The TED Project

Festival and Event Incentive Program 

The Tourism Event Development Project (TED) focuses on providing funds to help organizations develop new multi-day events, or expand existing events in the city of Omaha. The goal is to increase out-of-town visitor demand and create new entertainment options that will benefit the community.

The Omaha City Council provided funding of $115,000 for this project. The Visit Omaha Destination Marketing Corporation administers the program with the goal of providing incentive funding to event and festival organizers that will increase out-of-town visitor demand. The Tourism Event Development Committee, made up of five tourism community members, reviews all applications and provides their recommendations to the Destination Marketing Corporation Board.

  • The festival or event must take place within the city limits of Omaha. 
  • An individual incentive award will be for an amount no higher than $20,000, and not more than 25% of the total cost of the festival or event.
  • Applicants are able to apply for one award per cycle/year based on available funding.
  • Incentive dollars are available to both for-profit and nonprofit organizations.
  • The incentives are awarded on a reimbursement basis. It is the responsibility of the applicant to initially pay all expenses to complete the project. 
  • A federal identification number is required in the submittal of an application. Federal, State, and City government agencies are not eligible to apply for incentive funds.

Applications for TED incentive dollars will be accepted via email from 8:00 am on March 18, 2019 through 11:59 pm on December 20, 2019, or up until funding is exhausted. The Omaha City Council provided a limited amount of funding therefor incentive dollars will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis throughout the year based on the quality of applications, and up until funding is exhausted. Email timestamps will be used in determining the order of processing applications.

Match and Eligible Expenses

All award recipients must provide at least a 25% match. (Example: If your organization receives a $20,000 award, you must provide proof that at least an additional $5,000 was spent on the event or festival.) At least half (12.5%) must be cash spent towards the project, the other half (12.5%) can be in-kind services and/or donated materials; however, documentation must be provided for any in-kind match. Volunteer work is valued at $10/hour and must be documented, including dates and list of volunteers, the services they provided, and their hours of service.

Projects eligible for funding include:

  • Production of commercials or ads promoting the event to an out-of-town audience at least 50 miles outside of Omaha. 
  • Purchasing of media placement targeting out-of-town markets which are at least 50 miles outside of Omaha.
  • City costs associated with your festival or event, such as police and fire expenses, street closing expenses, etc.
  • Cost of contracting talent 
  • Cost of venue
  • Fee to acquire an event (e.g. bid fee for a sanctioned sporting event.)

Expenses NOT eligible for incentive funding:

  • Equipment or capital facility development or improvements
  • Food, alcohol, lodging, mileage and transportation costs
  • Telephone expenses, postage and handling expenses
  • Brochure racks
  • Envelopes, letterhead, business cards, and miscellaneous office supplies
  • Membership dues
  • Salaries
  • Physical construction of billboards
  • Gift cards, t-shirts, and items for resale
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