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.
- Convention Center is a modern, updated facililty
- Downtown corridor offers a wide variety of restaurants, shopping and nightlife
- Free light rail, MAX and street car, make if convenient for attendees to navigate the city
- No sales, food or beverage tax helps with the expense
- We were spread out in 7 hotels on both sides of the river to satisfy our needs, we are typically in 2 hotels within walking distance
- The area around the Convention Center leaves something to be desired – it made many of our attendees uncomfortable to be out on the streets in that area
In the last few years many of the major Convention Centers around the country have completed additions, upgrades, and added convenient host hotel space to attract major business.
I want to stress to you the importance of the development and construction of a major Convention Center Hotel. As a member of the Portland Customer Advisory Board, I find this critical for Portland’s future success in this highly competitive convention market.
VP Sales & Marketing