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National/International Meeting Planners Checking Out Anchorage as Potential Meeting Destination

Anchorage, Alaska – Sept. 14, 2011 – Meeting planners from 13 states and one Canadian province are in Anchorage this week to check out the city as a potential meeting destination for the national and international organizations they represent. The 22 participants are part of the Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) Fall Meeting Planner Familiarization (FAM) tour, which runs from today through Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011. While here, the meeting planners will tour Anchorage’s convention centers, explore attractions and try out Alaska activities. If all the groups represented select Anchorage for upcoming meetings, the estimated economic impact to the city would be more than $8 million.

“We use a number of tools to persuade opinion leaders and decision makers within the convention and meeting industry to consider Anchorage as a destination for their upcoming meeting. FAMs are one of the most effective tools we have in terms of educating clients about Anchorage and Alaska,” said Julie Dodds, ACVB’s director of convention sales.

More than 50 groups will hold meetings in Anchorage this month, from small organization based in Alaska, to large international groups such as the USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forum, which opens Sept. 22, 2011. Many of the groups meeting in Anchorage this month had their first introduction to the city on an ACVB FAM years ago.

“FAM trips generate more business for Anchorage,” said Dodds. “Both the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery and the American Telemedicine Association are holding meetings this month in Anchorage – they were FAM guests last year.”

ACVB hosts three meeting planner FAMs each year, bringing qualified decision makers to Anchorage before they select a meeting site. FAMs are just one of the ways the ACVB convention and meetings sales team generates business for Anchorage. Sales blitzes, personal sales calls, convention trade shows, Web promotions, online and print advertising and editorial placements in key publications are also used to market to meeting and event planners.

The Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (ACVB) mission is to attract and serve visitors to the Municipality of Anchorage while building and diversifying the Anchorage economy. ACVB’s marketing functions are funded by one-third of the bed tax collected by lodging facilities. One-third goes to the Municipality’s general fund, and one-third to service the bond debt and operations of the Anchorage Convention Centers. ACVB receives no state or federal funds. Visit www.Anchorage.net for more information.

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