Hawai`i Convention Center Receives 13th Consecutive Prime Site Award

The Hawai`i Convention Center has received its 13th consecutive Prime Site Award from Facilities & Destinations magazine and is one of 29 convention center facilities managed by SMG nationally to win the award this year.

Prime Site Awards are decided by meetings and conventions industry leaders directly involved with site selection, including promoters, booking agents, and event planners.  Voting is based on convenience of location, facility attractiveness and maintenance, professionalism of staff, cuisine, and technological capabilities.

Facilities & Destinations magazine, a monthly publication for professional planners of meetings, entertainment, and special events, described Hawai`i as a place that offers an ideal strategic location between east and west, and the Center’s team as “well versed in the nuances of conducting business on an international level.”  The magazine highlighted the Center’s various global marketing tools and effortless information sharing and application process for international attendees.

The Hawai`i Convention Center continues to strengthen its international outreach program, drawing thousands of participants from countries throughout the world at its largest meetings and tapping into growing interest from Korea, China, and other areas in the Pacific Rim.

Cultural Training Program

As the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2011 Leaders’ Meeting approaches, nearly 100 Hawai`i Convention Center staff are attending training sessions to learn more about one of the APEC member economies:  China.

The sessions are part of Kapiolani Community College’s (KCC) Chinese cultural training program, and are intended to help Center staff get a better understanding for the appropriate protocol when interacting with Chinese visitors.  Center staff members – ranging from the executive team to engineers, greeters, and housekeepers – are learning appropriate greetings, phrases, and etiquette.

In addition to APEC preparations, China is a major emerging visitor market for Hawai`i, adding to the popularity of the program.  Nearly 3,000 visitor industry employees have taken part since its start nearly two years ago, after KCC established the training with a grant from the Hawai`i Tourism Authority.

Training is available in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean cultures, although about 70 percent of the participation so far has been focused on China.

Read more about the Center’s participation in the program and other efforts to prepare for November’s APEC meeting in Pacific Business News.

American Psychiatric Association’s 164th Annual Meeting Raises $7,158 in Donations for Hawai`i Nonprofit

APA President Carol Bernstein, MD, presents Mental Health Kokua Executive Director & CEO Greg Payton with a check at the APA Annual Meeting opening session on May 15, at the Hawai`i Convention Center. Donations continued to be accepted throughout the conference, reaching $7,158 by its close on May 18.

The American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) 164th Annual Meeting raised $7,158 in donations for Hawai`i nonprofit Mental Health Kokua.

The meeting, held May 14-18, drew nearly 10,000 participants who were invited to make a donation as part of this year’s “APA Gives Back Program,” which supports a group in the community hosting APA’s annual meeting. APA also hosted the Hawai`i Aloha Classic 2011 golf tournament in partnership with the Waipahu Aloha Club at the Waikele Country Club on May 13 to assist in raising funds.

This year’s recipient, Mental Health Kokua, helps people with mental illness achieve optimum recovery and the ability to function in their community. APA’s contribution will support the organization’s tele-health program, which provides care to dozens of people across the state, many of whom live in rural areas, who are recovering from mental illness.

This was the second year of the “APA Gives Back Program,” which raised $7,000 for the Mission in New Orleans in 2010.

APA was the Center’s second-largest meeting of the year, following the APEC 2011 Leaders’ Meeting in November. APA last met in Honolulu in 1973.