Originally from Oregon’s Rogue River Valley, Debbie McCune, director of sales for Travel Salem, relocated to her new hometown when her son was young. In fact, the city’s kid-friendliness is one of the things that attracted her.

“I love that Salem is a family-friendly place to raise your kids, and there are a ton of things to do. Some of my favorite kid-friendly spots are the Gilbert House Children’s Museum, Salem’s Riverfront Carousel, The Kroc Center, Enchanted Forest and The Oregon Garden,” says McCune. “Not to mention we have the Willamette River, which runs straight through our city. With Wallace Marine Park Sports Complex on one side of the river, Riverfront Park on the other (blending into the Minto-Brown Island Park) and walking bridges unifying the two sides, there’s an abundance of beautiful public space.”

One of her favorite things to do in the city is to explore its dining options. “There is something for anyone’s taste, from the collective of food trucks at The Yard Food Park to the Northwest-inspired cuisine at Bentley’s Grill or an extravagant dessert from Sweet Smith, Salem’s list of great eateries is always growing,” notes McCune. All the better to sate the appetites of delegates, hungry after a day of meetings spent in some of the city’s 450,000 square feet of meeting space, which includes the 30,000-square-foot award-winning, EarthWISE-certified Salem Oregon Convention Center. Salem also offers 2,140 hotel rooms, with another 1,000 within 30 minutes of the city.

Here are McCune’s top three things meeting and event planners should know about Salem:
» Salem is centrally located in the beautiful Willamette Valley in the heart of wine country. In 2016, Wine Enthusiast magazine named Willamette Valley its “Wine Region of the Year.”
» Oregon has no sales tax (shopping spree, anyone?).
» Parking at the Salem Convention Center is free.

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.”

 

Despite a burgeoning craft beer scene, ample waterfront access and an abundance of meeting spaces, Shauna Stewart still points to Olympia’s people as the region’s greatest asset. “We are a community of passionate, engaged individuals all eager to make a difference,” says Stewart, executive director of the Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor & Convention Bureau (OLTVCB). 

 

While attending the University of Vancouver, Rob Ringma, Tourism Victoria’s director of sales, developed a passion for Victoria’s natural beauty, accessible wilderness and the genuine authenticity of the people. Victoria, located on Vancouver Island’s southern tip, is steeped in rich history, architectural charm and natural beauty, but Ringma notes British Columbia’s capital city is much more than that. “We are forward-thinking, passionate people who want meetings business.