Location: Recognized as “the gateway to New Jersey,” Elizabeth is an ideal destination for meetings and events on a budget while boasting a New York City feel. Located 30 minutes outside New York City and 10 minutes from Newark Liberty International Airport, Elizabeth is easily accessible by plane, train, boat or major highway. With just over 132,000 residents, Elizabeth is the fourth largest city in the state of New Jersey after Newark, Jersey City and Patterson.
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Lisanne Ballantyne, president and CEO of Tourism Kelowna, is not originally from British Columbia. Born in Montreal and raised in Winnipeg, she was working in Alberta—most recently as general manager of the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton— before arriving in Kelowna last year. The decision to move, she notes, was an easy one. “The Okanagan Valley is one of the most beautiful destinations in Canada and a region undergoing tremendous growth.
Location: Known as the “Village by the Sea,” Carlsbad is nestled along the Pacific Ocean 35 miles north of San Diego and 90 miles south of central Los Angeles.
It’s a dilemma event planners have been facing since the advent of destination meetings: how to schedule a conference or workshop in a city that offers enough activities that people will want to visit, yet still keep them focused on the event they came to attend in the first place. With the distractingly large amount of enticing activities and natural beauty Spokane offers, it’s unlikely that question will be answered any time soon.
When Nan Devlin became Tillamook County’s first tourism director of Visit Tillamook Coast in 2014, she had one demand: Ban boring meetings!
And she promises that when you meet in Tillamook County, “You won’t be locked inside a sterile hotel complex. You’ll be able to walk around the villages, enjoy great views and great local food, and have outdoor activities at your fingertips.”
Location: At the confluence of the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers, between Aspen and Vail, Glenwood Springs is 160 miles west of Denver and 90 miles east of Grand Junction on Interstate 70.
Location: Meet Chicago Northwest is a hub for eight different communities, including Arlington Heights, Elk Grove Village, Itasca, Roselle, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, Streamwood and Wood Dale. These communities sit on the edge of O’Hare International Airport and are centrally located to the Interstate system linking up with I-90, I-94, I-290, I-294 and I-355. Many of the communities are also serviced by Metra Rail service as well as the Pace Suburban Bus Service.