What People Are Saying…

Conference Managers

My name is Nicole Guy and I am writing to you as a member of the Travel Portland Customer Advisory Board. I represent Conference Managers, a third-party meeting, conference and exhibition management firm whose clients are membership and trade associations in numerous fields, including healthcare, public health, science, finance and business. I personally represent two organizations, each of which has an annual convention that brings confmgrtremendous value to its host cities each year. Not only do these meetings provide an opportunity for 2,500 – 5,000 individuals to visit and experience the city, but the actual expenditures of the meeting and its participants easily total in the millions within a single week-long period.

I am writing today to emphasize how critical the development and construction of a major convention center hotel is to the future success of Portland as a convention destination.  Portland is viewed very positively among the meeting industry in general and my clients in particular as a meeting destination city, due to its wonderful convention center, destination appeal, cost-beneficial tax structure, and top-notch hospitality community.  read more…

The United Methodist Church


Commissioner Kafoury, it is my pleasure to write on behalf of your city to encourage you to do everything you can to bring about a Convention Center Hotel for the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.

The 2016 United Methodist Church General Conference will be held in Portland.  This 11 day meeting brings about a 16 million dollar impact to your city not counting the dozens of 2-3 day meetings of various sub-groups related to our denomination that have already begun to meet in your city as they prepare their hearts and minds for this next meeting of our denominational legislative body.

I served as the Chief Administrative Officer of the Commission on the General Conference during the time in which we conducted site selection.  We selected Portland to host the General Conference after receiving proposals and performing site visits across the western 1/3rd of the United States.  We won’t be in that area of the country for another 20 years. read more…

American Pharmacists Association

Mayor Hales,  I am writing to you today as a member of Portland’s Customer Advisory Board, and as the Senior Director of Meetings and Expositions for the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). APhA is the nation’s largest organization of pharmacists, serving over 62,000 members worldwide and representing all pharmacy practice-care settings.

Our mission is dedicated to improving medication use and advancing patient care. apha

The Annual Meeting and Exposition produced by APhA draws to a destination over 6,000 attendees over four days with an estimated Overall Economic Impact of $7,885,550. On our busiest day, we require 2,400 plus sleeping rooms within easy distance to the Convention Center.

Portland has a tremendous amount of appeal for my attendees, and the Oregon Convention Center would work well for our meeting, however, due to the lack of a 600 plus room headquarter hotel, and additional hotels close to the convention center, APhA cannot currently consider Portland as a destination for the Annual Meeting.  read more…

Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry

Mayor Hale, my name is Edward Robie, Senior Meeting Manager for the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI) based in Atlanta, Georgia.  I am a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and responsible for the site selection and management of several of TAPPI’s major continuing education conferences. I am also a member of Travel Portland’s Customer Advisory Board.


Portland would be a likely candidate for TAPPI’s larger conferences and exhibits that require the amount of space that the Oregon Convention Center can provide.  However, the lack of a quality headquarters hotel with a block of 750 – 800 guest rooms on peak night and adjacent or connected to the convention center prevents us from considering Portland for these events. One of which averages 1500 attendees.  Our attendees request that we book hotels close to the convention center and some exhibiting companies prefer to reserve hospitality suites for entertainment purposes.  Thus, having the majority of attendees in one hotel, adjacent to the convention center, is a must-have. read more…

Why Emergency Nurses Association cancelled 2010 Conference

As a member of the Portland Customer Advisory Board, I hope you will take my views into consideration as you work to develop Portland as an attractive convention destination. enaFormerly, I was the Director of Meetings and Trade Show Services for the Emergency Nurses Association. Upon joining the association, I reviewed future contractual obligations and began evaluating the contract with Portland to host our Annual Convention in September 2010. After traveling to Portland to view the entire convention package, I made a recommendation to the association’s executive director that we move to cancel this program due to the following concerns:

  • The hotel package was concerning as we required hotels in the downtown area as well as hotels in the Lloyd District. Separating the group within such a broad radius is not something we were accustomed to. Convention delegates prefer to be in close proximity of hotels which leads to better networking.
  • read more…

Unitarian Universalist Association

unitarian I’m writing to express my views about the importance of a quality convention center hotel to Portland, Oregon and to encourage you to move forward in securing a large headquarters hotel.

I am the Director of General Assembly and Conference Services for the Unitarian Universalist Association and a member of the Portland Customer Advisory Board (CAB). Our General Assembly of 5700 attendees met in Portland in 2007, and will be returning in June of 2015.

Portland has many attributes as a convention city. Along with being an attractive destination which includes an enlightened environmental awareness, Portland offers great value, an outstanding convention center, wonderful dining options, and a competent and professional hospitality community.

In some very important areas, however, Portland lags behind competing cities. The hotels closest to the center are entirely inadequate to house our dignitaries and provide the quality of banquet functions we include in our program.  read more…

AACC International et. al.

Commissioner Smith, I am very pleased to be writing to you as the EVP of multiple scientific societies and also as a member of the Portland Customer Advisory Board. Prior to serving as EVP I was a certified meeting planner for fifteen years. Three years ago I was honored to receive an award presented by the mayor recognizing that our meetings had brought more than $30 million dollars to Portland.

Our meetings have been very successful in Portland because of the outstanding convention center, the transportation system, and the unique attractions of the city. Portland does an outstanding job of marketing itself and has competed very well to attract meetings. As I look at what brings us back to Portland, good value for the price, outstanding meeting and exhibit space, wonderful restaurants, and outstanding tourist opportunities we also have to balance the issues of why we don’t come to Portland more often. What is it that keeps us and our colleagues from booking more meetings in Portland? In my conversations with other organizations the primary drawback is the lack of a convention hotel at the site of the convention center. A convention hotel, which goes hand in hand with development of the area immediately around the convention center, is key to attracting more and larger meetings.  read more…

Worldwide Distributors

As a member of the Portland Customer Advisory Board I am aware of the fact that Portland continues to work on the development and financing for a new Convention Center Hotel. I am VP of Sales & Marketing for Worldwide Distributors, a retail buying cooperative headquartered in Seattle. I am the decision maker for our trade shows that are held twice a year.

We use about 200,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 50,000 sq. ft. of meeting room space and 4,000 room nights per event with our peak night requiring about 800 rooms. I know our trade show is rather small in comparison to many of the customers that Portland is trying to attract.


We held our trade show in Portland on two separate occasions back in 2010 and 2011. We found the Oregon Convention Center to be a beautiful facility and far superior to other Convention Centers. The staff at both, the Convention Center and Travel Portland are professional and treated us as a valuable customer.

This is the feedback we got from our exhibitors and members that attended the shows in Portland.  read more…