The Oregon Convention Center is one of the distinctive buildings on the East side of the Willamette River in Portland. The twin glass spires pierce the sky and, when they’re lit up at night, are particularly noticeable. The massive amounts of glass in the walls and ceilings are not only architecturally interesting, but they also mean that the common areas and lobbies are naturally lit most of the time. The Convention Center is the largest in Portland, as well as the entire state of Oregon, and houses the city’s largest ballroom.
There are a variety of spaces at the Convention Center available for trade shows, exhibits, public and private events, and meetings. There are five exhibit halls which offer a maximum of 255,000 contiguous square feet, and which can be divided up into smaller halls of 30,000 or 60,000 square feet as needed. For smaller business events or gatherings there are 50 meeting rooms grouped into six sections, and each group has its own lobby area. The largest rooms are the two ballrooms. The Oregon Ballroom has 25,200 square feet of floor space and the Grand Portland Ballroom has a whopping 34,200 square feet of space. In the latter, you could have a sit-down dinner for 2,200 people, and both ballrooms can be divided into smaller spaces as needed.
In addition to the spaces already listed, there are also VIP meeting rooms (more formal meeting spaces featuring more comfortable furnishings and private kitchens and restrooms), the Skyview Terrace (a full-service bar and lounge area open to those attending events in the Convention Center), and an in-house Starbucks and FedEx Kinko’s. And for a sample of one of the things making Oregon famous, check out the Appellation Oregon wine tasting room, pouring wines from 15 different Oregon wineries. The Convention Center is also nicely connected to other parts of Portland – including the airport – by the city’s light-rail line, MAX.
Many of the lobbies at the Oregon Convention Center feature large and interesting works of art, both indoors and out. Two of the more prominent indoor pieces are the Foucault pendulum in the lobby outside Exhibit Hall A, and the Ginkoberry Gwa sculpture in what’s become known as the Ginkoberry Concourse linking the two parts of the center. Outside, there are two giant Asian bells suspended in the center’s outdoor plaza.