This year was one of the largest Frontline Tradeshows yet, with 100 vendors and 565 people total. From Utqiagvik to Homer, vendors represented a wide range of services and products, including restaurants, lodging, transportation, art and culture, and tours of all types.
The tradeshow serves as an early pulse on how businesses can ensure an exceptional experience for visitors. “The Frontline Tradeshow was a fantastic opportunity for a new business such as ourselves,” Chelsea Smith of Hike Alaska shares. “Beyond reaching frontline workers and pitching our services, we were able to make connections with local tour operators and to gain feedback about our business from others in the industry before we even started the season.”
Visit Anchorage has coordinated events to showcase tourism services and products to frontline staff for over 10 years. Longtime members continue to participate in the tradeshow for its benefits. Mike Monetrusso of Alaska Botanical Garden explains why they look forward to attending next year, “The Alaska Botanical Garden benefits immensely from the Frontline Tradeshow. It’s a great opportunity network with other members of the tourist industry and inform others of our events and details.”
The opportunities to network and to learn about new product offerings are benefits to the tradeshow that members cite most often. Byan Caenepeel of Big Swig Tours echoes those same sentiments, but also reminds us that the Frontline Tradeshow is an opportunity to "share my business with some of our most valuable industry assets, the frontline employees of tourism businesses across Southcentral Alaska.”
Karen Kroon of the Anchorage Museum sums it up well, “The Spring Frontline Trade Show is a great opportunity to speak one-on-one with the tour directors, business owners, Visit Anchorage volunteers, and many others in the tourism industry who will be speaking with our Alaska Visitors all summer long. These wonderful people talk about the Anchorage Museum all summer to their guests looking for ‘what to do’ in Anchorage. It is a very important part of our outreach plan and a lot of fun!”