27th Portland Marathon Event Directors Conference

Portland, OR | Oct. 6-8, 2016

The most valuable conference in the industry

An interactive and educational experience, this conference features a panel Q&A format with breakout sessions where the details of how to put on an event are discussed. Expert panelists review critical issues for events large and small, including: Politics & City Issues, Volunteer Programs, Sponsorships, Organization, Management, Financial Models, Legal Issues, Technology, Medical and more. This conference is hosted by the Portland Marathon.

Conference Location:
Portland Hilton Downtown - 23rd Floor
921 SW 6th Ave  Portland, OR 97204

Our panel of event directors answer questions and lead discussions at the 2015 Portland Marathon Event Directors Conference in Portland, Ore.

Our panel of experienced event directors and experts guarantees a conference that's the best event-reated and hands-on exchange in the industry. It's a conference you will not want to miss! Please note: As in past years, to ensure the most successful and instructional event, we are limiting enrollment. Sign up early!

Why you can't miss this conference:

  • Panelists are top event directors & industry experts willing to share their insider knowledge
  • Conference attendees are encouraged to join in dialogue & ask questions on any topic
  • Attendance is capped at 120 attendees for best learning experience
  • Evening networking dinners or receptions bring conference panelists & attendees together
  • Conferences are coupled with top quality events to allow “inside look” opportunities
  • Unique sponsorship & exhibitor opportunities available (space is limited)

Panelists & Speakers

  • Sean Astin, Celebrity & Serious Marathoner; Actor (Lord of the Rings, The Goonies, Rudy)
  • Jeff Curtis, CEO, Portland Rose Festival Foundation
  • Steve Hamilton, President Hamilton Events
  • Rich Harshbarger, CEO, Running USA
  • Wally Kastner, Past Event Director, Big Sur International Marathon & Carmel Half
  • Scott Keenan, Former Event Director, Grandma’s Marathon
  • Gary Kutscher, Race Director, The OC Marathon
  • Patrice Matamoros, Race Director, Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon
  • Rick Nealis, Race Director, Marine Corps Marathon
  • Sean Ryan, Race Director, Bellin Run, Door County Triathlon, Across the Bay 10k
  • Beth Salinger, Endurance Marketing, Chief Event Officer
  • Les Smith, Event Director, Portland Marathon
  • Julian Smith, Event Director, Cooper River Bridge Run
  • Allan Steinfeld, Past Event Director, NYC Marathon; CEO, NY Road Runners Club
  • Mamie Wheeler, Portland Marathon Medical Director & Assistant Event Director

Attention Exhibitors:

Exhibitor spaces are available for your company in the Trade Exhibit Room for Exhibitor supplied display, adjoining the conference (full access to all participants). Please preview (view here) and contact Mamie to reserve your space before they sell out: mamie@portlandmarathon.org.



Conference Kick-Off Party | 6 – 10 p.m.
If you make it to Portland in time, please join us for food & drinks and mingle with other attendees at this fun open house! This special kick-off party is a fun tradition sponsored by Leslie Jordan.


Check-in | 8:00 a.m.

Session One | 9 - 10:15 a.m.
New issues • Industry Trends • Sponsorship Trends • Trading Vital Information • Industry Competitors • Predators • New Events and more

Session One Continued
Marketing • Legal Impacts • Sponsorship Trends • Media • How to Gain Participants

Luncheon | Noon
Topic: TBA

Session Two | 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Political Realities & Issues, Economic Impact, and "new" City Impacts

Session Three | 2:45 - 4 p.m.
Charities • Emergencies & Contingencies • Medical Issues

Announcements 4:00 p.m.

Cocktail Hour
Aboard the Portland Spirit river cruise, this cocktail hour is sponsored by Always Advancing.

Evening VIP Dinner Cruise
Join us for a very special VIP dinner cruise on the Willamette River presented by Chronotrack.


Continuing Check-In | 8 a.m.

Session One | 8:30 - 10:15 a.m.
Organization • How To Small Events/Large Events • How to Grow in Size and Quality • Board of Director Issues

Session Two | 10:30 - 11:45 a.m.
Volunteers • The Good Practices • Event Directors sometimes Forget • New Ideas • What is the Real Truth?

Class Photo! We'll take the class photo right before lunch!
The class photo is sponsored by RunSignUp

Luncheon | Noon
Topic: TBA

Session Three | 1:15 - 2 p.m.
Do Not Forget Leadership • Organization and how to Really Get Things Done


Session Four
Breakout Sessions (Various Topics +62)


VIP Cocktail Hour
Enjoy cocktails while you chat with new friends and old! This cocktail hour is presented by RaceIT.

VIP Directors Dinner
23rd Floor of the Hilton Hotel
This is one of the most looked forward to events of the week and is presented by RaceIT! There will be a brief but fun awards ceremony, and plenty of food! Presentation of the Event Director of the Year Award brought to you by Always Advancing.


Breakfast served

Session One | 8 - 11 a.m.
Another View of Our Industry • The Writers, Publicists and Bloggers


Session Two | 11:15 - Noon
All about Sponsorship & Income Sources for Events

Lunch | Noon
Congressman Earl Blumenauer
Political Networking for Event Directors

Session Two Continued
More on Sponsorship • Memberships • Legal issues • “Is ‘Green’ now a wash?”

Session Three
Breakout Sessions: 4 or 5 Hot Topics

VIP Evening
An evening to remember!

SUNDAY: MARATHON DAY – 7 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Join us at the Finish Line VIP tent for breakfast, lunch, and a rousing good time!
VIP tent is located at SW 3rd and SW Main St.

It’s all in Portland… and you’re invited!

Platinum SponsorS


Product partner