The Pacific Northwest is now home to a new and unique subterranean event space: The Sanctuary at The Society Hotel Bingen in Bingen, Washington. This one-of-a-kind dome-shaped building is tucked into a hillside in the northeast corner of the hotel property, which is located in the Columbia River Gorge.

The Sanctuary is now accepting reservations for wellness retreats and private groups for yoga, meditation, qigong, musical performances, sound healing, dance parties and more.

The framework to build The Sanctuary came from Formworks Building, a company that specializes in sustainable, energy-efficient earth-sheltered and green-roof structures. The design team at Formworks provided the floor plan and customized form, complete with cupola windows at the peak, an entryway and an area for a kitchenette and bathroom. The form was then covered in shot concrete and buried into the hillside. The concrete walls were covered with plaster and cork flooring was installed. The result is an 800-square-foot circular room with outstanding acoustics. The Sanctuary can accommodate up to 50 people.

The Society Hotel Bingen opened last year and is anchored by the historically restored 80-year-old Bingen Schoolhouse. The hotel features a variety of lodging options for different kinds of travelers. It bridges the gap between hotel and hostel by offering both private standard rooms and bunk room accommodations in the main schoolhouse building, along with 20 private cabins surrounding the Spa & Bathhouse.

The campus also features a saltwater soaking pool, sauna, hot tub and cold plunge, as well as massage rooms and a spa café. The hotel’s restored School Gymnasium & Gameroom servesas a multipurpose room and can be reserved for corporate meetings. 

Over the years, any corporate event planner can admit to spending countless hours researching the perfect venue or vendors for their gatherings. After attending or hosting hundreds of events, New York-based Daphne Hoppenot was no stranger to this research and was frustrated by its repetitive nature. However, it was planning her wedding in 2018 that pushed her to realize the lack of resources in the corporate events market compared to the wedding industry, and set out to see if other meetings and events professionals were struggling with the same problem.  


Freelancing has become a new ball game since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as many companies cannot afford to keep full-time positions, but still need those tasks completed. Although many more professionals have had to join the freelancing community since March, Tracy Judge had the passion for the freelancing community two years ago–long before the pandemic hit–and founded her company Soundings Connect in order to directly connect meetings and events industry freelancers with customers. 


Located in Oregon’s wine country, The Allison Inn and Spa is offering some new team-building options for meeting planners. Experiences include:

» Smith Teas Tasting: Claire Boyer, Smith Teamaker’s head of education, offers a hands-on class uncovering the exotic world of tea.

» Lotion Blending: Awaken the senses and heighten creativity with a hands-on lotion and essential oil-blending workshop.