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 our copy of our marketing & sales plan for the 2014-15, 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

2015 Timeline:

  • Monday, February 2, – AEMA applications and procedures are on-line.
  • Thursday, March 5 @ 8:30  a.m. – AEMA Workshop & Guest Speakers at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts/Reynolds Place.
  • Monday, March 30 – Applications Submission Deadline – Ten (10) copies delivered to Visit Winston-Salem Offices/Visitors Center – 200 Brookstown Avenue no later than noon.
  • Tuesday, June 16 @ 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 2015/16 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.

2015 Wake Up Workshop

You are cordially invited to attend Visit Winston-Salem's Wake Up Tourism Marketing Workshop and Luncheon on Thursday, March 5 at 8 a.m. at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts. Registration is free and includes a Continental Breakfast, Catered Lunch and Workshop presentations. However, space is limited so please RSVP today.

Wake Up Workshop Agenda

8 - 8:30 a.m.   Continental Breakfast & Good Morning Coffee
8:30 a.m. - Noon   Wake Up Speaker Presentations from Buzzfish Marketing and euphoria food and wine festival
Brianna Shaw, executive director of euphoria, the wildly successful annual food, wine and music festival in Greenville, SC.  Shaw will share how to better brand and build attendance for your event, exhibition and/or festival.  And she'll give us insider tips for how to successfully secure grants, funding and corporate sponsorships.

Our second Keynote Presentation comes from Mariruth Kennedy, president of the highly- regarded Buzzfish Marketing, a social media and marketing agency. Kennedy, who has 30 years of marketing, sales and advertising experience, will talk about how to enhance the effectiveness of your your social media efforts in the fast-paced and highly competitive marketplace.
Noon  Luncheon and Networking Session                      


RSVP - There is no cost to attend but space is limited, so please RSVP no later than Wednesday, February 25 by e-mailing Sara Mecham at or phone her directly at 336.728.4205.

2014 PowerPoint Presentation

On Tuesday, March 11, 2014 Judy Randall, the president of Randall Travel Marketing presented at the Tourism Marketing Workshop - "It All Begins with Research".  Click here to see her presentation.

Additionally, Maria Hayworth, president and co-founder of Hayworth PR - "How to Build an Integrated Campaign".  Click here to view her PowerPoint presentation. 


2014 Press Release/Recipients