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The Hague Binnenhof

Financial security for your international conference

Pre-financing & Guarantee Fund (VGF) offers financial security to organisers of international conferences of at least two days. This incentive fund combines two schemes that make it easier to actually realise conferences.
VGF was set up over 25 years ago, and was an initiative of the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC), the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and some twenty organisations in the Dutch conference industry.

The Pre-financing & Guarantee Fund (VGF) is intended to give organizers of international, multiple-day conferences in the Netherlands increased financial security.

  • The fund helps conference organizers to cover pre-conference expenses and other financial risks. It encourages organizers to realize conferences.
  • The VGF combines two separate schemes; a pre-financing scheme and a guarantee scheme, offering the possibility to use these two schemes separately or to combine the two.

The pre-financing scheme

  • In the preparation stages of the conference, the organizer has to deal with various aspects that must be paid for. Examples are the costs for establishing a foundation, a down payment for the accommodation, and expenses incurred for developing marketing tools, such as a brochure, first announcement, or website.
  • As the registration fees will not be received until later, the organizers may not always be able to fund these initial expenses. The pre-financing scheme of the VGF can help to pay these costs.
  • Conference organizers may apply to the VGF for an interest-free loan, free of charge; a kind of subsidy scheme for conferences. The loan is capped at € 90,000, with the actual amount depending on the size of the conference and the liquidity forecast.

The guarantee scheme

  • All conference budgets have expenses and income. A limited risk only is attached to the costs, because conference organizers can benefit from the knowledge, experience and the stable infrastructure of the conference industry.
  • The income, however, is less solid. Most of the income, apart from possible sponsoring, comes from the registration fees of the attendees. This is exactly where the main risk lies for organizers. If the attendance level falls short of expectations, this yields less income, which will impact the overall conference budget.
  • In order to minimize this risk, the VGF offers the possibility of a guarantee. This guarantee allows the conference organization to guarantee that the event will take place, in spite of possible disappointing numbers of attendees.
  • The guarantee is capped at € 90,000, and the actual amount depends on various aspects, such as the size of the conference, the history of the conference, possible sponsoring, and the overall budget. Moreover, the budget must have been drawn up competently.

More information on the possibilities and terms & conditions of the Pre-financing & Guarantee fund can be found on vgfholland.nl. To apply for the fund please use the online application form on the website of the VGF.

Bas Schot

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