Visit Winston-Salem

Arts & Events Marketing Assistance


Visit Winston-Salem allocates up to two percent of its occupancy tax appropriation from its adopted annual budget for support of arts, culture, local festivals and events.  The theme and focus of local events applying for funds must be consistent with the Visit Winston-Salem mission and marketing strategies.  The funds are used to enhance the event’s external advertising, marketing and promotional efforts while supporting Visit Winston-Salem’s destination branding strategy. Applications are reviewed and evaluated by the Forsyth County Tourism Development Authority Marketing Committee.  This committee is comprised of four Tourism Development Authority members, a representative from the Forsyth County Tourism Alliance, Association of Visitor Attractions (AVA) and the Arts Council. 

Important Guidelines/Requirements:

  • Marketing must support the Visit Winston-Salem mission and marketing strategies.  To see a copy of the executive summary of our marketing & sales plan for the 2015-16, click here or to learn more about the visitor research we have conducted, click here.
  • Marketability of the event to generate overnight visitors from outside Winston-Salem/Forsyth County
  • Dollars may only be spent for advertising, marketing and promotions outside of Forsyth County and in top visitor feeder markets
  • Must include partnering/packaging with at least one Forsyth County hotel property to ensure generation of hotel room nights
  • Must include a research component to track attendance (and demographic information) and historic research showing data/results
  • Funds are reimbursement only
  • When an arts/local event generates more than 1,000 hotel room nights, they may be considered for Visit Winston-Salem's Convention and Sales Support (CSS) funding
  • Submissions must be formatted to correspond to and be in alignment with the application outline
  • Marketing details and media buy/placement supporting your event/exhibition/project AND hotel package details must be submitted to Visit Winston-Salem at least 90 days prior to event
  • Marketing activity of event, including promotion of hotel package(s), must commence at least 60 days prior to event
  • Where applicable, the Visit Winston-Salem logo and/or link to should be included in you marketing/promotional executions

2016 Timeline:

  • Wednesday, February 3, – AEMA applications and procedures are on-line.
  • Friday, April 1 – Applications Submission Deadline – Email applications require all documentation in pdf format and sent to the attention of Marcheta Cole Keefer at or applicants may deliver 10 copies and attach any additional documents to the Visit Winston-Salem office at 200 Brookstown Avenue, Winston-Salem, NC 27101.  Applications received after the deadline will not be accepted after 12 p.m. (noon).
  • June – Tourism Marketing Workshop & Guest Speakers at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts/Reynolds Place.
  • Wednesday, June 15 @ 2 p.m. – TDA Board Meeting – AEMA funding recommendations reviewed/approved by TDA Board; funding announced via on-line and e-mail to all applicants; media advisory issued within 24 hours of e-mail notification.

Application and Guidelines

Click here to download the application and guidelines for the 2016/17 application.

For additional information, please contact Marcheta Cole Keefer, Visit Winston-Salem's director of marketing & communications.  She can be reached by email at or by phone at 336.728.4211.