In October, Anchorage hosted the International Economic Development Council‘s Annual Conference. More than 1,000 individuals representing 48 states, the District of Columbia, territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, Guam and eight Canadian Provinces attended. There were over 90 international attendees representing six continents and twelve different countries.
The conference boasted more than 200 local, national and international keynote speakers, breakout panelists and moderators. Alaska showcased the strong partnerships between government, the private sector and Alaska Native corporations. Plenary sessions offered insight into Native Alaskan culture and traditions and showcased the global diversity of the corporations representing them. With sessions like ‘Cashing in on Culture’ and ‘Putting Economic Development in the Hands of the Locals’, the Anchorage conference offered a fresh view on economic development.
The conference started with a unique pre-conference event taking participants from Anchorage to Seward on the Alaska Railroad. From there attendees enjoyed a spectacular wildlife and glacier cruise before returning to Anchorage. Local businesses, municipality and state government showcased the collaborative efforts that allow for an improved business climate in Alaska. The conference received outstanding reviews for both location and content, local businesses offered extended vacation options for those looking to enjoy a few extra days in Alaska before or after the conference and family members had a line-up of fantastic day excursions to enjoy.
The Conference allowed Anchorage and Alaska to showcase the abundant economic opportunity found in natural resources, human capital and emerging industries. Alaska’s location in the Arctic, coupled with being 9.5 hours (by air) from 90 percent of the industrialized world, drew attention to some of the advantages of expanding business to the state.