Diane Hamilton is president/founder of Releve Unlimited in Santa Barbara, California.

Tell us about the event.

The event we produced was a single-evening event for 21 Pan China California Advisory Board members, members of Visit California, Visit Santa Barbara and several community dignitaries.

The Pan China California Advisory Board members were from Beijing, Chengdu, Xi’an, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

How did the destination show off the local flavor?

For our part, we produced a private sunset coastal cocktail cruise on board the Channel Cat, a gorgeous catamaran sailing vessel. This was followed by a private dinner on Santa Barbara’s historic Stearns Wharf. The guests were completely engaged in the event from start to finish.

[Case Study: Visit Santa Barbara | Pan-China California Advisory Board Meeting]

We could not have had a more beautiful evening for the sunset cocktail cruise. Everyone was out on the expansive decks of the Channel Cat to take in the views. The captain’s deck was visited my many, to get a glimpse into how the large catamaran maneuvers about the waters.

For the dinner, we had a very captive audience with the special, iconic Santa Barbara setting, a delicious dinner and lively entertainment. It was a joyful experience for everyone!

What was the most popular feature of the meeting with attendees?

The Pan China members were overwhelmed and in awe by the unique dinner venue with the magnificent views of the “American Riviera.” The experience with our guest winemaker, Blair Fox of Blair Fox Cellars, was, to my surprise, of keen interest to the attendees.

I had not expected such an interest in California wines. And it was not just about consumption! Everyone had questions for the winemaker and each table was engaged in truly tasting through the varietals and gaining knowledge about the wines, the Santa Barbara growing region and the winemaking process.