6 SEPTMBER 2017
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
within one mile of the 1.1-million-square-
foot Hawaii Convention Center (HCC).
“Oahu’s value as a meetings destination
consistently provides a proven return on
investment,” says Neister. “The dynamic
blend of urban energy and rural charm is
hard to find elsewhere.”
These surprising aspects generate enthu-
siasm among attendees to hana hou (do it
again) since they can map out completely
different exploits even at an alternate desti-
nation on the same island.
The Power of Partnerships
Since each of the six major Hawaiian Islands
offers iconic experiences, it’s imperative for meeting professionals to under-stand the depth of options at their fingertips.
Neister encourages partnering with Meet
Hawaii’s seasoned sales team to help clarify
this multi-faceted destination.
A collaboration of the Hawaii Tourism
Authority (HTA), HTA’s Global Marketing
Teams and the Hawaii Convention Center
(HCC), Meet Hawaii reinforces the Hawaiian
Islands brand for global MICE programs.
“Our mission is to make it easy for
planners to succeed in doing business on
any island in the Aloha State and support
them in creating a rewarding program that
satisfies all of their objectives,” says Neister.
“We book, plan and execute successful
programs with the goal of making planners
look like ‘rock stars’ in the eyes of their
client or boss.”
She adds that Meet Hawaii arms
planners with a clearer vision of the
nuances in hosting
meetings in the Hawaiian
Islands to both enhance
and simplify the planning
process. “We help planners
get the most from their
budgets by connecting
the dots to an extensive
network of industry
partners and resources
statewide,” Neister says.
“They can truly draw from
our aina (
land/environ-ment) for the basis of their
programs and the hookipa
(hospitality) that is palat-
able for the servicing of
When comparing Hawaii
to optional MICE destinations, Neister urges
planners to factor in that exclusive “aloha
spirit.” “It truly helps create a genuine,
hospitable environment that’s ideal for
cultivating new ideas, strengthening existing
relationships and building new owns.” n
The Hyatt Regency Waikiki
Beach Resort affords
Surfing on Oahu’s North Shore is
among the best in the world.
Fueling the Millennial Mindset
Millennials have now surpassed baby boomers as the largest generational market in the
U.S.—making it a tantalizing target among tourism players across the globe. The Hawaii
Tourism Authority (HTA) is no exception.
This adventure-driven niche is sparked by experiential, transformative travel that organically allows one to feel like a local. “What we see with today’s millennial meeting planners
is that they have a strong desire to uphold what has always been important to Hawaii’s
culture—an awareness for Hawaii’s sense of place,” says Mary Beth Kahn-Barnett, chief
sales officer for the destination management company MC&A, Inc.
“This can be anything from weaving locally grown foods into all culinary aspects of their
To foster creative thinking and bonding, team building shapes up through outrigger
events to partnering with local breweries and distilleries such as Ocean Vodka, Koloa Rum,
Maui Brewing Company and Kona Brewing Company.”
Kahn-Barnett adds that millennial planners roll that focus into multiple event layers for
an even deeper connection. “They’re keen on infusing products like Kula Lavender, Surfing
Goat Dairy cheeses and Sea Salts of Hawaii as room amenities or marketplace items for
taking home as memories of an incentive trip.”
It also plays out in mele (song or chant) through the Hawaiian Islands’ vast network of
entertainers, musicians, dancers and recording artists. “These performers refine programs by
adding a wow factor that rivals any that can be found on the U.S. mainland and beyond,”
canoe paddling and throw-net fishing. On the stewardship front, groups can dig into kalo
(taro) harvesting from a loi (irrigated agricultural terrace) and restoring a centuries-old loko
Kahn-Barnett notes that the resulting Hawaiian-style teamwork, camaraderie and great
sense of accomplishment define authenticity that’s distinctive to the islands.