NIPS (the Conference and Workshop on Neural Information Processing Systems) is a machine learning and computational neuroscience conference held every December. It was first proposed in 1986, and for a long time, it was a small conference. Interest to NIPS significantly increased when deep learning started demonstrating great results in image recognition, speech recognition, and multiple other areas. Last year NIPS had 2500+ papers submitted and 5000+ people in attendance.
Deep Learning 2016: the Year in Review by Jan Bussieck.