A Festive Month of December

The holidays are in full swing here at the Hawaii Convention Center!  We began the month of December with a host of holiday parties and celebrations by local business such as First Hawaiian Bank and as well as private companies who availed of our Holiday Paina Menu.

We also took this time to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor with a series of banquets on December 5th  and 7th honoring the World War II veterans.

Of course, December would not be complete without the annual Honolulu Marathon Expo held last Dec 8 to 10, 2016. The Expo is free and open to the public, welcoming close to 30,000 attendees annually. Marathon participants also come here to pick up their race day packets and get a chance to shop for official merchandise and explore various vendors.

Lastly, we wrapped up the 2016 event calendar with our very own Sunset Mele on the Rooftop. It was a fun night for the whole family, featuring local vendors and entertainers, picture taking with Santa Claus and the screening of the movie ‘Finding Dory’. What a great way to celebrate the holidays as we look forward to an even better 2017!

From ‘Ohana to yours, we wish you all Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau’oli Makahiki Hou (Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year)!


Feeling the Holiday Spirit at HCC

Feeling the Holiday Spirit at HCC


Fighting Two Wars: Japanese American Veterans Tribute

Fighting Two Wars: Japanese American Veterans Tribute

A Month of Fashion, Arts and Thanksgiving

As we enter the last few months of Fall, we welcome cooler weather, shorter days and a more relaxed atmosphere here at the Hawaii Convention Center. This is a time where we get a chance to look back and appreciate how much we have accomplished this year and look forward to ending strong in 2016.
The month of November began with the Hawaii Asian Art Auction. Over 400 pieces of Asian art and antiques was on display in our 3rd floor Room 317AB from November 2 – 4, 2016 where attendees were able to preview various pieces before culminating in a live auction from November 5 – 6, 2016.
Next was Honolulu Fashion Week 2016 from November 10- 12, 2016. Held in our Kamehameha Exhibit Hall 3, this event showcased Hawaii’s unique fashion talents joined by world-renowned fashion designers, stylists, and industry experts. Check out some of the photos below.
We also partnered with Hawaii Tourism Korea to put together a FAM Tour where we welcomed 5 clients representing the top 10 companies in Korea. Held last November 13 – 18, 2018, we had the opportunity to showcase the best of Honolulu and Maui to five select VIPs. We would like to thank the entire HTK as well as our various industry partners for contributing to the success of this FAM!

Lastly, as this is the season of Thanksgiving, we would like to extend our Mahalos to all of you for your constant support and collaboration. Your warm hospitality and expert guidance have helped us explore new opportunities this year and we look forward to a great 2017 with you!


The Honolulu Fashion Week 2016, presented by Hawaiian Airlines and Honolulu Magazine, highlighted international and local designers on their runway shows.

The Honolulu Fashion Week 2016, presented by Hawaiian Airlines and Honolulu Magazine, highlighted international and local designers on their runway shows.

The inaugural Hawaii Asian Art Auction showcased over 400 unique Asian art and antiques for live auction.

  The inaugural Hawaii Asian Art Auction showcased over 400 unique Asian art and antiques for live auction.


Mahalo to the Hawai‘i Tourism Korea team for a successful 2016 Hawai‘i MCI FAM!

Mahalo to the Hawai‘i Tourism Korea team for a successful 2016 Hawai‘i MCI FAM!

A Month of Science, Arts and Culture This October

October has proven to be another productive month here at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. We began with PRiME 2016, the largest, most significant research conference in the world. Held every 4 years, this international gathering is the joint effort of The Electrochemical Society (ECS), The Electrochemical Society of Japan (ECSJ), and The Korean Electrochemical Society (KECS). Much of the research being discussed here supports efforts advancing the scientific discipline involved with the renewable energy, biomedical, water sanitation, communications, transportation, and infrastructure sectors.

PRiME 2016 Highlights

PRiME 2016 Highlights

Following PRiME 2016 is a series of exciting local events ranging from the Amazing Hawaii Comic Convention, to Chopsticks and Wine to our very own Sunset Mele on the Rooftop which featured great local artists, a Halloween costume contest and the screening of the feature film Transylvania 2.

We end the month with the much anticipated Hawaii Food and Wine Festival, featuring world class chefs showcasing their menu creations! Our very own Chef Kevin Nakata also participated!



Lastly, we also recently unveiled three new cultural exhibits which are now on display at our 3rd level so the next time you are at HCC, feel free to stop by and check it out!



Three New Cultural Exhibits Unveiled at Hawaii Convention Center

Kī Hō‘alu: Honoring The Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Tradition

Kī Hō‘alu: Honoring The Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Tradition

Ma Kai – To the Sea – Seaward

Ma Kai – To the Sea – Seaward

‘Ahu‘ula o Kekūhaupi‘o

Artwork honors history of slack key guitar, surfing, and Chief Kekūhaupi‘o

The Hawai‘i Convention Center (HCC), the state’s largest meetings facility with a $2.5 million collection of local artwork, today unveiled three new exhibits celebrating the history of kī hō‘alu (or slack key guitar), the legendary sport of surfing, and Hawai‘i’s high chief Kekūhaupi‘o during a special blessing and ceremony this evening on the Center’s third floor concourse. More than 100 cultural, business and hospitality industry leaders attended the event.

Presented by AEG Facilities, the sponsorship of the new exhibits is part of HCC’s ongoing commitment to perpetuating Hawaiian culture as the management company of the Center. The investment ensures Hawaiian culture, history and heritage remains the focus and foundation of Hawai‘i storytelling and ensures an understanding of what makes places like the Hawaiian Islands and HCC so extraordinary is passed on to others. The initiative is also supported by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, and the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative.

“When the Hawai‘i Convention Center opened in 1998, not only was it designed to be a world- class meetings destination, it was also designed with a Hawai‘i ‘sense of place’ in mind,” said Teri Orton, HCC general manager. “Bringing the outside natural environment in is evident in its architectural design. However, one thing AEG Facilities and our staff are most proud of is the fact that this Center also boasts an impressive collection of local art thanks to our partnership with the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and its ‘Art in Public Places’ program.”

The three new exhibits debuted on September 27, 2016:

Kī Hō‘alu: Honoring The Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Tradition

This exhibit was presented earlier this year at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles as part of Mele Mei, a month-long celebration of Hawai‘i’s music, hula and culture. The GRAMMY Museum, in partnership with the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts and Outrigger Enterprises Group, presented the exhibit exploring one of the world’s greatest acoustic guitar traditions. With a history that dates back to the 1800s when the Spanish and Mexican cowboys came to Hawai‘i with their guitars, the unique sound of slack key comes from the resonance of the tunings and techniques that mimic the yodels and falsettos rooted in ancient chants that are common in Hawaiian singing. Through artifacts and historical instruments that trace the history of this Hawaiian music tradition, the Museum’s tribute to the slack key guitar served as the official kickoff of the Mele Mei 2016 celebration in Hawai‘i. It now returns home to Hawai‘i. Click here for more information.

Ma Kai – To the Sea – Seaward

This exhibit is a visual display of the importance of the Hawaiian sport of surfing, which has introduced the Hawaiian culture and Aloha spirit to the world. From Waikīkī, Mākaha and the North Shore, Hawaiian surfers brought their surfboards, culture and lifestyle to the coast of California and in doing so, often this became the first interaction between a Hawaiian and someone from the continent. This story is captured and shared in this exhibit by Allan Seymour of Classic Surf featuring a collection of four rare and vintage surfboards, surfing photos, original oil paintings, and surf memorabilia. Items on display include Duke Kahanamoku’s redwood surfboard circa 1920s, George Downing’s Mākaha Gun balsawood surfboard circa 1950s, Gerry Lope’s Pipeline Mini-Gun surfboard circa 1970s, Wade Koniakowsky’s original oil painting of Duke Kahanamoku, and much more. Click here for more information.

‘Ahu‘ula o Kekūhaupi‘o

This exhibit honors one the most influential and probably least known chiefs in Hawaiian history. Kekūhaupi‘o was said to be a master of Hawaiian martial arts, first serving as Kamehameha the Great’s combat instructor before becoming his loyal bodyguard, fearless warrior, and trusted advisor. In honor of Kekūhaupi‘o’s role in Hawaiian history, the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative commissioned master feather worker Rick San Nicolas in 2016 to create a replica of the cloak and helmet worn by the chief. In ancient times, feather cloaks and capes were symbols of power and social standing in Hawaiian culture. Only high-ranking chiefs or warriors of great ability were entitled to wear these exceptional garments. The bright, velvet-like feathers came from tropical honeycreepers. Red feathers mainly from the ‘i‘iwi and ‘apapane. Yellow feathers mainly from the ‘ō‘ō and mamo. Although the color red was associated with chiefs and the gods, yellow became the most prized color owing to the scarcity of the feathers. Click here for more information.

“These exhibits add a lot of depth to the already impressive art experience here at the Hawai‘i Convention Center and really builds upon an engaging narrative that honors the best of what Hawai‘i is all about including our traditions, history and heritage, and celebrating the native Hawaiian culture,” said Brad Gessner, senior vice president for AEG Facilities. “After seeing these incredible new exhibits, I’m confident even more locals and visitors alike will be drawn to explore these beautiful exhibits further when coming to HCC for meetings, conventions and events.”

In addition to its support of the arts, AEG Facilities and HCC is also partnering with the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative on the island of Hawai‘i to create the “Hawai‘i Convention Center Legacy Forest” on the slopes of Maunakea. HCC has committed to planting one million koa trees to give back to the land and help offset the carbon footprint of travelers coming to the islands for meetings and conventions.

All HCC art exhibits are free, self-guided and open to the public daily during normal business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Media Contacts:

Nathan Kam

Anthology Marketing Group


808-741-2763 mobile

Patrick Dugan

Anthology Marketing Group


808-741-2712 mobile

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About AEG Facilities

AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Anschutz Company, is the leading sports,
entertainment and venue operator in the world. AEG Facilities, a stand-alone affiliate of AEG, owns, operates or consults with more than 100 of the industry’s preeminent venues worldwide, across five continents, providing complete venue management, as well as specialized programs in operations, guest services, ticketing, booking, sales and marketing. AEG Facilities also provides resources and access to other AEG-affiliated entities, including live event producer, AEG Live, AEG Global Partnerships, AEG Development, AEG 1Earth, AEG Encore and AEG Creative to support the success of AEG venues across the globe. The Los Angeles-based organization owns, operates or provides services to the world’s most elite venues, including STAPLES Center (Los Angeles, Calif.), StubHub Center (Carson, Calif.), Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE (Los Angeles, Calif.), Sprint Center (Kansas City, Mo.), KFC Yum! Center (Louisville, Ky.), AmericanAirlines Arena (Miami, Fla.), Prudential Center (Newark, N.J.), Target Center (Minneapolis, Minn.) and BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston, Texas). Among the roster of world class convention centers and other facilities managed by the division are the Los Angeles Convention Center, Hawai’i Convention Center (Honolulu, HI), Qatar National Convention Center, Oman Convention and Exhibition Center (Muscat, Oman), Sydney International Conception, Exhibition, and Entertainment District, Cairns Convention Center and Darwin Conventions Centre. Other venues include Oracle Arena and O.co Coliseum (Oakland, Calif.), CONSOL Energy Center (Pittsburgh, Penn.), Rabobank Arena (Bakersfield, Calif.), MercedesBenz Arena (Shanghai, China), MasterCard Center (Beijing, China), The O2 Arena (London, England), O2 World (Berlin, Germany), O2 World Hamburg (Hamburg, Germany), Ahoy Arena (Rotterdam, Netherlands), Itaipava Arena Pernambuco (Recife, Brazil), Allianz Parque (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Allphones Arena (Sydney, Australia), Ülker Sports Arena (Istanbul, Turkey), Ericsson Globe Arena (Stockholm, Sweden) and the. For more information, please visit aegworldwide.com.

Special note to media: HTA recognizes the use of the ‘okina [‘] or glottal stop, one of the eight consonants of the (modern) Hawaiian language; and the kahakō [ā] or macron (e.g., in place names of Hawai‘i such as Lāna‘i). However, HTA respects the individual use of these markings for names of organizations and businesses.

Registration for 2016 Hawai’i Tourism Conference Extended by Demand

HeaderDue to significant demand after the registration deadline, we have extended registration for the 2016 Hawai’i Tourism Conference until the start of the conference on 9/26!

Tracks include: Culture – Environment – Education – Visitor Experience – Media & Technology – Marketing – Lodging – China and Japan Business Development.

Don’t miss a full week of collaboration and networking on industry-leading vision, best practices and solutions, plus:

– An expanded global summit track with headliners including MLS star & Galaxy President Chris Klein and Clippers President Gillian Zucker in our sports marketing session; travel TV celebrities Adam Richman hosting Roy Yamaguchi and a list of culinary tourism leaders, and Don Wildman hosting session on local experiences and customized travel; founder of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism Louis D’Amore, and a list of high-profile industry executives.

– the 2016 Tourism Legacy Awards honoring Hawai’i’s Gifts to the World, this year featuring surfing

– The Village Square – An iconic centerpiece to a new collaborative format & layout, with Exhibitors, an #HTClive Social Media Studio, Tech Hub, Immersive 360 VR experiences, a Showcase of Hawai’i’s signature events & festivals, Demos & Workshops

– AM Aloha Activities and Evening ‘Ohana Time sessions at host hotels

– Live entertainment throughout the week including a special performance by Willie K on Friday.

Register for the full week at a discount or choose the days that best suit your interests. Reserve your limited spot today at www.hawaiitourismconference.com.

$375 full conference
$250 two days
$185 single day

Don’t forget to check out our discount hotel accommodations and inter-island airfare being offered through our partners OUTRIGGER HOTELS & RESORTS and ISLAND AIR. Details available on the website.

We look forward to seeing you in September.

Hawaiian Culture Being Showcased at the Hawai‘i Tourism Conference, Sept. 26-30


10 Sessions – the Most Ever – to Address How Hawaiian Culture is Transforming, Strengthening the Hawai‘i Experience

The Native Hawaiian culture and how its legacy continues to strengthen the experience of living in and visiting the Hawaiian Islands in modern times, will be a major point of emphasis at the 2016 Hawai‘i Tourism Conference, Sept. 26-30 (www.hawaiitourismconference.com).

Under the theme Transforming Tourism Together, the conference is being presented by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) and hosted at the world-class Hawai‘i Convention Center.

Kalani Ka‘anā‘anā, HTA director of Hawaiian cultural affairs, noted that in keeping with the theme’s spirit, there are 10 conference sessions – the most ever – focused on how the Native Hawaiian culture is transforming the way people experience the Hawai‘i of today (schedule below).

“Anyone who is committed to seeing the host culture of these islands thrive within the broad scope of Hawai‘i tourism will be interested in the topics being discussed,” said Ka‘anā‘anā. “The sessions will be inspirational, educational and reinforce our cultural connections to the state’s largest industry.”

Ka‘anā‘anā added that the Native Hawaiian culture is at the foundation of everything HTA does in promoting the Hawai‘i travel experience. “The cultural traditions of the Native Hawaiian people are what makes our islands such a desirable and welcoming destination to travelers worldwide.”

Altogether, the conference will feature 60 sessions covering a wide variety of topics important to the future of travel and the Hawaiian Islands. In addition to Hawaiian culture, other topics being addressed include the environment, climate change, technology, global marketing, and LGBT travel.

For more information and to register for the conference, visit www.hawaiitourismconference.com. Discounts are available for groups, educators and students. Optional island tours are available on the pre-conference opening day, Sept. 26.

Schedule of Hawaiian Culture Sessions

Sept. 27
Hawaiian Culture in Retail
9:45 – 11:15 a.m., Room 313
Moderator: Kalani Ka‘anā‘anā, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority
Speakers: Maile Meyer, Na Mea Hawai‘i
Kapono‘ai Molitau, Native Intelligence
Monte McComber, Royal Hawaiian Center
Description: Hear unique success stories from Native Hawaiian entrepreneurs on triumphs and challenges in the retail sector, with a focus on international consumers and the expanding marketplace

From Family Lands to Landmark Destinations
2:30 – 3:45 p.m., Room 311
Moderator: Pohai Ryan, Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association
Speakers: John Morgan, Kualoa Ranch
Lani Weigert, Hawai‘i AgriTourism
Matt Yamashita, Sons of Hālawa
Pilipo Solatorio, Sons of Hālawa
Description: The evolution of Hawai‘i’s ‘ohana farms into sustainable tourism practices is a unique legacy. Learn how to overcome challenges particular to keeping a property viable while
turning them into destination opportunities.

Museums, Monuments and Mansions: The Transformation of Hawaiian History into Destination Attractions
4:00 – 5:15 p.m., Room 312
Moderator: Kainoa Daines, O‘ahu Visitors Bureau
Speakers: Albert “Chucky Boy” Chock, Kaua‘i Museum
Mahealani Bernal, Queen Emma Summer Palace
Sunshine Chip, Hulihe‘e Palace
Description: Learn about the process and community support that set a model for transforming historic properties into Hawaiian cultural cornerstones.

Sept. 28
Sharing Mo‘olelo of Resorts
9:45 – 11:15 a.m., Room 313
Moderator: Ku‘uipo Kumukahi, Hyatt Regency of Waikiki
Speakers: Daniel Kaniela Akaka, Mauna Lani Resort
Clifford Naeole, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
Kahulu De Santos, Aulani, A Disney Resort
Description: The importance of embodying and honoring the Hawaiian sense of place in creating exceptional visitor experiences.

Cultural Heritage Tourism and Native Peoples
11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Room 316
Moderator: Pohai Ryan, Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association
Speakers: Edward Hall, AIANTA/BIA
Aimee D. Awonohopay, AIANTA
Maurice Manawatu, Maori Tours Kaikouru
Description: Collaborate on the growing interest in cultural heritage tourism and native communities, and how to share it with the world.

Aloha Today and Beyond
1:45 – 2:45 p.m., Room 312
Moderator: State Senator Brickwood Galuteria
Speakers: Peter Apo, OHA Trustee
John De Fries, County of Hawai‘i, Office of Economic Development
Description: This session examines the vision of Dr. George Kanahele and the role of Hawaiian culture in the tourism sector. The second portion of the session will attempt to define the
next generation of aloha by John De Fries.

Kūkākūkā: A Talk Story with Hawai‘i’s Cultural Specialists
3:00 – 3:45 p.m., Room 312
Moderator: Kainoa Daines, O‘ahu Visitors Bureau
Speakers: All Participants
Description: This session will give participants a unique opportunity to talk story and share their successes, challenges and emerging trends for cultural resources at Hawai‘i’s resorts and retail operations.

A Hawaiian Worldview: Practical Applications in Business
3:45 – 5:30 p.m., Room 312
Moderator: Doug Chang, The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach
Speakers: Debbie Nakanelua-Richards, Hawaiian Airlines
Corbett Kalama, Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
Gordon Umi Kai, Avis/Budget
Description: Explores strategies for creating systemic change in the visitor industry that promote Hawaiian values.

‘Imi Noi‘i: Hawaiian Research and Resources for Today’s Hawaiian Cultural Resource Specialist
4:45 – 5:30 p.m., Room 312
Moderator: Hi‘ilani Shibata, Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association
Speakers: Puakea Nogelmeier, Awaiaulu
DeSoto Brown, Bishop Museum
Cy Bridges, Kumu Hula
Description: Explores the essential resources of Hawaiian ‘ike, or knowledge, to access and utilize these materials.

About the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority
The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority is responsible for strategically managing the State of Hawai‘i’s marketing initiatives to support tourism. HTA’s goal is to optimize tourism’s benefits for Hawai‘i, while being
attentive to the interests of travelers, the community and visitor industry. Established in 1998 to support Hawai‘i’s leading industry and largest employer, HTA continually strives to help ensure the sustainability
of tourism’s success.

For more information about HTA, please visit www.hawaiitourismauthority.org. Follow updates about HTA on Facebook, Twitter (@HawaiiHTA) and its YouTube Channel.

HTA Media Contacts:

Charlene Chan
Director of Communications
Hawaii Tourism Authority
(808) 973-2272 (o)
(808) 781-7733 (m)

Patrick Dugan
Senior Vice President
Anthology Marketing Group
(808) 539-3411 (o)
(808) 741-2712 (m)