Outdoor Recreation & Manufacturing Meetings in Maine

Outdoor Recreation & Manufacturing Meetings in Maine


3,500 miles of coastline. 17 million acres of forest. 6,000 lakes and ponds. 2,000 coastal islands. 32,000 miles of rivers and streams. Maine has no equal when it comes to outdoor adventure opportunities. Maine also has convenient access to the world’s largest consumer markets, offering manufacturers unlimited opportunities domestically and internationally. See why you should plan your next outdoor recreation or manufacturing meeting in Portland, Maine’s economic capital.


Sailboat, Photo Credits: Serena Folding

Photo Credits (clockwise from top): Serena Folding Photography (1), Digital Edge (2-3)


Maine’s outdoor recreation and manufacturing industry provides value for your attendees. The state’s industry is made up of outdoor gear manufacturers, retailers, guides, outfitters, sporting camps, campgrounds and ski, golf and wilderness resorts , and the market profile includes three specific subsectors:

  1. Boat building
  2. Motorcycle, bicycle and parts manufacturing
  3. Sporting and athletic goods manufacturing

The Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation (MOOR) was created in 2018 and became permanently established in 2019, making it, at the time, the 10th Office of Outdoor Recreation to be established and staffed in the United States. The office within the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development leverages the state’s assets and outdoor heritage to grow the outdoor recreation economy and build Maine’s outdoor economy and brand.

MOOR, Maine Outdoor Brands, and the University of Maine are working on four goals as part of the Trailblazer Roadmap project:

  1. Providing a current analysis of the economic value of the outdoor economy to the State of Maine.
  2. Defining and increasing awareness of the different sectors that make up Maine’s outdoor recreation economy.
  3. Identifying key strategies and investment needed to fuel the growth and diversification of the outdoor economy statewide for the next 10 years.
  4. Forming partnerships and collaborations necessary to secure additional investment to implement the strategies identified.

Maine’s strong industry economy also makes it a perfect setting for your meeting. Outdoor recreation contributed $3.3 billion to Maine’s economy and made up 3.9% of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP), ranking sixth nationwide, according to MOOR.

MOOR reports that 32,000 people work in the outdoor industry, and that number grew by 2,184 in 2022 — a 7% year-over-year increase. During that period, according to MOOR, the manufacturing of outdoor recreation and equipment generated $271 million, with retail sales contributing close to $850 million.


L.L.Bean Campus, Photo Credit Serena Folding
L.L.Bean Campus, Photo Credit Serena Folding

Dozens of outdoor brands call Maine home and are members of Maine Outdoor Brands, a network of trailblazers and innovators driving the state’s outdoor recreation industry and economy that can add intellectual capital (IC) to your meeting.

The iconic outdoor brand L.L. Bean has its headquarters and Flagship campus in Freeport, just 20 minutes from Portland. The flagship store was opened to the public in 1917, five years after the brand was established, and since 1951, it’s been open 24/7, welcoming over 3 million visitors a year. L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Programs offer custom classes, trips and tours to create memorable group team-building experiences.

L.L.Bean has manufacturing facilities  in Brunswick, about 30 minutes from Portland, and Lewiston, about 45 minutes from Portland.

Another Maine outdoor brand, Sea Bags, has its flagship store in Portland. The sustainability-prioritizing brand uses recycled sails to create totes, which can also be used as eco-friendly welcome bags for attendees. Since 1999, Sea Bags has saved over 1.5 million pounds of material from going into landfills .

Maine’s outdoor recreation companies also include Old Town, which has been building watercraft in Old Town along the Penobscot River since 1898, making it the world’s oldest and largest manufacturer of canoes and kayaks .  


Portland skyline, Photo credit to Capshore Photography
Portland skyline, Photo credit to Capshore Photography

Maine’s Greater Portland region is home to high education institutions focused on outdoor recreation, business and manufacturing to provide thought leadership to your meeting or conference. The University of New England (UNE) Outdoor Business and Innovation program focuses on outdoor entrepreneurship, sustainability, conversation and preservation, innovation through technology and more.

UNE’s Portland campus and Biddeford campus, located about 30 minutes from Portland, offer lecture halls, smaller meeting rooms and computer labs. Meeting spaces are equipped with audiovisual technology.

The University of Southern Maine (USM) offers Tourism, Hospitality and Outdoor Recreation studies, providing education about the industries’ diverse economic, environmental and social opportunities and challenges. The Maine Economic Improvement Fund at USM also promotes growth and workforce development in the state’s industries, including precision manufacturing technology.

USM’s campuses in the Greater Portland area serve as ideal educational settings for meetings of any size and conferences.

UNE Conference Specs   • Number of Function Rooms: 10 • Classroom Capacity: 150 • Theater Capacity: 1,500 • Banquet Capacity: 1,000 • Open Year-RoundUSM Conference Specs   • Total Square Feet of Function Space: 18,391 • Square Footage of Largest Room: 7,500 • Number of Function Rooms: 10 • Reception Capacity: 500 • Theater Capacity: 500 • Services: Catering, Registration Services, & Logistics & Planning

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Cityscape of wharfs, Photo Credits: Peter Morneau Photography
Cityscape of wharfs, Photo Credits: Peter Morneau Photography

Additional venues for outdoor recreation and manufacturing meetings include the Cross Insurance Arena. The exhibit facility, one of the largest in Maine, recently underwent a $33 million renovation and is conveniently located in downtown Portland – walking distance from hotels, restaurants, shops, attractions and more.

Cross Insurance Arena Specs   • Total Square Footage: 33,000 • Concourse Exhibit Space: 16,000 square feet • Main Floor Exhibit/Event Space: 17,000 square feet • Total Fixed Stadium Seats: 6,200 • Theater Capacity: 3,400 • Reception Capacity: 2,000 • Banquet Capacity: 1,200 • Maximum Number of 8×10 Booths: 150 • Number of Function Rooms: 7

Seaside Portland features additional conference and event venues that can accommodate groups of all sizes with a combined total of 155,000 square feet of meeting space. The Greater Portland region also offers vast accommodation options, with 6,595 hotel rooms, including 2,089 downtown. Many of these properties are open year-round and also double as meeting facilities. You can also host citywides in downtown Portland and give your attendees a small-town takeover experience.

AC Hotel by Marriott Portland Downtown/Waterfront   • Number of Function Rooms: 4 • Square Footage of Largest Room: 1,627 • Total Square Footage of Function Space: 2,696 • Theater Capacity: 200 • Classroom Capacity: 80 • Banquet Capacity: 140 • Number of Sleeping Rooms: 178Holiday Inn By the Bay   • Number of Function Rooms: 13 • Square Footage of Largest Room: 12,500 • Total Square Footage of Function Space: 27,010 • Theater Capacity: 1,200 • Classroom Capacity: 600 • Banquet Capacity: 1,025 • Number of Sleeping Rooms: 239
Westin Portland Harborview   • Number of Function Rooms: 8 • Square Footage of Largest Room: 5,600 • Total Square Footage of Function Space: 16,000 • Banquet Capacity: 270 • Theater Capacity: 350 • Reception Capacity: 200 • Number of Sleeping Rooms: 289Portland Regency Hotel & Spa   • Number of Function Rooms: 5 • Square Footage of Largest Room: 1,900 • Total Square Footage of Function Space: 5,800 • Theater Capacity: 200 • Classroom Capacity: 130 • Banquet Capacity: 150 • Number of Sleeping Rooms: 95

In May 2023, over 300 adventure travel industry professionals — including media, outbound tour operators and thought leaders—from dozens of countries gathered in Portland for Adventure Travel Trade Association’s eighth annual AdventureELEVATE , considered one of North America’s most important and practical professional adventure travel events. The event featured a Day of Adventure, allowing attendees to experience all that Portland and Maine have to offer firsthand, as well as face-to-face networking opportunities, breakout sessions and more. The participant survey found that 94% rated Portland as an adventure travel destination that matched or surpassed their expectations.

Following the event, Adventure Travel Trade Association Regional Director for North America Russell Waters was honored with the 2024 Meet in Maine Award, presented to the local individual whose commendable efforts produced the convention with the largest economic impact.

“Thank you, Visit Portland, for all your help and guidance with the 2023 AdventureELEVATE event in May. It’s no easy task welcoming 350 delegates from the US, Canada and 35 other countries to a destination, but you helped pull it off with grace and professionalism. Our delegates enjoyed Portland and all it has to offer and many of them took the opportunity to stay longer and experience the wide range of adventures available in the mountains and on the trails, rivers and lakes beyond the city boundaries.”   – Russell Walters, Regional Director, North America, Adventure Travel Trade Association

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Wine Wise Wine Sail; Photo Credit: Lauren Peters at Visit Portland
Wine Wise Wine Sail; Photo Credit: Lauren Peters at Visit Portland

Submit your RFP to start planning your outdoor recreation meeting or conference in Maine with the help of Visit Portland, your partner who can help you organize an event in any area of the state.