2019 Nonprofit Technology Conference NTC

last person joined: 43 minutes ago 

This is the community forum for 2019 Nonprofit Technology Conference (#19NTC) registrants. Use this group ask and answer questions, talk about the sessions that you're presenting or that you're excited to attend, and find other attendees to connect with before or during the conference.

Newbie at NTC -- some questions

  • 1.  Newbie at NTC -- some questions

    Posted 22 days ago

    I am not exactly new to NTEN, but #19NTC will be my first NTC. Again, I am no newbie to Portland, however, I will be coming to Portland downtown and staying there for the NTC for the first time!! As a woman traveling alone, I also have some questions related to safety and do's and don'ts.

    So a few questions --

    1. Website shows Hilton Downtown Portland as HQ Hotel. What is "HQ Hotel"? ​How is an HQ Hotel different from other, non-HQ hotels?
    2. How safe is MAX from airport to Downtown/Convention Center on Wednesday or any weekday? Will it be crowded? 
    3. Similarly, when traveling from West side (hotels) to the convention center, how crowded will the MAX be? 
    4. Any tips for traveling on MAX line? 
    5. For the transport between hotel and the conference, how does taking MAX compare to taking Lyft or Uber?
    6. How safe is the downtown to walk over to restaurants/coffee shops etc? 
    Thank you much!!

    Medha Nanal
    Strategic Data/Database Consultant for Nonprofits (Fundraising, Operations, Programs)

  • 2.  RE: Newbie at NTC -- some questions

    Posted 20 days ago
    So glad that you'll be joining us! As a Portlander and the Conference Director, I think I can respond to many of your questions.

    The Hilton Downtown Portland is designated as our headquarter hotel because that's where we have our biggest block of rooms. That's the primary distinguishing feature. Many speakers, sponsors, and NTEN board members will be staying there, so staying there provides opportunities for the "lobby conference" experience. It's recently remodeled and just steps away from the MAX line, so it's aesthetically, socially and geographically advantageous.

    The MAX from the airport is a breeze. I think it's of the best MAX rides in town. It's mostly deserted until you near the city center, but I've always been able to sit next to the window with my suitcase hogging the aisle seat and never felt pressured to move my bag elsewhere due to lack of seats. Additionally, because it's often full of fellow fliers, there's always a friendly eye to catch if something goes amiss, though I've never experienced the need.

    The MAX to the convention center during the conference should be absolutely dandy because it's in a reverse-commute direction. The cars might be a little crowded, but only with fellow NTCers, so I would expect it will be a comfortable journey. I'm hoping to designate some transit captains near our hotels to help attendees find their way. I'm not entirely sure I can pull it off, but if I can't recruit volunteers, I'll ask some long-time NTC attendees to act as greeters and/or group guides on the train.

    Between public transit and car hires during the conference, the difference is primarily fiscal. NTC attendees will receive a transit pass, so taking trains will be free once you pick up your badge. Car hire services are great, but Portland city streets are not. Even in reverse-commute direction, it can take FOREVER to travel a mile in our town, especially on the two one-way streets in front of the convention center. However, it's not impossible and at times can be a breeze, so it's an option.

    Our downtown is a downtown. This is delving into "what if feels like" territory, but I feel safe in Portland. I walk with determination. I hold my bag close. I don't make eye contact with hecklers, I do make eye contact with Street Roots vendors and other women. Truthfully, I let my guard down here a lot and I feel fine. I've spent many a summer night going to bars and restaurants downtown in a sundress and flip-flops feeling carefree. In the daylight, I've almost never felt scared, and when I did, I found a set of ally eyes in a flash. Most of my negative experiences downtown aren't scary, but just unnerving. Truthfully, while heckling and street harassment can happen anywhere, in Portland even strangers are friendly if you need them.

    This is all my $.02, but I'd be happy to talk more if my answers have just provoked questions.

    Looking forward to welcoming you to the #19NTC!


    Andrea Post
    Conference Director
    Portland, OR