Accessible Event Transportation for the Portland metro area

A van that can hold two wheelchairs, with a ramp on the passenger (right) side extended to the sidewalk.
Photo from MTA, used under Creative Commons license 2.0

Whether it’s a conference, meeting, or wedding, ensuring that all of your attendees can access your venue(s) seamlessly is crucial for fostering inclusivity and enhancing the overall experience of your event. As the planner, you must do your due diligence and research your options. You don’t want an attendee to feel left out because your event lacks the appropriate transportation for someone with accessibility needs. You also can’t assume that your transportation provider will just have this ready for you. We’ve found several vendors who offer accessible event transportation for the Portland metro area and beyond.

Important things to note: Most of these services require reservations AT LEAST two days in advance, some months in advance if booking a larger vehicle, to guarantee availability. Some providers have limited service hours (typically weekday business hours) which can make things tricky for night and weekend events. Those that have indicated 24/7 service are listed in bold. Many of these providers offer different vehicles depending on needs, such as wheelchair vs. walker, so make sure you let them know what you need, as price can vary depending on service. While this list is meant to inform you of possible options, we do not endorse the providers listed here, and can’t guarantee they would work in every particular situation.

Please check each provider below for more info:

Credit: Sarah Petersen for Portland Bureau of Transportation

Travel Portland also maintains its own Accessible Portland page, with tons of resources on accessible event transportation for the Portland metro area. If you’re having an event that includes biking, you can rent Adaptive Biketown accessible bike rentals too!

Man standing in front of a wheelchair accessible van with the lift extended and ready for a passenger.
Image via Willamette Valley Transport’s website.

Nonprofits can also provide useful services for accessible event transportation for the Portland metro area. We found one called Ride Connection, that may be able to provide door-to-door service as long as one is registered in advance and provides 4 days advance notice. One must start the registration process by phone. Check out their website here.

We don’t want to forget to mention our own local public transport service, TriMet. TriMet in Portland offers bus, light rail, and streetcar services, all accessible. However, it isn’t point-to-point, so you do have to plan in advance for the last few miles or blocks of travel. TriMet does offer accessible LIFT service, but from what we’ve researched, there is an application for eligibility, and some bureaucratic hoops to jump through. While there is a visitor eligibility application process, it’s only available to apply by phone. Thus it may not be the most convenient for on-demand, event transportation services.

And don’t forget that EJP Events is there for your event planning needs. Feel free to get in touch if you need assistance with your event, or with accessible event transportation for the Portland metro area.

Oregon Coast Venues near Tillamook

A big room with tables set up for dining, overlooking a beach with ocean waves in the distance.
The Fireside Room at Headlands Coastal Lodge and Spa, courtesy of the hotel

It’s time to visit event venues on the Oregon Coast! Tillamook County’s shoreline stretches from Neahkahnie Mountain in the north to Cascade Head in the south, encompassing sandy beaches and rocky headlands. The coastal destinations in Tillamook County are within easy reach of Portland as nothing is more than two hours away by car, making it a great destination for events. There’s a variety of different options out here. So let’s explore Oregon coast venues near Tillamook, shall we?

The Winery at Manzanita

Located mere blocks from the beach on Manzanita’s main drag (Laneda Ave), this cozy tasting room would make a great place for a casual meeting or an evening engagement. There are various configurations of space (indoor and outdoor) that can be rented from two hours to all day, and a whole venue buyout is also possible. And you’ll be able to sample some of the delicious vintages this winery is known for.

An exterior scene of the Winery at Manzanita, a building with a second-story deck and outside tables with red umbrellas.
The Winery at Manzanita (from their website)

Headlands Coastal Lodge and Spa

Located on the south end of the county in Pacific City, the Headlands is a full-service hotel and spa with a five meeting rooms to suit various meetings and events. Many of these rooms (which can hold up to 15) offer sweeping views of the beach and ocean. An adjoining patio provides space to expand your gathering whether it’s a group retreat or intimate wedding.

Tillamook Creamery

The mothership of Tillamook’s dairy operation, the creamery is a must-stop for many folks traveling on US 101 along the Oregon Coast. But besides touring the plant and eating tasty ice cream, did you know that the Creamery has meeting spaces too? And of course they’ll cater your meeting.

Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad

Lastly, we’ll mention this excursion railway that we mentioned back in our 2019 “Use a train for an event” post. This heritage road that uses the former Southern Pacific/Port of Tillamook Bay trackage from the town of Garibaldi north to the mouth of the Nehalem River. (The Coastal Gale of 2007 cut off rail access over the Coast Range, leaving this railroad cut off from the North American network.) The railroad runs excursion trains generally from spring through fall. And you can rent an entire car on the train, and also charter a whole train for your next event or meeting.

A steam engine pulling a train decorated for Christmas, steam pouring from the engine.
Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad’s rentable excursion train pulled by a steam engine is ready tour the beauty of the coast.


While most people will get to coastal locations in Tillamook County by car, there are alternative forms of transportation! The Coastliner bus (formerly Tillamook Wave) provides daily service three times a day between Union Station in downtown Portland to Tillamook’s transit center. From there you can catch buses north or south on US 101 to get to the destinations listed above and then also connect to adjacent transit systems Sunset Empire Transit (Clatsop County) and Lincoln County Transit, all part of the NW Connector network.

We hope that you found this post informative and that it helps you to source for your next Oregon Coast Meeting or event. While this post concentrates on Oregon coast venues near Tillamook, for more information about other Oregon and SW Washington Coast destinations check out our posts on Astoria, Seaside, and the Long Beach Peninsula. If you need any help planning your next corporate meeting, event, or conference on the Oregon Coast, EJP Events is here to assist.

Technology Industry Conferences and Events: 0111 CTO Conference

Technology industry conferences and events provide a dynamic platform for professionals to foster networking opportunities and gain insights into emerging trends. We just returned from the annual 0111 Conference held by industry organization 7CTOs. This gathering, held near San Diego’s waterfront, was billed as a “how-to” for the CTO (Chief Technology Officer), offering opportunities to meet with their peers, learn about industry trends, and shape leadership skills.

Image of (2) women at a registration, helping plan technology industry conferences and events.
Lucy (left) and Tieara staffing the registration table at the 0111 CTO Conference 2023

The main portion of the conference was built around two days of presentations and Q&A sessions. The first day concentrated on business management and how-to, the second day on the technology topic of the moment, AI. We also planned a couple of off-site events, one held at Snapdragon Stadium, and another at Basic Bar and Pizza (New Haven-style, yum!).

We helped the client with pre-event planning and day-of operations. This included:

  • Finding the conference venue and helping the client through the contract phase
  • Setting up and supervising the registration website
  • Working with Catering to keep participants fed and hydrated
  • Setting up the extracurricular activities and making sure attendees got to the off-site events okay
  • Fine-tuning the Run of Show and stage script
  • Coordinating with the hotel and the audio-visual team to make sure everything on the day of went smoothly
  • Staffed the registration table and acted as the Help Desk for the event

This was the third 0111 CTO Conference in which we assisted. We love working on technology industry conferences and events, and we also love working with other associations and groups. Do you need assistance with a conference that you are planning? Please get in touch!

Commencement ceremony for the School of Public Health

In June we helped with the commencement ceremony of the OHSU-PSU1 School of Public Health. Planning a convocation event for a prestigious professional school, especially one with a joint program shared across two state universities, poses several workloads, to name a few:

  1. Gathering the data from eligible graduates about whether or not they would participate in the event, as well as registering their guests
  2. Ensuring graduates’ names and pronunciations were collected in advance so University leadership could correctly recognize them from the stage
  3. Ordering regalia (caps, gowns, and hoods) for the academic staff, as well as graduates in proper colors and sizes

Add these tasks to the normal work of event planning — catering, room and stage layouts, seating charts, rehearsals, scheduling, and collecting materials from speakers — and you have a daunting pile of to-dos that would make even the most skilled Dean or Student Services Director look for outside assistance. That’s where we came in.

We were happy to help the School of Public Health on this special day so staff and students could just relax. And we would be happy to help you with your academic ceremony or educational conference, just ask!

  1. Oregon Health Sciences University-Portland State University ↩︎

Minneapolis Meeting Venues: Creating Memorable Moments

Minneapolis Convention Center

It’s no secret that one of our favorite places to visit is the storied City of Lakes. Lying on the upper Mississippi River where its only major natural waterfall is located, Minneapolis is the Upper Midwest’s thriving, vital hub. The city is a natural jewel, with the river, numerous lakes, and parkland. But it also has many cultural attractions, making it an attractive spot to meet. We love helping you folks find appropriate settings for your corporate retreats, conferences, and more. So here is a smattering of Minneapolis meeting venues to help your next event be memorable.

Minneapolis Convention Center

Let’s start with the biggest space in town: Minneapolis’s Convention Center is conveniently located on the south edge of downtown, linked to other hotels and businesses via the Skyway, a network of climate-controlled bridges over city streets. No need to “dress for the weather” to get here! The Convention Center contains “1.6 million square feet of space including a 3,400 fixed-seat auditorium, 475,000 square feet of exhibit space, 87 meeting rooms, a 28,000-square-foot ballroom and a 55,000-square-foot ballroom.” We got acquainted with this awesome space when we attended Connect Marketplace in August 2023.

Minnesota Orchestra Hall

Located adjacent to photogenic Peavey Plaza a few blocks from the convention center, the Minnesota Orchestra Hall became the first performing arts center in the country to achieve a LEED v4 O+M Silver certification. The hall features six customizable event spaces, including its Grand Foyer, a high-ceiling, multi-tiered space with abundant natural light. Corporate Meetings, Events & Conferences are a great fit for the Hall, as they can accommodate anywhere from 10 to 2,000 attendees and feature on-site beverage service, with access to local caterers.

Minnesota Orchestra Hall

Walker Art Center

Located in Loring Park, a rise just southwest of downtown, this contemporary art museum is renowned for its extensive and varied collection. The Walker also provides numerous opportunities to host a meeting large or small. They provide flexible spaces including “a theater, street-level and roof-top terraces, plazas, gardens, and lounges.” An added perk is that event space rental includes free gallery admission and a private exhibition tour. Oh yeah, during the warmer months they have mini-golf! And you’ll be right next to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, home of the famed Spoonbridge and Cherry. (You can rent out the gardens as well, but it needs to be done via the Minneapolis Park Board.)

Spoonbridge and Cherry at Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at Walker Art Center

Other Interesting Venues

Located on the far east side of town in a former industrial zone, Surly Brewing is one of Minnesota’s largest breweries. Not only is Surly a purveyor of tasty beers (and tasty New Haven style pizza, a style we heartily approve of), but their taproom provides a great meeting space. Scheid Hall is located above the main tap room and hold 175 people. Surly also provides a tented space in the beer garden during the nicer months with a capacity of 120 people. And Surly will provide all food and drink for your event, whether it be a meeting, corporate retreat, or wedding. Also, Surly is a stop on Minneapolis Trolley’s Hop-On, Hop-Off brews cruise. After a meeting at Scheid Hall, you can tour the city’s other great breweries!

We’ll close out this blog post with a world-renowned nightclub, First Avenue and Seventh Street Entry. How renowned? Well, Prince filmed most of Purple Rain’s performance scenes here! Located on the edge of downtown, First Avenue has been hosting many legendary performers over the past 40 years. The 22,000 square-foot facility includes two levels, two rooms, a 1,000 square-foot dance floor, and a stage. Perhaps First Avenue can host your next special event?

Getting There/Getting Around

Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport is located about 10 miles south of downtown, featuring non-stop flights from most major American cities. The airport is connected to downtown via Metro Blue Line light rail. Amtrak’s Empire Builder, which connects the Twin Cities to Chicago, Seattle, and Portland, stops at Union Depot in downtown St. Paul, 10 miles east of downtown Minneapolis. Metro Green Line links Union Depot to downtown Minneapolis. The two light rail lines and Metro Transit’s extensive bus network will get you to most Twin Cities destinations. We find that getting around by bike is the best option, as Minneapolis has a great network of on-and-off street bike facilities. Hop on a bike share bike provided by Lime and explore the town.

We hope that you found this post informative, and that it helps you when sourcing Minneapolis meeting venues. If you need any help planning your Minneapolis Corporate Meeting, Event or Conference, EJP Events is here to assist!

Japan is open – Let’s hit the Golden Route!

Emee visits Toyokuni-jinja Shrine in Kyoto, April 2023

After several years of being closed to tourism during the pandemic, the country of Japan is open again. We returned for the first time since 2019, in March and April of 2023. And we found Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto to be just as vibrant as ever. Let’s help you with meetings and events in Japan!

Tokyo Recommended Activities and Itinerary

The capital of Japan and largest city in the world depending on your metric, Tokyo is many things, but never boring. Just riding around on the subways and commuter rail and wandering the many districts can provide a lifetime of fun for most. There are some attractions that require buying tickets far in advance to guarantee admission, but we’ve found them worth it: Ghibli Museum is dedicated to the famed animation studio. Owl Cafe Akiba Fukurou Tokyo, offers the opportunity to hang out with owls for a bit! And teamLab Planets is an immersive interactive digital museum. Tokyo Whiskey Library offers an extensive list of whiskeys from Japan and around the word in a lovely setting. Before you leave, take a journey to the observation deck of Tokyo Skytree, world’s tallest tower, to see from above what you’ve been exploring.

Tokyo Skytree

Osaka Recommended Activities and Itinerary

Japan’s third largest city, Osaka is just a three hour journey via Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo. While Osaka is dominated by tall glass towers just like Tokyo, Osaka Castle, a fortification in the heart of the city, is worth a visit. The castle was built in the 16th century and heavily reconstructed in the 20th. Dotonbori is the brightly-lit “drinking district” along its namesake canal, a great place to sample nightlife. Then treat yourself to a “spa day” at the Conrad Osaka Hotel, where you can get a truly luxurious massage. The many restaurants at the Conrad are also worth visiting, and the numerous meeting rooms would make this hotel a memorable conference spot. Additional meeting options can be found at Grand Prince Osaka (formerly Hyatt Osaka) which is near the INTEX convention center.

Osaka Castle

Kyoto Recommended Activities and Itinerary

Japan’s pre-modern era capital, Kyoto, is now the country’s ninth-largest city, still large (1 1/2 million people) but with a mellower feeling than Tokyo and Osaka. Kyoto’s biggest attraction is all its temples–go a mile in any direction and you’ll hit something. Kyoto’s many streets are filled with wood framed houses, a stark change from the other glass-and-concrete Japanese cities, a legacy from avoiding extensive bombing during World War II. Rent a mamachari bicycle from one of the numerous rental companies (remember to ride on the left!) and explore the temples, rivers, and bars. We love visiting Kyoto Beer Lab on the bank of the Takasegawa River.

Though I love all three cities, as a Portland-based meeting and event planner, Kyoto is my whole vibe! We stayed in the central city and found it easy to walk to a bike rental shop and just go toodling around the city by bike, visiting shops, restaurants, brewpubs, and temples along the way.

If we can help you with meetings and events in Japan, let us know! We have great partners in-country that support additional offsites, airport transfers, and transportation. We can craft a great itinerary for you.

Large convention space at Hyatt Osaka (now called Grand Prince Hotel, Osaka).

Additional writing: Shawn Granton