2021-2022 Grant Guidelines Obion County Tourism (OCT)

OVERVIEW

Obion County Tourism (OCT) allocates a portion of its budget each year for sponsorships. These sponsorships are provided to support approved tourism-related events and projects, which will have a direct positive economic impact on the community by increasing overnight visitation and visitor spending, creating awareness of Obion County as a place to visit, and expanding tourist attractions.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENT & TIMELINE

The sponsorship application should be submitted to Obion County Tourism at least sixty (60) days prior to the proposed event, as the committee needs ample lead time in making sponsorship decisions.

The following information/materials must be included with all applications:

  • Project description
  • Descriptions of the project’s target audience and potential for economic return
  • Marketing plan outline
  • Methods of tracking/measuring the project’s success, if applicable
  • Project budget
  • Project Director’s signature and date of application.

Click Here for the Application

ELIGIBLE PROJECTS

  • Events, festivals, fairs, exhibits, shows, or conventions
  • Design, print, and distribution of promotional materials such as brochures, flyers, posters, newspaper, magazine or website ads, radio or TV ads, billboards, and mass mailings
  • Local signage, brochure racks, site development, or interpretive product is eligible only if it enhances the visitor experience and encourages more extended stays
  • Advertising through paid media (including newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and billboards)
  • Printed materials (including brochures, inserts, and direct mail pieces) for distribution outside Obion County. A distribution list is required.
  • Production of an event designed to attract out-of-county visitors
  • Agency fees (including research, copy development, design, and layout) are not to exceed 25% of the project funds requested
  • Other requests will be considered at the discretion of the OCT committee

INELIGIBLE PROJECTS

  • Administrative costs include salaries, postage, telephone or office expenses, travel, meals, or lodging.
  • Operating expenses (including maintenance, repair, rent, electricity, and telephone charges)
  • Purchases of office equipment or other tangible personal property
  • Events are restricted to private or exclusive participation
  • Loan or interest payment, scholarships, or cash awards.  

SELECTION CRITERIA

OCT will use the following criteria when reviewing projects for funding consideration:

  • Priority will be given to those events that demonstrate substantial potential for economic return from visitors outside Obion County in the following areas: Lodging, Dining, Shopping, Attractions & Transportation
  • Increase incremental tourism business by influencing visitors’ intention to travel to the region, extend their length of stay, and/or revisit Obion County
  • Demonstrates a cooperative effort between entities and has a well-organized and structured management committee with the capacity to handle event management issues
  • Have event sustainability as evidenced by solid business/community support and potential to grow and become a self-funding and demonstrable long-term impact on building our tourism infrastructure.

GUIDELINES

All projects receiving sponsorship funding must adhere to the following requirements. If any of these are not followed, a project may be deemed ineligible, and the applicant will be responsible for returning all sponsorship monies to OCT.

  • Applicants must submit a completed application form with all required attachments.
  • If the event should be canceled, unspent monies are to be returned to OCT no later than five business days after the originally scheduled first day of the event. Full details with supporting documentation of monies already spent must be provided
  • Any sponsorship monies, either in excess of need and/or use for unapproved non-promotional purposes, are to be returned to OCT no later than five working days after the event's last day.
  • Events are required to demonstrate a well-structured and organized management committee with the ability to handle issues such as public liability and insurance.
  • OCT will evaluate the applicant, including without limitation the financial stability of the applicant, as well as previous events conducted by the applicant
  • At the sole discretion of OCT, the event must be deemed to be consistent with the community standards of Obion County.
  • Any visitor data you can share with OCT regarding where visitors are from, where they are staying, length of stay, how much money they are spending, etc., will be very helpful when decisions are made regarding the level of sponsorship.

AWARDING OF FUNDS

Applicants will be notified in writing (or e-mail) of their status regarding funding as soon as possible after a decision is made. Awarded funds may only be used for purposes listed on the application. OCT must be notified in writing of any changes in the scope of the event before the event is held.
No applicant will be guaranteed funding from year to year as conditions and the number of events change. Each applicant will be judged based on the project's merits as it relates to Obion County Tourism. The decisions rendered by OCT are final.

QUESTIONS

If you have any questions regarding the Obion County Tourism Sponsorship Program Guidelines and/or application, please contact Lindsay Frilling, CEO,  by phone at (731) 885-0211 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..