Portland, OR

Portland Marathon Event Directors’ College
Portland, OR | Oct. 1-4, 2015

A Conference for Large and Small Events

Join us for the 25th edition of the Portland Marathon Event Directors’ College (West Coast) in conjunction with the 44th Annual Portland Marathon! It’s sure to be an event to remember!

Conference Location:
Portland Downtown Hilton
921 SW 6th Ave  Portland, OR 97204

An interactive and educational experience, our Event Directors’ College is primarily a “tactical” hands-on workshop where the details of how to put on an event are reviewed and discussed. See Sample topics.

Registration starts at just $550 for the conference and VIP events:


Attention Exhibitors

Spaces start at $1,350.00 and includes general registration for one representative and a 6×8 table space reserved for your company in the Trade Exhibit Room for Exhibitor supplied display, adjoining the conference (full access to all participants). Panelist opportunities may be available. Limited spaces available while they last. View sponsor and exhibitor opportunities here.

Register-ExhibitorContact Mamie Wheeler, mamie@portlandmarathon.org for more information!

Why you can’t miss this invaluable
3-day workshop:

  • It’s the only event directors’ college that focuses 100% on events from the hands-on/tactical perspective
  • Top quality guest panelists, with expertise in sponsorship, event management, event directing, administration, marketing, public relations, to name just a few
  • The best assemblage of industry representatives in the world with years of event directing experience and expertise
  • A make-up of Event Directors from small to large events, willing to openly share and learn
  • A conference coupled with a marathon event where you can see inside the event
  • A place to learn the nuts and bolts of event management and the secrets that only experience can teach
  • A presentation format where participants can ask questions and join in the dialogue
  • Networking, social events and participation in many of the scheduled Portland Marathon events as a spectator, VIP, volunteer or participant.
  • All kinds of other ‘special goodies’

Panelists & Speakers

Richard Benyo, Editor, Marathon & Beyond, Napa Valley Marathon COB
Earl Blumenauer, U.S. Congressman and Marathon Runner
Jeff Curtis, CEO, Portland Rose Festival Foundation
Jeff Galloway, Author; Contributing Editor, Runner’s World
Martin Hsia, Intellectual Property Attorney
Judy Ikenberry, Race Central, finish line and race results company
Steven Karpas, Managing Director, Business Development & Marketing, Houston Marathon
Wally Kastner, Past Event Director, Big Sur International Marathon & Carmel Half
Scott Keenan, 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
Martin Rudow, Editor, Northwest Runner
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

Sample Schedule


College 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!


Check-in | 8:00 a.m.

Welcome | 8:30 a.m.

Session One: Introductory Panel | 8:40 – 10:15 a.m.
What did we learn in our industry over the last year?
New issues • Boston & NYC impact • Industry Trends • Trading Vital Information • Competitors • Predators • That $10K Secret

Session One Continued | 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.
Emergencies • Contingencies • Security • Insurance

Lunch | Noon
Topic: What you need to know about Social Media

Session Two | 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
City Issues on Cost Recovery • Politics • Economic Impact • The Importance of Community Involvement • Networking Opportunities


Session Three | 2:45 – 4:00 p.m.
Charities • Volunteers

Announcements 4:00 p.m.

VIP Evening River Cruise | 6:30 – 9:15 p.m.
Join us for a very special VIP reception and networking reception aboard a private evening river cruise! Transportation will be provided by Blue Star Charters. Bus leaves the Hilton at 6 pm. Board the bus outside the Hilton on Salmon between Broadway and 6th at 6:30 pm.


Continuing Check-In | 8 a.m.
(for those who did not register on Thursday); Breakfast

Session One | 8:30 – 10:45 a.m.
Small & Large Event Management & Organization


Session One Continued | 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.
Leadership • Board of Director issues • Budgets • Income sources

Lunch | Noon
Presentation by Martin Hsia
Intellectual Property Rights and Pitfalls

Session Two | 1:30 – 2:45 p.m.
Event Technology I
Follow up on Intellectual Property • Innovations & ideas


Session Three | 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Event Technology II
Applications and Practicalities: Improve an event of any size

Announcements | 4:00 p.m.

VIP Cocktail Hour & Reception
Enjoy cocktails while you chat with new friends and old!

VIP Dinner | 7:00 p.m.
This is one of the most looked forward to events of the week! There will be an awards ceremony, and plenty of food and fun.

Presentation of the Event Director of the Year Award


Breakfast served 8:00 a.m.

Session One | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Author/media/athlete Panel
Help us look at ourselves, our event and the industry • Understanding elites


Session Two | 9:45 – 11:45 a.m.
Sponsorship • Branding • Analysis of your event- Large or Small • Details often overlooked, from A to Z • Merchandising • Expos

Lunch | Noon
“Political Networking”

Session Two Continued | 1:30 – 3:10 p.m.
More on Sponsorship • Memberships • Legal issues • “Is ‘Green’ now a wash?”

VIP Evening | 6:30 – 9 p.m.
An evening to remember at the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry. Transportation will be provided by Blue Star Charters. Bus leaves the Hilton promptly at 6pm. Board the bus outside the Hilton on Salmon between Broadway and 6th.

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!



"Best Race in October" - Runner's World