Wisconsin Department of Tourism
Grants of up to $20,000 to Wisconsin destination marketing organizations to defray the cost of hosting national and regional conventions or meetings. Funding may be requested for costs associated with convention facility rental, hosting costs, and in-community transport to conventions.
The purpose of the fund is to assist destinations as they bid for national or Midwest regional meetings and conventions that generate hotel overnights and a significant economic impact for the area where they’ll be held. Such meetings may be held by a variety of different kinds of businesses, trade shows organizations, groups, etc. The purpose is to bring meetings or conventions into the state, but not to fund existing in-state events that are regularly scheduled or which routinely rotate to destinations within the state.
-Attracting national or Midwest regional meetings and conventions generate significant economic impact from additional room night bookings and traveler spending in the community in which they are held.
-Attracting national and regional conferences gives Wisconsin a competitive edge and top-of-mind awareness as the premier place to host meetings or conventions.
-The destination can go after a variety of different kinds of meetings and conventions that best fits their business model including but not limited to associations and organization meetings, trade shows, reunions, educational or social meetings.
-The Wisconsin Department of Tourism recognizes meetings and conventions as a niche tourism market with significant growth potential. To help make Wisconsin destinations competitive in their efforts to attract regional and national meetings or conventions, the Department offers a grant program designed to assist Wisconsin destinations with financial assistance for facility costs or host destination expenses.
GrantWatch ID#: 129416
Destinations may apply for 50% of the costs for convention facility rental, in-community convention transportation or host costs, up to a maximum of $20,000 during the State fiscal year (may be for multiple applications).
Applicant must be the recognized destination marketing organization (DMO) in the area
Events that have been secured prior to the written grant application are not eligible.
Meetings or conventions that have been previously hosted in Wisconsin will be considered for grant funding based on the competitive nature of the bid, as well as prior event evaluation and documented economic impact
Organizations receiving funding from the Meetings Mean Business fund may not also request funding from the Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant fund for the same event, during the same fiscal year.
Organizations or events funded through statutorily required expenditures (earmarks) are not eligible for funding.
This grant does NOT fund in-state events that are regularly scheduled or which routinely rotate to destinations within the state
Grant funds may not be used for the purchase of alcoholic beverages or other items deemed inappropriate for the use of state funds
This grant does NOT fund in-state events that are regularly scheduled or those that rotate destinations within the state.
The Department of Tourism will be reviewing applications three times each year. The deadline for applications is midnight April 1, August 1 and December 1.
Applications must also be submitted at least 90 days prior to the event.
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Heidi Schultz, Grants Coordinator
Wisconsin Department of Tourism
201 W. Washington Ave.
P.O. Box 8690
Madison, WI 53708-8690