Five Steps to Getting Started
- Google "Tips for Successful Event Planning" and bone up on the basics.
- Determine where you prefer to hold your event. A park, street, pedestrian bridge or some other City property? Or non-City property such as a hotel, convention center, or local university?
- If non-City property, see the sample list of downtown venue options below.
- If City property, contact the Office of Special Events (OSE) at the City of Grand Rapids. The OSE will help identify venue options and available dates. The OSE also assists with event permitting, equipment rental, street closure requests, and other city-related issues.
- Once you have secured a date, a venue, and any necessary permits, your event may be eligible for financial support. Read and complete Downtown Grand Rapids Inc's Seasonal Event & Programming Grant to determine if your event qualifies.
Pop-Up Marketplace Sponsorship Grant
Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. seeks to promote pop-up, artisan, retail and vendor marketplaces in order to support growth in economic opportunities for existing Downtown businesses as well as allow opportunities for small business owners to test business concepts in the Downtown economy.
To apply, please fill out the application. Paper applications are also available at DGRI's offices at 29 Pearl St NW #1.
See full policy here: Pop up Marketplace Sponsorship Grant (PDF)
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Please allow 5 business days for a response.
Event Management Program
The one-day course hosted by Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) and the City of Grand Rapids provides essential knowledge and tools to organize successful public and private events of any size in the City of Grand Rapids..
The program covers all City of Grand Rapids and Office of Special Events requirements for permits, park rental, equipment and more as well as cover DGRI's Sponsorship Program, how to advertise and market events, how to team up with community partners, food trucks and more.
This opportunity is open to the public and specifically geared for event organizers, volunteers and staff.
Participants will receive a Certificate of Completion after the full-day training.
Upcoming Event Management Program Dates:
Seasonal Event & Programming Grant
Through the GR Forward process, the community called for expanding winter activities to make Downtown more fun and dynamic all year long. Downtown, for example, hosts hundreds of special events and programs from May - October. But the action tends to slow down when the cold blows in from November - April. To help build a great four-season city, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. retooled its Event Grant Support Program to encourage and promote events and public space activation efforts during the cold weather months. If you have an idea to help make Downtown GR a more active year-round city, download the application below to learn more about this grant program.
Application: Seasonal Event & Programming Grant