Marketing Assistance Program

 

The Marketing Assistance Program was created as an incubator to local tourism-related projects and/or events. Offered twice each year (Spring and Fall), this program supports eligible Partners with financial assistance for Marketing and Sales programs, via a matching funds model.  Partners may qualify for up to $7,500 in funds for eligible programs.

 

 

Marketing Assistance Eligibility

These funds are made possible through the increased generation of Dauphin County tourism room tax funds. Applicants must demonstrate active participation with local organizations that market, sell and promote economic growth throughout Dauphin County.

  •  Applicants must be an investing partner of HHRVB
  • Available to any business, non-profit or new event presenting reasonable evidence that the expenditure will directly promote tourism AND affect the economic impact of Dauphin County.
  • Events, organizations, tradeshows and conventions that have or will receive room tax grant funding from any other tourism, economic development or governmental agency are not eligible.
  • To ensure economic growth for Dauphin County, a minimum of three (3) investing partners must collaborate, or this must be a NEW event to qualify for funding.

Application Process


STEP 1 – Schedule an individual meeting to go over the guidelines with the President or VP of Operations.


STEP 2 – Complete an application, including proposed bids, marketing plan, tools of measurement, anticipated advertising plan, including estimates, rough copy, mock-ups/comps.


STEP 3 – Submit completed application according to time line below. (Late/incomplete applications will not be accepted.)


STEP 4 – Applicants will present their Marketing Plan to a review panel. Decisions are made by majority vote.


STEP 5 – Within 30 days you will be notified informing you if, and to what degree HHRVB has approved funding for your project/event.


STEP 6 – Any changes or amendments to the approved application must be approved by HHRVB prior to execution.


STEP 7 – Creative MUST be approved by HHRVB PRIOR to execution, including approved HHRVB messaging/creative.


STEP 8 – Submit payment request by providing proof of paid invoices. HHRVB will match expenses up to amount granted.


STEP 9 - Upon completion of the approved project or event, a final report must be submitted within 60 days. If the report is not submitted to HHRVB within 90 days of project completion, HHRVB’s agreement with you and/or your organization is considered null and void.  All requests for payment must be submitted within one year of grant approval.


Failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the agreement may result in penalties, including fund repayment.

 

Applicable Marketing Advertising Efforts 

  • Radio (including digital - i.e. Pandora)
  • Registration or booth expenses for out-of-market consumer shows
  • Digital
  • Print (newspapers and magazines)
  • Direct marketing – emails, mail
  • Outdoor
  • Social Media
     

Funding Will Not Be Provided For The Following Ineligible Expenses:

  • Advertising in HHRVB produced publications
  • T-shirts
  • Medals
  • Postage /Shipping
  • Signage
  • Entertainment
  • Traveling Expenses –mileage, meals,accommodations
  • Overhead expenses related to event production
  • Television
  • Expenses not listed in your grant application
  • Website

 

For your Information

  • Previously awarded applicants may reapply for up to three times (total) at decreasing award levels. Funding will be awarded on a case-by-case basis. Applicants must follow all steps of application process for each submission.
  • It should not be presumed that any applicant will be awarded a grant on an annual basis, nor should the availability of these grant awards be considered an annual part of any applicant’s budget.
  • Payment will be issued against paid invoices. All payments are made payable to the applicant.
  • HHRVB reserves the right to decide on a per-application basis on which and to what degree they assist in a project.
  • All funded projects must feature HHRVB creative (visible and relevant to size ratio of marketing tool) i.e. billboard vs post card: “This project (or event) is supported by the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau.” All ads and promotional material must include the HHRVB logo (Visit Hershey & Harrisburg) and website URL where applicable. HHRVB must review/approve all promotional material prior to execution.


Potential matching funds for a particular organization can be up to:

  • 1st year……………………………..$7,500
  • 2nd year…………………………….$5,000
  • 3rd year…………………………… $3,000

 

                   Marketing Assistance Schedule

 

Review Panel Members:

  • President of HHRVB
  • Vice President of HHRVB
  • Other pertinent HHRVB staff
  • Minimally 2 HHRVB Board Members

 

A Marketing Plan must be submitted with each Application. The Marketing Plan is defined as a brief narrative (1 to 3 paragraphs only) detailing your overall marketing strategy and target audience (type of visitors who live  a minimum of  20 miles from your place of business). The purpose of this narrative is to provide the Review Panel with your rationale on where – and to whom – you will be marketing to attract overnight guests. Incomplete Marketing Plans may result in a rejected grant application.

 

Approval Checklist

Completed Application
Marketing Plan
Expected Tools of Measurement
Total Project Costs/Planned Sources of Funding (50% match)
Media Schedule or Expected Reach
Plan of Distribution
Current HHRVB paid Partnership
Nonprofit Tax Status Form (if applicable)

HHRVB Review/Approval:
Creative (design, etc)
Appropriate representation of HHRVB branding/required verbiage.

 

 

Marketing Assistance Photo