Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

Hawaii Convention Center

by By Convene Staff | Nov 01, 2012

Where scientific and business innovation, much-needed relaxation, and the aloha spirit come together. 

Historically, Hawai‘i has drawn people from around the world, melding the mores of a wide array of ethnicities to create an accommodating host culture. This is the place where the Aloha Spirit prevails, making guests from around the globe feel welcome. The Hawaiian Islands offer a broad collection of superb meeting settings, a proven track record for hosting big events, fascinating activities, and highly experienced professionals who collaborate to meet group objectives and stay within budget.

The Hawai‘i Convention Center is uniquely situated: Its central location between Asia and the U.S. makes it an ideal venue for a wide range of meeting groups. The center’s top priority is to help Hawai‘i’s guests achieve their business goals through its tailored programs and versatile facilities. Located in Honolulu — the capital and economic center of Hawai‘i — the Hawai‘i Convention Center has served as the location for some of the U.S. and Pacific Rim’s largest and most notable meetings. 

Honolulu is equally convenient to — and provides a gateway between — the East and West. As one of the most multicultural cities in the U.S., this is a place where meeting attendees from around the world can gather in a relaxed, yet highly productive atmosphere and feel right at home. Honolulu’s mid-Pacific location enables people to conduct business with New York and Shanghai in the same day in a beautiful, natural setting while taking full advantage of a valuable resource: a robust hospitality industry capable of hosting gatherings large and small. 

Just last year, the city hosted nearly 20,000 guests for the November 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Coopera-tion Leaders’ Meeting (APEC), bringing worldwide attention to the city as a premier international meetings destination. That recognition comes on the heels of numerous awards heaped on Honolulu for its business-friendly atmosphere, safety, and quality of life. 

“Hawai‘i gets an A-plus,” Kurt Tong, U.S. Ambassador for APEC, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in November of last year, when comparing Hawai’i with other states that have hosted similar international economic meet-ings. “Hawai‘i definitely has proven it’s ready for the big time, ready for the big leagues.” During APEC, there was plenty of Internet bandwidth for delegates, Tong said, and Hawai‘i’s famous Aloha Spirit shined through. This allowed thousands of attendees to work productively amid a backdrop of efficient service and hospitality. 

“I received zero complaints but, seriously, a lot of compliments,” he told the Star-Advertiser . “Zero complaints is unusual. The compliments were for transpor-tation, the hotels, the meeting sites, and the agenda. People especially liked the convention center. Several delegations said, ‘We should do more meetings in Hawai‘i.’” Tong continued, saying: “When people are relaxed, they think more clearly, and when they think more clearly, they’re more likely to come to conclusions that result in agreements. ... It’s really important that Hawai‘i was able to convey a sense of being an effec-tive place to do business — they did that. Hawai‘i was successful in conveying a unique sense of welcome, and was successful in conveying a sense of respect for the environment.” 

Magnet for the Sciences

Hawai‘i has long been a melting pot of cultures, values, languages, and cuisines. Today, Hawai‘i frequently breaks news on the science front, as it is home to numerous leading organizations and com-panies in such fields as aquaculture, astronomy, biotechnology, agribusiness, space exploration, oceanography, and genetic research. During APEC, Hawai‘i’s business and community leaders showcased this destination’s advancements in four primary areas: 
  • Renewable energy — In 2008, the State launched the Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative to provide a framework for reducing the state’s dependence on imported fossil fuels, making Hawai‘i a leader in innovation opportunities in the clean energy industry. 
  • Life and health sciences — Hawai‘i is a living laboratory for the overlapping needs of science and business, attracting leading scientists and researchers from around the world. The state-of-the-art University of Hawai‘i John A. Burns School of Medicine in Honolulu’s Kaka‘ako district anchors a waterfront business park and serves as a corner-stone of biotechnology research in Hawai‘i. 
  • Ocean, earth, and sky sciences — From its sandy beaches to snow-capped mountains, Hawai‘i has 11 of the 13 global climatic zones. It is the ideal place for companies in planetary and space sciences to develop innovations. 
  • Meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions — Hawai‘i is a global gathering place with a long and successful history of welcoming people from around the world. 
Thinking about expanding beyond U.S. shores? The Hawai‘i Convention Center has an innovative approach. Its Business Ambassadors and Global Outreach pro-grams can provide top-level partnerships with influential local constituents and their respective national, regional, and international affiliates. Through these programs, the center delivers another layer of support, essentially becoming an extension of your marketing team. 

“The Hawai‘i Convention Center taught us how to do international outreach, both culturally and from the point of view of an organization hoping to build attendance,” said American Academy of Neurology Executive Director and CEO Catherine M. Rydell, CAE. “We worked for three years with the center on our international outreach program and strategy, and will now integrate these highly successful efforts into a national campaign for future meetings.” 

For more information, visit hawaiiconvention.com

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