Riga Investment and Tourism Agency, Meet Riga, announces the launch of a new funding scheme to encourage hosting events in the Latvian capital. The scheme is intended to support the organising of conferences, congresses, training events and trade shows, of which at least 20 per cent of participants come from outside Latvia. It is open to legal entities, associations, foundations and higher education establishments registered in Latvia. Event organisers from abroad are welcome to apply by partnering with a local industry representative or the Latvia Convention Bureau.

Aigars Smiltāns is the head of meetings and events at Meet Riga and explains what lead to the launch: “We’ve noted an increase in the number of support requests from international associations. As an up-and-coming meetings and events destination in Northern Europe, we’re working to attract more congresses and conferences, especially ones highly relevant to local industries. We believe that international meetings and events taking place in Riga can have a deeper impact on local business and academic circles.”

Organisers can receive co-funding of up to 20 euro per foreign delegate. Events may also qualify for an additional 10 per cent if they represent a priority industry – information and communications technologies, medicine, biotechnologies or financial services – or, if at least 70 per cent of foreign delegates are spending three or more nights at Riga accommodation facilities.

To qualify for the co-funding, an event must take place at a hired venue and all foreign delegates must spend at least one night at accommodation facilities in Riga. The scheme is not open to sports and culture happenings and events by political parties, government or municipal organisations other than higher education establishments.

Meet Riga will review applications within 15 days from the date of submission. Following a positive decision, event organisers will sign an agreement, which sets out rules, such as any event marketing materials must refer to the support of Meet Riga. Actual funds are transferred after the successful completion of the event. Organisers may also apply for the Investment and Development Agency’s support scheme for the same event.

For detailed information on the new Meet Riga scheme and how to apply, visit Riga for associations.