About the Event Directors College Series

Fun networking receptions!

Fun networking receptions!

The Portland Marathon Event Directors College Series, created by Les Smith in 1990, includes an East Coast conference hosted by the Cooper River Bridge Run in the spring and a West Coast conference hosted by the Portland Marathon in the fall.

Interactive and educational experiences, these conferences feature a panel Q&A format that includes true industry leaders and event related experts. This allows for the best information, practices and procedures to be openly discussed.

Expert panelists to answer your most pressing questions!

Expert panelists to answer your most pressing questions!

  • Panelists are top event directors & industry experts willing to share their knowledge
  • Conference attendees are encouraged to join in dialogue & ask questions on any topic
  • Attendance is capped at 120 attendees for best learning experience
  • Evening networking dinners bring conference panelists & attendees together
  • Conferences are coupled with top quality events to allow “inside look” opportunities
  • Unique sponsorship & exhibitor opportunities available (space is limited)
     
This is a conference that is all about the true issues confronted by events: Industry trends; how to apply the best sponsorship principles; how to build a solid brand; how to deal with city or political subdivision issues; how to grow or regrow an event; how to handle contingencies and emergencies; budgets, financial stability and growing reserves; intellectual property any growing legal concerns; and, even what to consider if someone offers to buy your event or you want to sell yours.
I started this conference in 1990 after meeting and spending time with the late Fred Lebow, founder of the NYC Marathon. Fred recommended we start this "college." Over time we learned how to make this conference truly relevant and elevated above the usual commercially sponsored webinar or conference. So our conference is that: Where you actually get to learn and ask the difficult questions. And, meet others like Fred, those with great experience and knowledge. But at the same time meet people who are learning our special business. Individuals who you can get to know and later call upon to get advice and counsel. - Les, Event Director, Portland Marathon