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Special Event Investment Application

Thank you for your interest in formalizing a marketing or strategic relationship with Sonoma County Tourism, the official destination marketing organization for Sonoma County. These guidelines set forth the approval criteria and process approved by the Sonoma County Tourism Board of Directors. All potential partners with investment requests of $10,000 or more are required to complete this form with a review by staff, committee, and board for final approval.

About Sonoma County Tourism

Sonoma County Tourism (SCT), a private non-profit organization, has a mandate to promote Sonoma County as an overnight destination. The annual plan of the SCT sales and marketing team is created with that one goal in mind: generate incremental room nights to lodging properties in Sonoma County, whether these are hotels, vacation rentals, campgrounds, inns, and B&Bs.

Sonoma County Tourism is not a granting agency. SCT sales and marketing programs have a goal to generate overnight stays, and are evaluated on their ability to generate lodging revenue, provide “opt-ins” for future marketing, and build destination awareness among potential travelers. The County of Sonoma offers an Advertising Award Program, a granting program for festivals and events. You may find more details and information on the Sonoma County website.

In addition, SCT offers many existing programs to Sonoma County tourism-related businesses as part of the Business Improvement Area. The services are free of charge and include many effective sales and marketing programs. Information about these services and history are available on the Sonoma County Tourism website’s “Partner” pages here.

Application Assessment Process

Applications will be evaluated by the SCT Board of Directors. Consideration for partnership and funding will depend on several factors: event held in Sonoma County or at another destination, total overnight stays in Sonoma County, use of multiple lodging properties, new event or repeat event, media coverage, marketing and brand support for Sonoma County, event timing, organizational structure, and potential for long term growth.

SCT Partnership Criteria:

Prospects must demonstrate how their event/organization can provide the following:

  • Marketing List Acquisition: SCT seeks a list of opt-in names, emails, addresses to be used for future marketing. List can be obtained via a contest or other method to prospects’ membership or database.
  • Advertising in prospect event/program guides
  • SCT Visitor Guide/Map distribution to prospect event attendees
  • Use SCT as resource for lodging and track lodging: promote “where to stay” or “about Sonoma County” section of the website to attendees, and track lodging. Special consideration will be given to those events held during low occupancy dates, mid-week in November through March, with 500 total room nights or more.
  • Sonoma County messaging and publicity for the event, promoting Sonoma County’s diverse attractions. Special consideration will be given for events with major outlet or national media coverage.

Accommodations: verification of the total room nights accumulated by the event, reported by the SCT sales department on distributed room night lead(s) to lodging properties for crew/staff rooms, and attendee lodging.

  • Complimentary tickets for qualified travel media, such as SCT bloggers and video crew to promote the event the next year.
  • Return on investment reporting on tickets sales, visitor origination, rooms generated and other destination spending, with set-up assistance from SCT.

SCT offers:

Advertising Opportunities:

  • Reduced-rate advertising in the SCT visitor guide
  • Featured listings on SCT calendar of events

 PR:

  • Inclusion of partner in pitches to appropriate media covering Sonoma County as a destination
  • Opportunity to send travel media to partner

 Marketing:

  • Social Media Marketing on Facebook, Twitter, newsletters

 Sales:

  • Support with venues, transportation, and lodging accommodations.

For additional information, please contact:

Tim Zahner
Sonoma County Tourism, Chief Operations Officer
Phone: 707-522-5810 / Email: [email protected]

Please submit the below application now and the recap report after your event:

Sonoma County Tourism Event/Investment Application

Sonoma County Tourism Special Event/Investment Recap Report