Even we were surprised. We only just launched our Corporate & Group Events Recommendation & Referral Service on January 1, 2018, and within the first 60 days we helped nearly two dozen companies in the U.S. and around the globe (France, China, Canada, Singapore) plan and participate in retreats, incentive trips, kick-off events, and seminars in Napa Valley and Sonoma County.
It certainly helps that we rank #1 on Google’s search engine for companies looking for assistance and advice on planning group events to California’s Wine Country. And that we own and run three of the top Wine Country URLs — NapaValley.com, Sonoma.com, and WineCountry.com.
But our best asset by far are the hundreds of relationships we’ve developed over the past 20 years with local businesses that cater to group travel. As a Sonoma-based company ourselves, we are on a first-name basis with the local people you need to execute a successful event in Napa Valley or Sonoma County.
One of the main reasons for the success of our launch? Our service is free. Yes, free. Our revenue comes from the hotels and resorts that pay us a small commission for every group we refer to them, and it’s the hotel that covers the expense, not our referral clients.
But for all other recommended referrals — restaurants, meeting space, wineries, activities, transportation — we earn nothing but thanks from local business that rely on group events for their livelihood. We truly believe that paying it forward is as crucial to our long-term success as getting paid.
Just to be clear, we are a Recommendation & Referral Service, not an Event Company or Destination Management Company (DMC). We offer you recommendations on where to stay, meet, and play in California’s Wine Country, but we don’t organize the details of your event or negotiate the contracts. We specialize in two things: Helping you plan your Wine Country event, then putting you in direct contact with people needed to help you book it.
Working with WineCountry to plan your upcoming event is a breeze. It starts by scheduling a time for a brief phone call with our group sales specialist, Matthew Poole, who will ask you questions regarding your event, each one crucial to making sure you fully understand what’s needed to plan and execute a successful Wine Country event and that Matthew has a clear understanding of your needs.
Once the phone interview is completed, Matthew then determines which local businesses are best suited for the client’s needs and sends out multiple RFPs. All of this typically happens on the same day, and most local businesses typically respond to the RFP within 24 hours.
Once the RFPs are received, Matthew then forwards each one to you, along with a short summary of why he likes this Wine Country property or business for your event and instructions on how to contact the hotel or business directly to discuss rates, terms, and agreements.
It’s a proven process that works well for everyone and saves money for our referral clients by not having to hire an Event Company or DMC, which will charge a fee for their services (however, if you wish to hire an local Event Company or DMC, Matthew would be happy to recommend those as well).
Even if you don’t work for a company, we’d still like you to be involved in our new Recommendation & Referral Service. For everyone who refers a company to us — and the company books a hotel through us — we reward the referrer with a voucher for up to $200 toward any WineCountry Experiences, such as culinary tours, standup paddle tours, wine tasting tours by bicycle, and many more.
For more information about our new Recommendation & Referral Service for Corporate & Group Events, feel free to contact our group sales specialist, Matthew Poole, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 518-1402.