With so many people searching for niche, unique vacations, it can be difficult to find the perfect spot. However, if it’s rich history, a variety of event spaces, and a plethora of outdoor recreation activities you’re looking for, look no further than Altoona, Pennsylvania.

The city of Altoona is conveniently located along Interstate 99, two hours east of Pittsburgh. “The location allows conference groups to draw attendees from more than 7 million people within a three-hour radius,” says Mark Ickes, executive director of Explore Altoona.

Whether you find yourself in Altoona for business or pleasure, there is no shortage of things to experience. Check out what’s going on at the state-of-the-art convention center or take a trip back in time and visit a reconstructed Revolutionary War fort site.

For meetings and events, “the variety and value of meeting and event space within the Altoona/Blair County market is advantageous for any budget,” says Ickes. Over the past two years, Altoona has renovated and added 550 hotel rooms, completed a $12.5 million expansion of Laguna Splash water park, and expanded train trips on the Everett Railroad to cel- ebrate Altoona’s deep historical connection to the American railroad.

With an array of award-winning hotels to choose from, Ickes says “this is an exciting time for groups to explore a small destination with big adventures!”

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. 


You’ve seen free-fall stunts pulled off in the movies, and now Thrillz entertainment center is inviting you to experience the same exhilarating action firsthand. From 3D climbing walls, 70 feet of zip lines and a giant rotating sweeper, to a 360-degree virtual reality roller coaster and an Indiana Jones-style rolling log, the park offers something for both the young and the young at heart.