Iowa’s Meeting & Event Incentive PROGRAM
Attract, Retain and Expand In-Person Overnight meetings and events in the state, as well as showcase local tourism experiences
Meet in Iowa is an incentive reimbursement program that awards one-time cash reimbursements toward eligible hard costs for 2022 eligible meetings and events including business meetings, conventions, exhibitions, trade shows, sporting events, music festivals and more.
- Take place in Iowa between May 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022.
- Be a NEW Iowa meeting or event contracted on or after May 1, 2022, OR an EXISTING EVENT that adds a pre- or post-event tourism opportunity.
- Applicant must be the primary organizer of the event and incur eligible expenses. Individuals may apply on behalf of multiple events, however checks are issued only to the primary organizer.
- Incentive reimbursement must meet a minimum award amount of $500. Maximum award is $25,000.
- Final reimbursement will not exceed pre-approved maximum potential incentive amount.
- An event is eligible for a cash reimbursement only once per year.
- Recipients of the Tourism Marketing Grant, Regional Sports Authority District, or Sports Tourism Grant administered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority are not eligible for this program.
- State-funded facilities and/or entities are not eligible for this program.
- Application must be submitted at least 30 days before event to guarantee review.
Budget & Room Nights
Eligible events must be connected to overnight stays to qualify for reimbursement. Requirements vary based on the population of the host community.
- Events taking place in RURAL communities (less than 10,000 population based on the 2020 US Census) must have a total budget of at least $2,500 AND generate at least 10 overnight room nights.
- Events taking place in URBAN communities (greater than 10,000 population based on the 2020 US Census) must have a total budget of at least $10,000 AND generate at least 25 overnight room nights.
- Overnight stays connected to eligible events must take place in a property that has achieved certification with Iowa’s Human Trafficking Prevention training.
- Event organizers will be required to provide a Post-Event Room Night Written Verification confirming that overnight room stay minimums were met. If room minimums are not met, the incentive will be forfeited.
Eligible Hard Costs
Approved applicants receive cash reimbursement against eligible hard costs. Eligible hard costs include:
- Ancillary Pre-/Post-Event Tourism Opportunity
- Event Space/Venue Rental
- Event Rentals
- Food/Beverage (excluding alcoholic beverages & gratuities)
- Audio/Visual Support
- Event-Specific Printing and Merchandising
- Temporary Help
Non-Eligible Hard Costs
Hard costs not eligible for reimbursement include:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Lodging and resort fees
- Event planning and management fees or costs
- Sales tax
- Print and web design work that cannot be taken home by individual participants
- Limousine/luxury vehicle rental, party bus rental, taxi or rideshare service fees and school bus rental
- If a hard cost is not specifically listed in the “Eligible Hard Costs” section, it is not eligible for reimbursement with this program