Welcome to the Portland Meeting and Event Planning Guide, written with meeting planners in mind. With its spectacular coastline and waterfront, Portland is a stunning backdrop for meetings and events that will both recharge and inspire attendees. Just three miles from downtown Portland, the Portland International Jetport offers nearly 100 flights a day to major destinations across the country. Portland is also just a two-hour drive from Boston and a four-hour drive from Hartford. Once in Portland, getting around the city is a breeze thanks to an efficient public transportation system, though the mild weather and charming boroughs also create a particularly pedestrian-friendly locale.
Accommodations and meeting facilities go hand in hand in Portland. With 239 well-appointed guest rooms, the award-winning Holiday Inn By the Bay Hotel and Convention Center is the perfect place to host events and overnight guests. Located in the heart of Portland, Holiday Inn By the Bay is one of Maine's largest convention facilities. Offering 30,000 square feet of space including 14 meeting rooms and a 12,000-square-foot exhibit hall, the hotel can accommodate groups ranging in size from eight to 1,400 people.
A number of other large-scale facilities are available to make Portland events a success. Located in Portland's stately City Hall, the Merrill Auditorium seats up to 1,908 people; and the Cumberland County Civic Center in the heart of downtown features 22,000 square feet of space. Perfect for trade shows and annual conferences, the center is one of Maine's largest exhibit facilities. Additionally, the Portland Exposition Building is the 2nd oldest arena in continuous operation in the U.S., hosting nearly 600,000 guests per year.
For a truly unique meetings experience, planners can look to the many alternative spaces spread throughout the city. From restaurants and historic homes to museums and meetings at sea, the unique Portland event venues impart a touch of New England charm to any event. Host a meeting amidst the grandeur of the Victoria Mansion, one of the nation's most prestigious historic landmarks. Or enjoy a backdrop of well-crafted ceramics and sparkling glass art at the Portland Museum of Art's intimate Glass Gallery. For a truly memorable experience, groups can gather on an Odyssey Whale Watching cruise for snacks, drinks and unforgettable views of Maine's aquatic life 20 miles off shore.
As Maine's economic capital, Portland is home to the headquarters of several major corporations including Unum, TD Commerce Bank, Maine Bank & Trust and ImmuCell Corp. Several colleges and universities also call the city home including the Maine College of Art, University of Maine School of Law and University of Southern Maine.