Know Before You Go

2020 ISEEN Winter Institute Guide 

Institute Event App

This app is your one-stop-shop for all Institute information and it will be essential for you to have all the up-to-date information you need. Here’s what you’ll find in the app:

  • Hotel and travel information
  • A detailed event itinerary 
  • Details about your homeroom, breakout sessions, and EE in Action groups
  • Airport rideshare coordination tools (Whova helps you find others coming from the airport at the same time!)
  • Event announcements
  • Information about the Institute sponsors and speakers
  • A way to communicate with attendees
  • Photo sharing

If you haven’t downloaded it yet, what have you been waiting for???  How about doing that right now? When logging in to the app you must use the email with which you registered for the Institute. If you use another email to register, you won’t be able to see the Institute content.

Download the App Now!

Institute Agenda & Session Sign-Ups 

The Institute Agenda can be found in the event app (and is customized with your sessions). We encourage you to use the app for this reason. However, if you’d like to access online, you can view the general agenda AT THIS LINK.

Your sessions/groups will show up under “My Agenda” within the conference app and as a blue checkmark within the “Full Agenda” tab (e.g., click on “Breakout Sessions on Thurs 1/23 of the agenda and you’ll see the sub-sessions – your breakout will have the blue checkmark).

Note: All Ex Ed in Action Day assignments are final. We cannot accommodate any requests for people to switch groups unless there is a physical or medical reason you cannot participate in your group.

Read this Before You Pack! 
Items for ExEd in Action Experiences 

Some Ex Ed in Action groups has additional items for which you’ll need to prep. All of those items are noted in the EE in Action page on the Winter Institute website. Please review before you pack. You can find your Ex Ed in Action group within the app (see instructions above).

Runners, yogis, and hikers bring your appropriate clothes if you’d like to participate in runs, yoga, and hikes.


Check-in and registration is at The Benson Hotel are from 1:30-4:00 pm on Tues, January 21st. We highly encourage you to check in early to ensure a shorter line and faster check-in process. At check-in, you will get your name tags and other details related to the Institute.

Opening sessions begin at 4:00 pm and we invite you to join us at either of the following (whatever is most relevant to you):

  • Welcome & Orientation for all First-Timers to ISEEN (4:00-5:00 pm, Cambridge-Oxford Rooms, Second Floor - there will be signage)
  • Member Meeting with the ISEEN Board (4:00-5:00 pm, Windsor Room, Second Floor - there will be signage)


Join in on what’s become a fun tradition at the Institute. Grab a favorite item from your program or school shop to trade at our Institute Swag Swap! It’s a great way to take home some great gear and check out the fun, new items from fellow programs/schools!

Photo Sharing & Social Media

We encourage you to share your photos during the Institute within the event app! This is a great way to connect with folks at the Institute and everyone can get insights into everyone’s experiences (especially during the Ex Ed in Action day!). 

We love seeing your Institute photos and insights on social media, too! All of the hashtags we’ll be using at the Institute are in the Whova app, and make sure to use our main Institute hashtag (#iseenwinterinstitute) to see what your colleagues are seeing and experiencing throughout the week.

Register or RSVP for Optional Activities 

There’s still time to register or RSVP for a few of the optional activities. If you’d still like to participate in any of the following, please email ISEEN Programs Manager, Elizabeth Doerr, at [email protected] with the details and she’ll follow up with the next steps if need be.
  • ISEEN’s 15th Anniversary Celebration at Cooper’s Hall Taproom & Winery- Thurs, Jan 23, 6:00-9:00 pm ($85)- Must purchase ticket by 1/16
  • Post-Institute Happy Hour at Loyal Legion Beer Hall - Fri, Jan 24, 3:00-6:00 pm (RSVP, no payment required)
    Note: We received quite a few RSVPS, so we extended the Happy Hour time (starts at 3pm now!). It gets quite busy on Friday afternoons, so if you want to definitely have a seat, we recommend getting there early and ordering food on the earlier end.

Venue Information

The Benson
309 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97205

Main Hotel Number: (503) 228-2000
Reservations Phone Number: 503-228-2000 ext. 124 or ext. 128.
If you arrive early at the hotel, they’ll let you know if your room is available for early check-in. If it’s not, they’ll have a place for you to store your luggage.


Driving in Portland and Hotel Parking

  • Driving in Portland isn’t terrible if you’re not driving during rush hour. Long-term parking Downtown can still be pricey, however. Because The Benson is located in such a great spot (near several light rails stops, walking distance from fun activities, and easily accessible by rideshare and taxi services), having a car for the week won’t be necessary.
  • Valet parking at The Benson is $42/day (with unlimited in/out privileges). 
  • Self-park options: There are a number of garages near The Benson. One is the Union Bank garage (across from the hotel on Stark St) which connects to The Benson via underground garage (for around $25/night).

Getting to/from Institute Events

  • Shuttle transportation from/to the hotel will be provided to all Institute events.
  • Just in case, directions to Catlin Gabel School can be found here.

Conference Attire

Conference attire is casual.

Average high temperatures in Portland in late January is typically 47ºF/8ºC during the day and 36ºF/2ºC during the evenings. You can find the current forecast here. In short, it’s chilly this time of year and, while it snows infrequently, there is a likelihood that there could be snow on the ground. Also, keep in mind that many of the Experiential Ed (Ex Ed) in Action sites require some walking outside, so plan accordingly (i.e. comfy shoes and bundle up!).

Runners and yogis will want to bring appropriate clothing for these activities as there will be guided runs and yoga sessions on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of the Institute. We are grateful to Evolve Tours for sponsoring the Institute’s morning yoga and mindfulness sessions! 

ISEEN's Commitment to Being Green

You can read all about our commitment to environmental sustainability on our website. With that, in order to be as environmentally friendly as possible, please bring along your reusable water bottle and coffee mug

We are also committed to reducing our footprint by not printing copies of Institute materials, nor do we have a conference program or booklet. Thus, the event app (see above!) is going to be important for all your Institute needs and logistics.

Something else we’re asking our attendees to do is consider purchasing carbon offsets. As we all know, travel contributes a great deal to the carbon in our atmosphere. We’re grateful to all our attendees who choose to prioritize the ISEEN Institutes for their flying-required PD. So let’s try to do our part to offset our travel emissions. You can find details on how to purchase carbon emissions (they’re not as expensive as you might think!) on our website here.

Meals Included in the Institute 

Tues, Jan 21: Dinner
Wed, Jan 22: Lunch and Dinner
Thurs, Jan 23: Late-morning break, Lunch, and Dinner for purchase if attending ISEEN 15th Anniversary Celebration
Fri, Jan 24: Breakfast


You received an email on behalf of our theme facilitators a couple of weeks ago. In preparation, we’d like to ask you to read these two articles to think about the theme.

Thank you to our 2020 Winter Institute Sponsors 

We have a really amazing group of sponsors this year and we want to take a moment to thank them for their contributions in order to help make the Institute as impactful as always.

General Sponsor
Morning Mindfulness & Yoga Sponsor
Host School
Find Your Path Evolve Tours Caitlin Gabel School
Find Your Path Image Evolve - Travel More Image Caitlin Gabel School Image