Travel Portland Highlights Destination Updates for Meetings & Conventions

Portland offers groups an assortment of flexible meeting spaces brimming with personality. From its emphasis on local culture and diversity, to sustainable and wallet-friendly efforts, the city continues to position itself as a meeting destination. Further, Travel Portland offers a range of customizable packages for meeting planners to plan hassle-free events.

As part of Travel Portland’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, “My People’s Market” in partnership with Prosper Portland has been a recurring event since 2017. This event provides opportunities for BIPOC entrepreneurs to connect with both travelers and locals alike. One service Travel Portland offers to all conventions is the creation of a mini “My People’s Market” as part of the conference experience. This brings Portland’s BIPOC vendors directly to convention attendees, providing a convenient way to share the city’s latest and greatest.

Sustainable meetings continue to be a priority for meeting planners, as well, and Portland is home to the LEED-certified Oregon Convention Center, the only venue of its kind in the U.S. to have earned a Level 4 APEX/ASTM certification—the first standard created specifically for green meetings and events. This program, verified by the Events Industry Council, provides a roadmap for planning sustainable events, helping vendors and guests practice green habits, and working with the Portland community to support the environment.

Good to know: Portland does not impose sales tax on anything, be it food and beverage or vendors and venues, which generally saves meeting planners between 5 and 10 percent on average.

On the accommodation front, Portland’s central city hotel room inventory has grown by nearly 50 percent since 2016 and, in 2023, the growth continues. The Ritz-Carlton, Portland is slated to open in this fall. It will not only be Portland’s first five-star hotel but the first Ritz-Carlton in the Pacific Northwest. The property will have a forest park-inspired lobby plus 251 guestrooms and suites. Within the nine event rooms and 16,000 square feet of meeting space will be The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom in addition to a junior ballroom, three breakout rooms and pre-function areas. A boardroom with integrated technology will be located on the 20th floor. Nearby is The Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge should executives require next-level confidentiality.

Additional new developments include the new Travel Portland Visitor Center. Centrally located in the West End neighborhood, walkable from downtown hotels such as the aforementioned Ritz-Carlton and centered among many restaurants and icons such as Powell’s Books, the visitor center will provide access to friendly travel experts who can help plan itineraries, recommend restaurants and attractions and provide information about events, all while reflecting Portland’s “all are welcome” attitude.

Lastly, Near Me Now, a new app by Travel Portland, serves as a resource for attendees. The map-based guide helps them find Portland events, food carts, restaurants, bars, attractions, stores and hidden spots. Additional features include "The Best of Portland," "Find What’s Near You Now," "Save Your Favorites," "Open Now," "Map-Based Navigation" and more. The app includes Portland’s most comprehensive roundup of the 500-plus carts within city limits. Other categories in this official Travel Portland app include bookstores, coffee shops, bakeries, breweries, distilleries, art galleries, parks, gardens, museums, movie theaters and more.

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