When & Where

October 16 to October 19, 2021

Hilton Portland Downtown

Portland, Oregon

2021 NADO Annual Training Conference

NADO.org > Upcoming NADO Events > NADO Conferences > 2021 NADO Annual Training Conference


October 16 - 19, 2021

Hilton Portland Downtown
921 SW Sixth Avenue | Portland, OR 97204

View the conference program here

Plan to join your regional development peers for a return to NADO's Annual Training Conference!  All systems are go for an in-person event that will occur in downtown Portland, Oregon.

ATC 2021 COVID-19 Precautions

As we continue to monitor developments regarding COVID-19 and Delta variant surges across the county, we are committed to assuring the health and safety of everyone involved—attendees, speakers, NADO and hotel staff, as well as the community of our host city, Portland—is our top priority.  NADO will follow all applicable guidelines and mandates to assure the greatest safety of all attendees.  As you plan your trip to Portland, please be aware of our COVID-19 precaution guidelines:

  • The State of Oregon implemented a face mask mandate in all indoor spaces, and for certain outdoor events, regardless of vaccination status.  All ATC conference attendees and speakers are required to wear a face mask throughout the conference, except during meal functions.
  • To further assure the health and safety of everyone involved, we will follow the COVID-19 protocol of the Oregon Convention Center and require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR or Rapid test result within 72 hours of the first day you will be at the conference.
  • NADO will have face masks and hand sanitizer available at the conference registration in the Pavillion Foyer throughout the conference.
  • We ask any conference registrants to please stay home if they are feeling ill prior to travelling to Portland.

We will provide all registrants with the process for complying to these guidelines next week.  We strive to provide the safest conference environment possible and feel these precautions will help us meet that goal.  NADO staff are all fully vaccinated and those attending the conference will be tested prior to travelling to Portland in an abundance of caution.  They will also adhere to the mask mandate.  The Hilton has implemented precautions and procedures to assure a safe event; you can learn more about the Hilton’s COVID-19 response here.

Check out the Learning Labs and Mobile Workshop that have been added to the conference agenda:

As you plan your conference experience, we have some updates about the agenda to share with you.  We have added several Learning Labs and a Mobile Workshop on Saturday and Sunday.  It is easy to add these to your registration through your my.nado.org account and clicking the ATC event.  Please reach out to NADO Database and Grants Manager Krystal De Leon ([email protected]) if you have any questions about registering for these additional events.  You can also register for them on-site.

Saturday, October 16, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. – Learning Lab: CEDS Speed Networking Session: The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) is a locally-based, regionally-driven economic development planning process and document that should create the space for your region to identify its strengths and weaknesses and bring together a diverse set of partners to generate good jobs, diversify the economy, and spur economic growth.  During this interactive speed networking session, you will have the opportunity to share more about your CEDS, troubleshoot challenges, and learn how others are approaching the process – all during short one on one conversations with your peers.  (No additional fee, but pre-registration is requested.)

Sunday, October 17, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Learning Lab: Brownfield Redevelopment to Support Growing and Diversified Economies: Brownfields, though often located on bleak and blighted sites, offer tremendous potential and opportunities that include improving quality of life, the environment, and a future that is prosperous and sustainable for communities. This tutorial on brownfield redevelopment will address how key partners, various resources, and funding sources are leveraged throughout the brownfields process to realize successful redevelopment.  During this session, hear what it takes to bring all the component parts together to enhance communities with new housing, food establishments, and other build outs.  (No additional fee, but pre-registration is requested.)

Sunday, October 17, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Learning Lab: Branding and Public Relations for RDOs: Does your RDO have a handle on who you are, your value to the region, and how best to convey that value to your audiences? If not, it’s time to really take a hard look at your branding and PR and learn how you can integrate both into your organization’s DNA, building value and credibility along the way.  (Additional fee of $40)

Sunday, October 17, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. – Mobile Workshop: Portland Brownfields: Hop on the bus for to visit sites at various stages of redevelopment that are being repurposed to provide jobs, services, amenities, and housing. There will be opportunities to get off the bus to experience what keeps Portland weird and the economy going. Think food pods and brew pubs, design sense, Voodoo Doughnuts, and McMenamins. The featured stop – the South Waterfront – is a medical services and education node, with new housing, transit, infrastructure, and services that resulted from strong partnerships.  You’ll learn more about the development and infrastructure around the South Waterfront area, including Zidell Yards, Oregon Health Sciences University, transit-oriented development, bridge and gondola, and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.  (Workshop is limited to 30 participants; additional fee of $40)

Sunday, October 17, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. – Learning Lab: Effective Communication Tools for RDOs: RDOs are natural problem solvers, conveners, and facilitators. They can also be very quiet about the value they bring to their regions. Take some time to get to know the top communication tools that will move your RDO from “who are they again?” to “let’s call our RDO...” top of mind level awareness. (Additional fee of $40)

Sunday, October 17, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. – Learning Lab: Strategic Planning Moving Forward: As regional development organizations move forward in a world that largely continues to grapple with the impacts of a global pandemic, strategic planning looks and feels quite different.  RDOs are creating new approaches to program and service delivery, at the same time as they are re-structuring their internal operations…from office design to technology and everything in between.  This workshop will take a close look at how overall strategic planning and thinking will help them develop plans for moving forward.  (Additional fee of $40)

Sunday, October 17, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. – Learning Lab: A Creative and Arts-Based Approach to Equitable Recovery: Art-Train is a virtual technical assistance program that is free for artists everywhere and low cost for municipal agencies, community non-profits, and arts councils.  It translates American Rescue Plan Local Fiscal Recovery Fund guidelines and shares arts-based approaches to build locally-rooted collaborations that address critical recovery and rebuilding needs including workforce development, economic growth, public health, housing, infrastructure, and civic engagement.  During this session, participants will learn how to navigate and advocate for ARP flexible funding as a means to rebuild equity-centered civic and economic vitality and gain skills to frame and translate their recovery goals into formats that will be supported by multiple funding sources. (Additional fee of $40)

Self-Guided Mobile Workshops

Experience walkable and transit-friendly Portland by taking a DIY mobile workshop! Tour handouts are linked here (PDF) and will be available at the NADO registration desk. You can also find the two walking tours and mobile tour at the PocketSights website or download the PocketSights app. Search for "Portland." Note: The Portland Mercado tour requires transit or taxi/shared ride.

DIY Tour Handout

Farmers Market Walking Tour

Green Loop and Food Pod Walking Tour

Portland Mercado Mobile Tour

Questions?: Contact Laurie Thompson at or [email protected]