Thank you for your interest in the Sonoma County Tourism (SCT) special event marketing investment program.

As we strive to continually enhance our programs and services, SCT’s Marketing Committee has made the decision to pause this program temporarily in the interest of strengthening it. In light of this decision, we are not currently providing event funding. The committee will be reviewing the program as a whole, including the application process and the SCT budget appropriations for it. We will communicate out to our hospitality and event partners when that process has been completed, as well as the next available dates for granting.

We appreciate your understanding as we work through this process. For other opportunities to partner with Sonoma County Tourism, please check out the Partners section of our website.

SCT is a private not-for-profit organization, and therefore, is not a granting agency. Given our goal of generating overnight stays, special event investment applications are evaluated on their ability to generate lodging revenue; generate incremental promotional opportunities; and build awareness of Sonoma County amongst key audiences that align with ours.

In addition, SCT offers many promotional benefits to tourism-facing businesses throughout Sonoma County. Many of these services are free, with more information available HERE.

Application Process

  1. All potential partners with investment requests of $5,000 or more are required to complete this form.
  2. Applications are accepted year-round, and initially reviewed by SCT staff to ensure they meet our requirements.
  3. Applications that meet our requirements are then reviewed by SCTs Marketing Committee twice annually.
  4. The Marketing Committee then sends their recommendations to the full SCT Board.
  5. SCTs Board reviews applications and ultimately decides which events will receive a sponsorship. Here again, requestors may be invited to present in front of the Board.
  6. Approved event requests then work with SCT staff to calendar and ultimately execute each deliverable as outlined in the initial request.
  7. Post-event, SCT requires each recipient to compile a wrap report that demonstrates an ROI to SCT commensurate with the investment agreement.

SCT Partnership Criteria

Consideration for partnership and funding will depend on several factors, listed below:

  • Potential to drive overnight stays in Sonoma County
    • Special consideration will be given to those events held off-peak (November-April) and/or midweek (Sunday-Thursday), as well as those events using multiple lodging properties.
  •  Audience and market alignment
    • SCT is currently focused on four key audiences, listed on the graphic below. Additionally, we are focused primarily on markets with nonstop flights out of STS, as well as the Bay Area and Sacramento. Ability to demonstrate an alignment with these audiences/markets (in whole or in part) is important.
SCT Target Audience
  • Event Website
    • Is there an opportunity to create a Sonoma County landing page with destination information; links to lodging partners; etc.
  • First Party Data
    • Is there an opportunity for SCT to gain access to customer names, emails, addresses, etc. that SCT can use for future marketing?
  • Advertising
    • How might SCT be included in event advertising?
  • Social Media
    • How might SCT be included in social posts about the event?
  • Event Messaging
    • Emails, newsletters, etc that promote the event - how can SCT be included, and how frequently, ideally with links back to our website and social channels?
  • Public Relations
    • What opportunities would SCT receive from event-related PR activities? Special consideration will be given for events with major outlet or national media coverage.
  • Promotion
    • Are there any on-site promotional opportunities for SCT?
  • Event tickets
    • Would SCT receive complimentary tickets for qualified travel media, influencers, writers, and other VIPs?
  • Anticipated ROI
    • Estimated overall event value to the destination: number of attendees, estimated economic impact, anticipated ticket sales, visitor origination, etc.
    • Accommodations: ability to generate an expected number of room nights via the event.
    • Value of planned marketing and PR activities.

For more information, contact:

Frank Filice
Sonoma County Tourism, Director, Brand Marketing
Phone: 707-919-5889 / Email: [email protected]