Ever wonder what your attendees might think of having a meeting in Anchorage? Read below to hear from Vicki Glass, Director of Meetings with the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) about her experience planning a meeting in Alaska, working with the Visit Anchorage team and what she sees trending in the meetings industry.
Tell us, what does your job entail?
Vicki: I mainly work with site selection; negotiating hotel contracts; and on-site logistics. I have other duties as assigned, but probably my most important duty is putting out fires.
Tell us a favorite meeting planner hack (time savings tip)?
Vicki: I would say that having our program printed by a local Anchorage Printing company was a huge time saver. We were able to email the program to the company just three days prior to the conference. This gave us more time to finalize the program and it saved money also – rather than spending a fortune in next day shipping costs the program was delivered to the convention center the day before the stuffing began.
Any favorite words to live by?
Vicki: After the conference starts our favorite saying is, “It is what it is.” One of my members said to me “May all your issues be small.” I am going to use that as my mantra.
What is one of your significant job challenges that working with the Visit Anchorage team helped you solve?
Vicki: Transportation to and from the hotels to the convention center was a huge help. They provided a list of preferred transportation companies and helped with suggested schedules for the shuttle.
What are some of the distinctive attributes/destination offerings of Anchorage that helped to make your meeting great?
Vicki: I would say that having a conference concierge on site with a complimentary conference worker during the event was a great offering Visit Anchorage provided.
One year prior to the conference a representative from Visit Anchorage exhibited at our conference. They were there to answer questions and provide information to our attendees about travel to Alaska. Our members got really excited about the meeting in Anchorage and loved the interaction with the CVB and particularly Julie Dodds.
How would you describe the relationship you have with the CVB? What would you compare it to?
Vicki: Visit Anchorage is like having an additional staff person. They help save my organization time and money.
What did your attendees say about your overall experience in Anchorage?
Vicki: The one thing I heard over and over was that it was a once in a lifetime experience.
Did you use a unique venue for a gathering or event while in Anchorage?
Vicki: We did not have an offsite event. Our unique venue was the Dena’ina Convention Center, it is just beautiful.
What do you see as innovative or trending in the future of the meeting’s industry?
Vicki: I would say that associations are searching and finding diamonds in the rough in second tier cities such as Anchorage.