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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. 

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 Marketing Committee and Board of Directors. Those requesting funds may be asked to present an overview of the event including its capacity to increase visitation to the destination and potential return on investment to one or both entity.

Consideration for partnership and funding will depend on several factors, including, but not limited to: potential to drive overnight stays in Sonoma County, use of multiple lodging properties, new event or repeat event, paid media advertising, earned media event outreach, ability to promote the destination via the event website, marketing and brand support for Sonoma County, event timing (SCT’s focus is Nov. – April), organizational structure, additional funding sources/sponsorships for the event, 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: Media spend to promote the event and potential for including sponsorship mention
  • Social Media Exposure: (Paid and organic) by the event and attendees
  • 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.
  • Ability to craft on-site SCT marketing/promotional opportunities
  • Promotion of the entire destination to expand/extend the stay: 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.
  • Estimated overall event value to the destination: Attendee spend, room nights, paid/earned/owned media
  • 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.

Based on the event potential, SCT will work with organizers to draft a marketing plan that takes advantage of SCT’s paid/earned and owned media channels and resources as well as connections within the destination that may be mutually beneficial to both event organizers and local partner businesses.

For more information, contact:

Todd O'Leary
Sonoma County Tourism, Vice President, Marketing & Communications
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