The Expo Center is one of the convention centers located in Portland. Its full name is the Portland Metropolitan Exposition Center, and it’s north of the city toward the airport. All kinds of events take place at the Expo Center throughout the year, from trade shows to public events, as well as meetings and private events.
Built in the 1920s, it once served as the main convention and trade show space in the greater metropolitan area. Additionally, during the internment of the Japanese in World War II the Expo Center also temporarily housed more than 3,500 Japanese-Americans for five months in 1942. More recently (and less sadly), the Expo Center got new owners and a new name along with some major renovations.
Today, the Portland Expo Center has several large halls (the largest has 72,000 square feet of floor space and a 30-foot ceiling) and many smaller meeting rooms. There is also a large catering kitchen. The total amount of exhibit space is 330,000 square feet in five inter-connected buildings. The Expo Center sits on 60 acres of land, so in addition to the massive amount of exhibition space there is parking for 2,200 cars.
While the Expo Center might seem a bit far away from Portland’s downtown area, it is connected via the light-rail transit system – the MAX train – so it’s easy to get back and forth from the Expo Center to downtown and back. The train also goes to the airport, so it’s possible to be in town for an event at the Expo Center and go shopping downtown all without having a car.
The Expo Center hosts more than 100 events every year, so if you’re interested in having your event here see the Expo Center’s website for more details.