Expo & Our Community

Located in North Portland, the Portland Expo Center has a significant impact on its local community through employment, community events and increased tourism to the area. With popular events like home and garden shows, auto shows, RV shows, antique shows, sportsmen shows and more; all these varied events help to create a healthy and more livable community environment for area residents to enjoy.

The Portland Expo Center is serious about our commitment to the environment. With over 450,000 attendees visiting the Expo Center throughout the year, we work with show producers, exhibitors and attendees to create events that are as sustainable and as green-minded as possible. Expo Center staff incorporates eco‐friendly methods into our daily practices from operations including janitorial, catering, and administration. Additionally, we offer recycling and share best green practices with our exhibitors and visitors alike.  By making these services easily accessible and cooperative, the Expo Center decreases our impact on the waste contributed to local area landfills.  In 2011 the Expo Center had a diversion rate of almost 60%. 

The Expo has twelve target goals for recyclable material to be diverted from area landfills:

  • Paper products
  • Aluminum cans
  • Plastic bottles
  • Glass
  • Cardboard
  • Wood
  • Concrete
  • Electronics
  • Sod/Vegetation
  • Food Compost
  • Cooking Oil
  • Metal

How do we do it?

  • Clear Stream Recycling Containers: Clear and identifiable recycling stations are available at all events.
  • Additional Containers during Set‐up and Tear‐Down: Numerous containers and specific signage are provided as exhibitors and producers arrive to set‐up and again at the close of the event (move‐out).
  • Portland Composts!: Through Expo and Levy Restaurants’ efforts in food composting, leftovers and kitchen scraps are returned to the environment via a program of Metro and the City of Portland.
  • Biodegradable and/or Compostable Cups, Utensils, Straws, Plates, and Trash Bags: This major change by Levy Restaurants has been a successful component of our green initiatives.

Going the extra mile – a wide variety Expo's sustainable efforts.

  • Use of Sustainable Cleaning Products: Sustainable Earth Green Cleaning Products are used for cleaning of the facility and meet the environmental and health safety criteria of US EPA’s programs.
  • Local, Natural and Sustainable Products: The Expo Center and Levy Restaurants purchase and serve Oregon Country Natural Beef, Portland Roasting Coffee, and utilize zero trans-fat fryer oil.
  • Increased Efficiency: The Expo staff, both through hands‐on effort and education, has steadily increased the diversion rate over the years.
  • Use of Recyclable Products: Whenever possible, administrative staff reuses items as well as focuses on purchasing office products that meet our commitment to green standards.
  • Capital Upgrades and Improvements: Multiple areas such as the overhead lighting in Hall C, energy saving bulbs and many other energy conscious upgrades have been, and are in the development.

Recognition for efforts:
The Portland Expo Center is now Recycle at Work Certified, meaning the Expo Center has drastically improved our recycling practices and reduced the amount of waste it produces by implementing ALL of Metro and the City of Portland’s five recycling steps found here: www.recycleatwork.com.

Recycling Report and Diversion Rate of over 58%!
The Expo Center team has increased the overall diversion rate from 17% in fiscal year 2008‐2009, to 40% in fiscal year 2009‐2010, to 58% in the fiscal year 2010-2011. That’s a substantial increase and a lot of hard work to educate patrons, clients and a fundamental change in our approaches.  

Strong Community Relationships
As an active community partner, the Expo Center  has supported the success of numerous local community events such as Celebrate! Portland Public Schools, The Oregon Symphony’s Defiant Requiem, The Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year Banquet, Legacy Emmanuel’s Wishes on Wheels, and of course the quintessentially Portland roller derby girls; The Rose City Rollers.

Bringing Jobs and Business to the Area
The Portland Expo Center is a self-supporting, subsidy free success story in facility management. Representing a broad cross-section of our area economy, the Expo Center serves as the region’s gathering place for numerous events representing a wide variety of community interests. Events at the Portland Expo Center drive tourists to our region that in turn becomes significant economic drivers for local businesses throughout Oregon and SW Washington.  

With close to 100 events and over 450,000 attendees every year, the Expo Center is an economic engine that generates $34.1 million in total spending and supports 370 full and part time jobs. In addition, $1.2 million in tax revenues were generated by Expo-related events*. Our goal is to continue to serve a diverse group of regional and local small businesses that continue to positively impact Oregon’s economy.

*source – Crossroads Consulting – FY2010 Economic and Fiscal Impact Analysis – Visitor Venues

How Events Are Good for the Area
The Expo Center is truly a reflection of the diversity that we see in Portland, Oregon. Our events range from the Rose City Classic Dog Show to the Rose City Rollers, from Portland Auto Swap Meet to the Portland Home and Garden Show. That is why at the Expo Center we like to say “It’s all happening here!”

As a public resource, the Expo Center is an important asset that helps make North Portland a vibrant and thriving community. As an important economic player, the Expo Center also brings activity and entertainment to local residents, as well as driving business to local hotels and restaurants. These factors mean better employment, prosperity and quality of life for area residents.

The Portland Expo Center works with many partners to bring the very best and most exciting community events and to the Portland area.  In doing so, the Expo Center has been a supporter of The Rose City Rollers, the Pro-Start High School Culinary Arts Championships, Legacy Emmanuel Children’s Hospital, Mercy Corps, Portland Public Schools and many others. We understand that by working with a variety of community partners, we can create events that are innovative and support worthwhile causes that create positive impacts well beyond the campus of the Portland Expo Center.   

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