AO to meet in Phoenix

Search Dental Tribune

AO to meet in Phoenix

The newly upgraded Phoenix Convention Center is the site of the Academy of Osseointegration’s annual meeting. (DTI/Photo provided by Academy of Osseointegration)
Kevin P. Smith, Academy of Osseointegration

Kevin P. Smith, Academy of Osseointegration

Wed. 29 February 2012


PHOENIX, Ariz., USA: For the first time in the Academy of Osseointegration’s 28-year history, the AO Annual Meeting will be held in downtown Phoenix, also known as “Valley of the Sun.” Why haven’t the AO leaders previously elected to hold the meeting in the largest capital city in the United States (1,445,632 people, 2010 U.S. Census)? In a word, because until recently, Phoenix didn’t have a convention center large enough to accommodate the academy’s expanding meeting space needs.

Early settler and former Confederate veteran Jack Swilling, who came west to seek wealth in the 1850s, probably never imagined the growth that was to come to the city he founded and wanted to call Pumpkinville because of the large pumpkins that flourished in the area. Now it attracts more than 13 million visitors each year. As you can imagine, Swilling didn’t get too much support for the Pumpkinville name, so he decided to call his new settlement “Stonewall,” after General Stonewall Jackson. It wasn’t until his good friend, Lord Darrell Duppa, suggested the name Phoenix to describe a city born from the ruins of a former civilization, the Hohokam peoples, that the name was finally accepted.

The leaders of the academy agreed Phoenix (located in the Sonoran Desert) would be a perfect place to hold the AO 27th Annual Meeting, from March 1-3. Its newly expanded Phoenix Convention Center is specifically designed to exhibit the look and feel of the Southwestern culture in a warm winter climate, with daily winter temperatures in the mid-70s. It was agreed that many of the Eastern and Midwestern AO members would certainly appreciate meeting in this subtropical and arid climate, as a relief from harsh winter climates.

A multi-phased $600 million expansion project, which nearly tripled the size of the Phoenix Convention Center, makes it possible to hold the academy’s 2012 meeting there. The design of the convention center features steel canopies that extend over Third Street to create shade. The large glass and stone atrium in the West Building represents the unique angles and light of an Arizona canyon. More than $3.2 million of fine art is on display throughout the convention center. Also, many restaurants are in the food court for all attendees to enjoy.

The entire meeting takes place in the convention center, which is located just across the street from the academy’s official meeting hotels, the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel and Hyatt Regency Phoenix, both just four miles from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Airport shuttle transportation will again be provided for all attendees by a grant from Astra Tech.

There is lots to see and do while attending the meeting, with many museums and attractions to enjoy for a uniquely Southwestern experience. Stroll through the Desert Botanical Garden to see desert plants, or visit the Heard Museum for Native American art and culture. If it‘s contemporary art you seek, the Phoenix Art Museum and SMOCA are for you. If you have kids, the Children’s Museum of Phoenix and the Phoenix Zoo are must-dos.

Save the Arizona Science Museum for the President’s Reception, open to all registered AO meeting attendees. The President’s Reception on Friday night at the Science Center will include the Irene Flinn Theater featuring IMAX technology enabling outstanding films in 3-D. The reception is sponsored by DENTSPLY Tulsa Dental.

Also, we will have the new Dorrance Planetarium reserved throughout the evening, with special planetarium shows designed just for AO attendees. The Science Center promises to be another AO social event experience that you will not want to miss.

The entire facility is open for the evening with convenient serving stations located throughout the premises. A special, high-powered telescope exhibition will be offered in the observatory area just for AO guests. Who knows, you might even see the remnants from the famous “Phoenix Lights” UFO sightings that took place exactly 12 years ago to the date of our March meeting.

If you have some spare time from the busy meeting sessions, explore the Phoenix area’s natural sights, as it is known for its lush and colorful deserts and rugged mountains.

For the more adventurous, you can partake in the area’s hiking and biking trails. Also, during the time of the AO meeting, 15 major league baseball teams will be conducting spring training in the metro Phoenix area in what is known as The Cactus League. You can get up close and personal with your favorite major league stars.

We expect many attendees will consider staying a few extra days to visit the Sedona Valley and/or the Grand Canyon, only 90 minutes away. It’s no secret that Phoenix and Scottsdale also boast some of the world’s top-rated golf courses, so don’t forget to pack your clubs and book 18 holes at one of more than 200 golf courses in the area. Prospects are excellent for a pleasant day of golf, as Phoenix boasts 310 days of sun throughout the year.

How can you not plan to attend the Academy of Osseointegration’s 27th Annual Meeting? You owe it to yourself, your staff and family to join us, take advantage of everything that Phoenix has to offer, obtain C.E. credits and keep up-to-date with the latest dental implant technology. The annual meeting theme, “Technology to Practice,“ has been carefully designed to provide stimulating and evidence-based presentations that offer something for everyone.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *