flexibility in attracting bigger events to the community.

During its monthly meeting on Wednesday, the board voted to form a sub-committee tasked with reviewing the current grant process and making recommendations for fine-tuning the process using ideas proposed by CVB staff.

In general, the proposal would reduce the maximum amount an event can receive through the grant program, which would allow the CVB to pursue larger, new events for the community that provide a bigger bang for the buck.

"We'll continue to support our signature events and attractions, but instead of having every Tom, Dick and Harry come in and say, 'I want to have a conference on butterflies and you should give me $15,000' (events would need to provide a greater return on investment)," Kim Inderlied, CVB executive director said.

Inderlied defined a signature event as one that attracts overnight visitors and typically has a board or committee comprised of people with vision or passion for their event.

CVB takes applications from those seeking event funding twice per year. Applications are scored based on a variety of factors such as how many people it will draw and how great an economic impact the event would have. New events are eligible for up to $15,000, while existing events are eligible for up to $10,000.

Proposed changes include reducing the maximum grant to $2,500; giving the grant after the event is held; requiring the application to be submitted by a board or committee; having sponsors or showing the proposed admission will support the event; and asking the applicant to take a much larger role in calculating economic impact after the event.

Board members want more time to review the proposal and come back with recommendations that are more clearly spelled out.

"We're not leaving a clear-cut message, we're just kind of talking. We need to have a clear, concise message, and we're not there yet," board member Angie Clark said.

Board member Chad Knight

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