2019 Nonprofit Technology Conference NTC

Newbie at NTC -- some questions

  • 1.  Newbie at NTC -- some questions

    Posted Dec 28, 2018 01:03
    Hello!

    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)
    www.topcloudconsult.com
    medhananal@topcloudconsult.com
    650.600.9374
    ------------------------------
    Nonprofit Tech Clubs


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

    STAFF
    Posted Dec 29, 2018 19:16
    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











    ------------------------------
    Andrea Post
    Conference Director
    NTEN
    Portland, OR
    ------------------------------

    Nonprofit Tech Clubs


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

    Posted Jan 24, 2019 14:26
    Hi Andrea,

    Great, thank you so much for all your clarifications! I think right now, I'm sold on taking MAX to the location.

    I have one question: now that I am trying to reserve my tix to fly in: I am contemplating flying in either on Tuesday evening, or early Wednesday morning. If I come in on Wednesday, I would have my hotel reservation only later in the day, and was thinking of heading straight to the Convention Center for the conference events.

    If I stick to that plan, then I'll be lugging around a medium sized wheeled carry on with me (in addition to my handbag). Will I be able to get lockers or any means to keep my bag safely at the CC? Any recommendations on how to?  How have others managed in the past?

    Once again, thank you for  all your help so far!!


    ------------------------------
    Medha Nanal
    Strategic Data/Database Consultant for Nonprofits (Fundraising, Operations, Programs)
    www.topcloudconsult.com
    medhananal@topcloudconsult.com
    650.600.9374
    ------------------------------

    Nonprofit Tech Clubs


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

    Posted Jan 25, 2019 10:49

    About luggage storage, it looks like there are a few BagBNB locations in Portland: https://bagbnb.com/ 

    bagbnb.com
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    bagbnb.com
    Book your luggage storage in Portland, Eliot, with BAGBNB. The staff will store your luggage for only 6$ a day!




    Nonprofit Tech Clubs


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

    Posted Jan 25, 2019 11:39
    Hi Sharon,

    Thank you much. I did not know such a service existed :-) so this definitely added to my knowledge!

    That said, my question is specifically about keeping luggage at the Conference Center (whether this is possible or not). My intent here is to save time. I will be able to get my hotel room in a short 2 hours or so, after getting to the conference location, and therefore, I do not think I will be interested in travelling to another far end of the town to drop off the bags for the sake of a couple of hours.

    A clarification would be great!! If it's not possible and if it's not a "done thing" to keep the bags around, then I will look into alternatives.

    Thank you.

    ------------------------------
    Medha Nanal
    Strategic Data/Database Consultant for Nonprofits (Fundraising, Operations, Programs)
    www.topcloudconsult.com
    medhananal@topcloudconsult.com
    650.600.9374
    ------------------------------

    Nonprofit Tech Clubs


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

    STAFF
    Posted Jan 25, 2019 20:37

    Medha,

    While we'll have a bag check at the Convention Center on Friday morning, we don't have any bag check services available on Wednesday, and the Center doesn't have lockers or other means for securing your bag.

    That said - and don't quote me on this - but I think almost *ANY* hotel will let you check a bag. I was in a similar circumstance last week in Washington, DC. I went to a hotel close to my meeting and asked them to check my bag for a few hours.

    Maybe, perhaps, possibly, the Hotel Eastlund across the street from the Convention Center would check your bag until you are ready to head to your hotel?

    Hope this helps!

    Andrea




    ------------------------------
    Andrea Post
    Conference Director
    NTEN
    Portland, OR
    ------------------------------

    Nonprofit Tech Clubs