Frequently Asked Questions   

 

Eligibility

Q: What kinds of events are eligible for this program? Is there a minimum or target event size?

A: Events must meet the eligibility requirements set forth in the program guidelines, namely: drive out-of-state tourism, drive in-state tourism resulting in overnight stays, and align with the New Mexico True brand. There are no size requirements for the accelerator and CoOp advertising parts of the program; however, sponsorship award amounts are determined in part on event attendance data.

Q: Are free (non-ticketed) events eligible for this program?

A: Non-ticketed events may be eligible on a case-by-case basis, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements set forth in the program guidelines (drive out-of-state tourism, drive in-state tourism resulting in overnight stays, and align with the New Mexico True brand).

Q: Are new events eligible for this program?

A: Generally, only events with a proven history of success are eligible to apply for this program; however, certain young events may be considered for certain parts of the program on a case-by-case basis.

Q: Are nationally-based events eligible for this program?

A: No, only New Mexico-based events are eligible for program participation.

Q: Are state-funded events eligible for this program?

A: Yes; the agreement process will look different for state-funded events, but they are eligible for program participation.

Q: Are state university events eligible for this program?

A: Yes; the agreement process will look different for state university events, but they are eligible for program participation as long as the proposed event meets the three eligibility requirements set forth in the program guidelines (drive out-of-state tourism, drive in-state tourism resulting in overnight stays, and align with the New Mexico True brand).

Q: Are Tribal entities eligible to apply?

A: Yes, Tribal entities are eligible and encouraged to apply for this program.

Q: Are guided tours or tourism product development eligible for this program?

A: No; this program is meant for tourism-driving events only.

Q: My event takes place as a series; does each event in the series need its own application?

A: No, you may submit the event in one application, explaining that it functions as a series, as long as there is uniformity to the series in terms of marketing and programming.

Q: What does alignment with the New Mexico True brand mean?

A: The New Mexico True brand seeks to promote tourism products and experiences centered around adventure, culture, and a thirst for authenticity. Events reflecting the New Mexico True brand represent the people, landscapes, and cultures of New Mexico as honestly and faithfully as possible, bringing tourists (from near or far) a new perspective through firsthand experience. The New Mexico True brand also seeks to dismiss misconceptions and misunderstandings of the state, encourage staycations, and promote “adventures that feed the soul.”

Q: Are CARES Act funds considered supplemental funding by the New Mexico Legislature?

A: No, CARES Act funds are not considered supplemental funding, and as such events which received CARES Act monies are eligible to apply for this program.

Application Timeline

Q: What is the timeframe for applying to the program?

A: The program application is currently closed and will reopen in Spring 2023.

Q: When will I be notified of a decision?

A: Decision notification dates are TBD for the 2023 application cycle.

Application

Q: Where can I find application materials?

A: The application can be found online at nmtourism.smapply.io. A preview of the application content, along with an accompanying definitions document, is available on the Program Resources page.

Q: I am a returning user to the application platform, and I don't see the application. Where do I find it?

A: When you log in, you will see your personal applications page. Click the Programs button in the black menu bar at the top of the page. On the following page, click the blue View programs button to be taken to the Programs page, where you will find the Tourism Event Growth & Sustainability Program application.

Q: My entity status is not shown on the eligibility quiz when creating an account on SurveyMonkey Apply. What do I do?

A: If your entity status is not County, Incorporated Municipality, Tribal Government, or IRS non-profit, you may select County as a placeholder to access the application.

Q: I manage multiple events; do I have to choose only one, or can I submit an application for all of them?

A: Entitles may submit applications for as many events as they would like; however, a separate application must be completed for each event.

Q: What should the events communications plan encompass?

A: The communications plan should formalize the outlook of how to queue up promotions, publicity, and communications for the event. It should demonstrate that event organizers understand what drives event participation and tourism booking, and know how far in advance potential visitors look at travel plans, ideal timing for putting tickets on sale, ideal timing for announcing programming, etc.

Q: What does DMO stand for?

A: DMO stands for Destination Marketing Organization. In different communities, these can take different forms, including a CVB (Convention and Visitors' Bureau), Chamber of Commerce, etc. The application asks for a letter of support from the entity which represents the tourism industry stakeholders in the event's community.

Q: Are letters of support required for all parts of the program?

A: Yes.

Q: How do I obtain contacts for the letters of support required in the application?

A: Reach out to Emily Bates, Tourism Development Coordinator and program administrator, at Emily.Bates@state.nm.us or Lancing Adams, Tourism Development Director, at Lancing.Adams@state.nm.us.

Program

Q: What is the timeframe for program participation?

A: Event Accelerator: Individualized timeframe based on the event.   Event Sponsorship: Quick turnaround time; event receives funds and fulfills deliverables.   CoOp Events Advertising Program: Timing depends on when the event is held and on the advertising selection(s) made from the MMP. From the award notice to the first ad appearing in market, the timeframe is about 90 days.

Q: My event takes place in May, June, July, or August. Will sponsorships and CoOp advertising awarded this application cycle be applied to this year's event?

A: Awards for events taking place from May through August will benefit the following year's edition of the event, but funds will be spent in the same fiscal year in which application takes place.

Q: What are the three parts of this program?

A: Event Accelerator Builds and improves events to prepare them for sponsorship. Technical assistance provides an Online Discoverability Audit of the event and a strategy for building/improving the event website, social media presence, and/or online ticketing. Upon successful completion of the accelerator, the event may receive up to $5,000 in reimbursement-based funding to execute the deliverables provided in the accelerator. To participate, applicants must provide proof of event success/track record, local commitment, and a readiness to accelerate.

Event Sponsorship Secures sponsorships for events by providing up to $50,000 in a sponsorship from NMTD and by providing the opportunity to participate in a national sponsorship sales program, depending on eligibility. To participate, applicants must upload letters of support from the event’s Town/City, County, Chamber, and DMO; provide brand impressions equal to the contract amount; and demonstrate advertising potential and ability to grow the event. Events must have a media/communications plan; a website and social media strategy; and a marketing budget. Applicants must also provide eventgoer numbers and demographics, as well as information about the event’s economic impact on the community; data must indicate that the event has grown and is successful enough to attract sponsors.

CoOp Events Advertising Program Secures marketing and advertising for events through a 2:1 co-funded marketing program in which awarded entities choose from a media menu up to an award of $10,000. To participate, event must have digital access to website and social accounts, and conversion potential on the event website.

Q: Can an event participate in multiple parts of the program in the same fiscal year?

A: Applicants may express interest in one or multiple parts of the program in their application; however, events selected for participation may only participate in one part of the program per fiscal year. If multiple parts of the program have been selected in the application, NMTD will determine the best placement for the event if awarded for program participation.

Q: Can an event participate in the program in multiple years?

A: Yes, events may participate in the program in multiple years. The program is meant to foster growth and sustainability to tourism-driving events, and as such it will not necessarily make sense for events to participate multiple times in the Event Accelerator portion of the program, since its goal is to ready events for sponsorship.

Q: My event is in the summer; can I still apply for this program?

A: Yes; all funds will be awarded for use in the fiscal year applied for (July 1 through June 30), but for events taking place in the summer, program participation will benefit the following year's edition of the event.

Funding

Q: How much funding is available for this application cycle?

A: Approximately $500,000 is available for the entire program in this application cycle.

Q: Does this program require a match or co-funding?

A: This program does not require a match; however, the CoOp Events Program level does require 2:1 co-funding for the marketing award.

Q: What is an eligible fiscal agent?

A: Eligible fiscal agents include legal, nonprofit tourism-related organizations, as designated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS); for-profit organizations; and municipalities, counties, and tribal governments within the State of New Mexico that promote New Mexico as a visitor destination.

Q: Do for-profit applicants need a fiscal agent?

A: Yes; for-profit applicants must partner with a nonprofit or government entity to serve as a fiscal agent.

Q: Do nonprofit or government entity applicants need a fiscal agent?

A: No; these applicants may serve as their own fiscal agent.

Q: How is my award amount determined?

A: Award amounts are determined based on the total increase in visitor spending and the total increase in tax revenue generated by the anticipated increase in attendance resulting from program participation.

Q: Can funding be used to promote the community in which the event is held?

A: No; while there may be some overlap, funds should be used within the scope of the event.

Q: Are there geographical limitations to where CoOp Events Advertising funds may be used?

A: Yes; CoOp Events Advertising funds will ideally be used for advertising outside of New Mexico, but because the state is large, funds may potentially be used for advertising within New Mexico as well. As a general rule of thumb, advertising cannot be located within 60 miles of the event location, and preferably exceeds that range.

Q: Is the 2:1 CoOp co-funded award cash-only, or are in-kind contributions accepted?

A: The 2:1 co-funded award is strictly cash-only. Partners will be selecting from an abbreviated Media Menu Plan, and will co-fund and co-buy the selected media with NMTD.

Sponsorship

Q: Do sponsored events need to incorporate New Mexico True branding?

A: Yes, all events sponsored through this program must be co-branded with New Mexico True; a co-branding strategy will be determined on an event-by-event basis.

Q: If sponsorship money is used for advertising, do ads need to incorporate New Mexico True branding?

A: Yes, advertising must be co-branded with New Mexico True, and all advertising materials will be held to the New Mexico True creative standards. See the New Mexico True Brand Style Guide for guidelines.

Q: How does the national sponsorship sales program work?

A: Partners may choose to opt into the national sponsorship sales program if eligible; sales will occur directly between the event and the sales organization in a profit-share model.