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Pairing wine and web sets table for Valley Forge-based site's growth

It's happy hour somewhere, and LocalWineEvents.com wants to help you get your prosecco on. The Valley Forge-based service offers free wine event listings in 500 cities around the world, including the greater Philadelphia area. Eric Orange, LocalWineEvents.com CEO, used to sell wine for Paterno Imports. He was living in Denver, Colorado, where he presented the Paterno product line to restaurants, retailers and ski resorts. Setting up tastings and dinners was part of the marketing plan, but getting the word out was the big challenge. After commiserating with fellow wine merchants about a dinner where only six people showed up, Orange realized two things: one, that he was not alone in needing a powerful wine promotional tool, and two, that the world wide web was the perfect way to connect wine enthusiasts with wine sellers.

Today, The Juice, LocalWineEvents.com's twice-a-week newsletter, goes out to 136,000 subscribers worldwide. The service has just launched location-based mobile apps for iPhone and Android, and a mobile friendly site for other smartphone users. LocalWineEvent's Facebook page boasts 30,000 fans.

The LocalWineEvents.com listings provide details on event theme, date, time and location, and include a fairly large radius. For example, Philadelphia oenophiles get event information for New York City and Wilmington in addition to home town happenings.

While listing and searching are free, and the privately held LocalWineEvents.com relies on multiple revenue streams, from fees for featured listings to banner ads. "In my view, I have created the perfect Internet business model," Orange says, citing a cycle of consumer generated input and constant updates generating perpetual return traffic.

Source: Eric Orange, LocalWineEvents.com

Writer: Sue Spolan

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