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Vendor Spotlight: Visit Anchorage

Data Scientists, Lawyers, Cranes, and Police All Fit in Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska is the best of both worlds. The city’s meeting venues have the versatility to host a wide array of groups, each with specific needs. At the same time, being the largest community in Alaska makes it an alluring spot for delegates as well as organizers. Four large meetings in 2019 – two from Chicago-based groups – helped demonstrate Anchorage’s flexibility and allure.

For data scientists, a brand-new set of numbers showed that their decision to meet in Anchorage was a smart choice. A group focused on standardizing state law found common ground on the site of their 2019 meeting. Hundreds of female police officers made a compelling case that Anchorage was the right choice to bridge cultures and share ideas across borders. Bird scientists flocked to Anchorage too. The topics of each meeting varied, but the choice of location was the same.

Data Scientists

The Knowledge, Discovery and Data Mining (KDD) conference met in Anchorage August 4-8 with 3,200 attendees. When the registration numbers came in, the group surpassed their early expectations by almost double what organizers initially anticipated. The appeal of Anchorage and the surrounding area was a motivator for event planners and attendees alike.

KDD presentations included discussions on a variety of methodologies that optimize machine learning to assist with research in health care, cyber security, industrial systems and more. However, it was also Alaska’s unique data, especially relating to the environment, that positioned Anchorage as the meeting place for KDD this year. Held at both the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center and the William A. Egan Civic & Convention Center, it was one of Anchorage’s largest international meetings to date.

Uniform Law Commission

For the Uniform Law Commission, Anchorage had been on the wish list for years. The Chicago-based organization brings together lawyers, judges, and legislators focused on making state laws match up across borders. By building a relationship with Visit Anchorage over several years, the group was able to better explore what an Anchorage meeting would look like and finally bring nearly 500 members to Anchorage for their 2019 meeting.

Women Police

From September 6-10, the International Association of Women Police (IAWP) convened in Anchorage for the third time. The weeklong trainings included over 500 participants from 43 different countries.

IAWP kicked off the meeting with a Parade of Nations, which celebrated the diverse representation. Conference topics followed a theme of Mentoring the Next Generation and included leadership, gender equity, mentorship, and community involvement. The group aims to provide participants with the knowledge and tools to strengthen the capacity of women police internationally.

Sharing culture was an important aspect of the meeting. Networking opportunities included a cultural event at the Alaska Native Heritage Center, where IAWP participants were encouraged to wear traditional cultural dress from their own countries and heritage. Trainings also included a session with Alaska Wildlife Troopers, where participants learned about the officers’ dedication to conservation and Alaska’s unique geography and wildlife.


The American Ornithological Society convened in Anchorage June 24-28. Though they anticipated 500 attendees, final registration topped 940, a hint at Anchorage’s appeals to delegates. In addition to sessions in the Egan and Dena’ina centers, the theaters and concert halls in the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts also hosted large plenary sessions and paper presentations.

The group, headquarter in Chicago, sets aside time at each of its conventions for mentorship meetings between experienced ornithologists and more recent graduates at local coffee shops and restaurants. The mentorship sessions were an easy fit for Anchorage, which has dozens of restaurants in the convention district, and is one of the top coffee consuming cities in the country. The Ornithological Society also spread its wings with bird-focused field trips to Potter Marsh, the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, and Campbell Creek Estuary Park. Sandhill cranes, eagles, and other birds are regular sights at each of these urban oases.

Appealing Anchorage

Anchorage is the best of Alaska, all in one place. Towering mountains, sparkling glaciers and amazing wildlife: Anchorage is the key to an unforgettable Alaska visit. Discover a place pairing 1,500 moose and hundreds of miles of hiking trails with Alaska’s best convention centers and hotels, diverse dining, and tax-free shopping. Anchorage encompasses incredible outdoor experiences and metropolitan appeals that are larger than life.

To start planning your meeting in Anchorage, contact Visit Anchorage Convention Sales Manager Andrea Schmidt at (907) 257-2317 or [email protected]

Jena VonderhaarVendor Spotlight: Visit Anchorage