Bid Enhancement & Support

Applications for financial support for 2020/21 are now closed

This strand of the programme supports the bidding process for an international business event not currently held in the UK, to help boost its winning potential.


Financial support is available up to the value of £20,000 to support cities in bidding for international business events. Funding granted will assist in bid costs for an international business event that is not currently held in the UK, to help boost the potential of winning it for the UK. Exceptional proposals, backed by a strong business case, requiring more than £20,000 per bid, may be considered on a case by case basis (subject to available funds). In exceptional circumstances, proposals will be considered for applications requiring less than £5,000 in support.

Funds could be used to support the following, indicative activities:

  • The bid pitch, including costs of producing the pitch or supporting the attendance of one destination representative at the pitch
  • Towards sales and marketing activity on territory at the bid pitch to increase awareness and encourage voters to favour the UK bidder
  • Towards media / social media activity in support of the bid, such as industry /sector channels and networks relating specifically to the sector of the event being bid for
  • A contribution towards communications and digital activity, website, live streaming, social media, film, webinar, e-newsletters or other content to support the development of a bid
  • A contribution towards translation costs of a bid

Due to the current situation, the focus is on the future of business events. This strand of the programme has the objective of boosting winning potential, supporting the growth of the UK’s business events sector. Apply for funds this financial year while bidding for future business events.

Who can apply?

We welcome applications from Convention Bureau (CVBs)/ Destination Management Organisations (DMOs), and venues and event organisers who are partnering with CVBs/ DMOs.

Preference will be given to grant applications from SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises), those organisations who have less ability to access financing to support such growth activities, or events which have potential for high economic impact and increase in delegates. Government and the European Commission’s definition of an SME is an entity engaged in economic activity that employs fewer than 250 people, and has a turnover less than or equal to €50 million, or has a balance sheet total of less than or equal to €43 million.

Am I eligible?

All applications will be assessed against the criteria outlined in the guidelines. If the answer is ‘yes’ to all of the questions, then you are eligible to apply. For criteria, funding conditions and the steps to receive financial support, please refer to the BID Guidelines

How do I apply?

If you fulfil the mandatory eligibility criteria, please continue and complete the BID Application Form and return it to, with the following reference in the subject line [BID/Event name] and the following supporting documentation:

If you do NOT fulfil the mandatory eligibility criteria, please do not apply as your application will not be progressed. Applications will be considered by a Panel of industry experts, to determine successful applicants. Applicants will be contacted if additional information is required to make a decision.

If you are applying for financial support for multiple bids, you can submit a single application, providing that all bids fulfil the criteria, the activity and spend occurs in this financial year (up to 31 March 2021), and the maximum combined value is £20,000 (incl. VAT). You will need to provide a clear itemised breakdown of the requirements and proposed activity for each bid/ event in the application, and rank the bids in order of priority. Please note, there is no guarantee that all events or activity will be deemed appropriate or offered grant funding.

Please note, the assessment is a two-way process that can take up to two months after application. Bear this in mind when considering your activity.