Event Funding Key to Increased Tourism in Miami Beach

By Eileen de la Cuesta….

Eileen de la Cuesta

Once a year, the bright minds of the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA) gather around the table to review and revise their annual grant guidelines for the upcoming fiscal year.

This discussion involves how to most effectively attract the largest number of people to this great destination called Miami Beach through the funding of special events that promote tourism.

During this process, the team also brainstorms about how to increase the visibility of the MBVCA’s grant programs and to attract new events to the destination.  The MBVCA is the funding arm for the City of Miami Beach.  Over my nearly 9 years with the MBVCA I have experienced first-hand how the smallest event can become an internationally renowned event by way of an MBVCA grant; despite the award amount. Events have begun their journeys at the MBVCA and through the connections made here; have also developed long-lasting partnerships with other event producers and leaders within the hospitality industry.

Our grant program and its process have certainly evolved over the years.  We have gone from 7 grant programs to 9 grant programs; developed specific minimum criteria for each of the programs depending on the size of the event and its confirmed room nights, media impressions, and/or viewership numbers; have made all of our applications available on our newly designed website in both a fillable PDF and Word document, and most recently implemented an application process that is completely paperless. Today our grant requests range from $30,000 to $100,000.

During the review process each year, the program’s criteria are evaluated to determine whether they should be maintained and/or to determine whether there is room for improvement within the existing programs and the implementation of new programs. An example is the Film Incentive Grant Program, developed through the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Tourism and administered by the MBVCA.  This program focuses solely on film productions that increase the destination’s visibility and hotel room nights.

Another example would be our Special Projects grant program that helps attract events that generate hundreds of thousands of tourists and produce national and international media attention to Miami Beach.

Through its grant opportunities and various initiatives, the MBVCA has been successful in attracting new events to the destination to generate tourism year-round.

Visit our newly designed website today at www.miamibeachvca.com and become a fan of our Facebook page for up to date information about our organization.

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