Hawai‘i Convention Center to Host First-Ever Holiday Festival and Ice Skating Rink

The Hawai‘i Convention Center will offer guests more reasons to celebrate the holiday season with a new festival and ice skating rink. The Center’s 56,000 sq. ft. exhibit hall space will be transformed into a month-long “Winter Wishes – A Holiday Festival” from Nov. 29-Dec. 24, 2019, and will offer a full lineup of activities for the entire family, including:

• Opening celebration with tree-lighting ceremony and special guest Kristi Yamaguchi
• An expansive 82’ x 50’ indoor ice-skating rink featuring themed events for up to 164 skaters
• Winter Wishes Marketplace with 50 vendors
• Photos with Santa (take your own/professional portraits)
• Winter Wishes Christmas Tree Forest with a decorating contest
• Gingerbread House Competition
• Musical Entertainment
• Holiday craft workshops
• Keiki activities and attractions
• Festive holiday cuisine and beverages
• Special ticketed events

“This signature holiday event offers visitors and kama‘aina from throughout Hawai‘i a fresh array of holiday experiences during this special season,” said Teri Orton, general manager, Hawai‘i Convention Center, managed by AEG Facilities. “We are particularly excited to partner with world-renowned figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi to benefit her Always Dream Foundation, which supports early childhood literacy and learning tools for low-income children and their families.”

A portion of the proceeds from “Winter Wishes – A Holiday Festival” will benefit the foundation’s work in Hawaii. The presenting sponsor of the event is Matson, Inc.
“Winter Wishes – A Holiday Festival” will be open from 4-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 4-10 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays from Nov. 29-Dec. 24, 2019 (hours subject to change). Parking is available for $10 per vehicle at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Tickets may be purchased online at honoluluboxoffice.com or at the door. Passes for the entire season will also be available for purchase. Children ages 2 and under are free, and special discount days will be offered.

For more information about the event or for sponsorship and vendor opportunities, click HERE or contact Michellee Phelps, communications and special events manager, at mphelps@hccasm.com.

Comics and Culture Converge at the Hawaii Convention Center

The month of August featured a series of repeat popular events that brought in local and international attendees alike. We kicked off the month with Comic Con Honolulu, back at the Hawaii Convention Center for their fifth year. This event welcomes fandoms of all types and featured guests from comic, gaming, TV and movies plus local artists and vendors.This was another successful year for them, bringing in over 9000 attendees during their 3-day event.

Next up, we welcomed repeat Japanese incentive group, Daito Kentaku, back for their annual reception in our Kamehameha Exhibit Halls. Their 3000 attendees enjoyed a delicious dinner prepared by our Executive Chef Hans Lentz. 

Finally, we are looking forward to the return of the Okinawan Festival from August 31 to September 1. As Hawaii’s largest ethnic festival, the Okinawan Festival promises to be a weekend full of delicious food, great entertainment and lots of fun for people of all ages! Last year, the festival moved indoors to the spacious and air-conditioned Convention Center which provided an opportunity to showcase additional activities and displays. They also had a record number of attendees estimated at 56,000! We look forward to welcoming them back and enjoying warm andagi and other yummy food offerings!

For more highlights and to find out more about our upcoming events, check out our photos below!

Get to know our new Executive Chef Hans Lentz! He was recently featured in Pacific Business News.
Comic book and sci-fi lovers big and small gathered at this year’s Comic Con Honolulu
Our F&B team continues to bewitch our attendees with these Harry Potter inspired cocktails served during the recent Comic Con Honolulu event
The Okinawan Festival is back at the Hawaii Convention Center! This is Hawaii’s largest ethnic festival featuring delicious food, great entertainment and lots of fun for people of all ages! The Okinawan Festival is the signature event of the Hawaii United Okinawa Association (HUOA). Proceeds from the Okinawan Festival fund the HUOA’s cultural programs.

Hawaii Convention Center Earns National Meetings Recognition

The IAVM has awarded the Center its first Venue Excellence Award

The Hawai‘i Convention Center has received the 2019 Venue Excellence Award from the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM). The award was presented last July 24, 2019 at the 94th annual VenueConnect in Chicago to Teri Orton, general manager and Mari Tait, director of operations of the Hawai‘i Convention Center, managed by ASM Global. It is the Center’s first IAVM Venue Excellence Award.

HCC General Manager Teri Orton (left) and Director of Operations Mari Tait (right) received the 2019 Venue Excellence Award on behalf of the Center

A Meeting of the Minds in July

July is heating up as we welcomed two major citywide conventions to the Hawaii Convention Center. First was the IUTOX 15th International Congress of Toxicology last July 15-18, 2019. This was the first meeting held in the US in nearly 25 years and was a great forum for scientists in academia, government and industry to learn about the latest developments in toxicological science and regulation.

To wrap up the month, the National Medical Association (NMA) is holding their Annual Convention and Scientific Assembly from July 27 – 31, 2019. It is the third time the convention has been held at the Center, following meetings in 2007 and 2014, and it is expected to draw 2,000 attendees. The conference, with a theme of “Continuing the Fight of Opioid Addiction through Prevention, Education, and Behavioral Therapies in African American Communities,” features a variety of presentation theaters covering specialized medical topics, as well as exhibit hall activities, continuing medical education programs, special workshops and general sessions. 

For more highlights and to find out more about our upcoming events, check out our photos below!

What an honor! We are excited to share that the Hawaii Convention Center has received the 2019 Venue Excellence Award from the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM). This award recognizes five IAVM member public assembly venues for excellence in management. HCC GM Teri Orton (left) and Director of Operations Mari Tait (right) received the award last July 24th at the 94th annual VenueConnect in Chicago.
The 15th International Congress of Toxicology last July 15-18, 2019 welcomed 1,200 attendees from around the world.
A perfect 5-O! We also welcomed back the 6th Annual Five-O Volleyball Classic to our Kamehameha Exhibit Halls. This tournament welcomed local adult volleyball teams, their friends and families for a three-day competition that culminated in a concert at our Kalakaua Ballroom.
Another lovely day for a Rooftop Garden reception.
A sweet showcase from our HCC Culinary team
Make-a-Wish Hawaii presented HCC with a plaque of appreciation to AEG Community Foundation, the newly formed charitable arm of AEG, which manages HCC. Earlier this year, Make-A-Wish Hawaii was awarded $25,000 to support its mission of granting life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses, and the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii was awarded $15,000 to support sports and culinary arts programs for at-risk youth. On behalf of AEG, our HCC GM Teri Orton (left) received the plaque from Make a Wish Hawaii President and CEO Trini Kaopuiki Clark (right).
We are excited to welcome back the National Medical Association (NMA) for their Annual Convention and Scientific Assembly from July 27 – 31, 2019. The NMA has served as the collective voice for African American physicians and a force for parity and justice in healthcare since 1895.

Warming Up For Summer

Things are heating up this summer month of June as we welcomed two major sporting events along with an educational conference plus a Music and Fashion Festival.

Among this month’s notable events was the Aloha Region Summer Volleyball Classic 2019 held last June 14-16, 2019 This tournament welcomed student volleyball teams aged 12 – 18 in our Kamehameha Exhibit Hall 1. Soon after was the Pacific Rim Championships from June 21 – 24, 2019. This basketball tournament, hosted by AAU’s Jam on It, utilized all of our 3 Exhibit Halls. 

Wrapping up June’s highlights is the first ever Hawaii Veteran’s Summit. Held over a two-day period, veterans, veterans’ organizations, and supportive services from all sectors were able to educate and network with veterans and their loved ones. Representatives from several service providers interacted with veterans to learn more about the needs of the veteran community. 

For more highlights and to find out more about our upcoming events, check out our photos below!

Our our Kamehameha Exhibit Hall 2 was all set up and ready for the first Hawaii Hotel & Restaurant Show last May 29 – 30, 2019!
Last month’s Hawaii Hotel & Restaurant Show showcased the very best of the hospitality industry in Hawaii. Featuring over 160 vendors and educational seminars showcasing industry innovations.
Aloha Region Summer Volleyball Classic 2019 in our Kamehameha Exhibit Hall 1 welcomed an estimated 1,500 attendees over a three day period
Over 1,000 attendees including athletes, their coaches, family and friends attended the Pacific Rim Championships basketball tournament held in our Kamehameha Exhibit Halls last June 21 – 23, 2019. Featuring 17 basketball courts, all under 1 roof!
Hawaii Convention Center GM, Teri Orton (right) and former Miss Universe Brook Lee (left) take a ride around our building during the filming of an episode of Brook’s new TV show, Modern Wahine. We can’t wait for the episode to air in August!
Wine and dine on the Hawaii Convention Center rooftop on October 25, 2019, pairing premium red wine vintages with delicious dishes by some of the greatest chefs on earth. At Hawaii Food and Wine Festival’s annual wine-centric event, wine professionals from around the world will share insider wine knowledge and keep your glass filled! There’s something for every palate including white varietals, cocktails and beer options.

A Month of Mele and Cheer

Concerts, graduations, sporting events, a Radiology convention and a Dance and Cheer competition. These are just some of the events that we’ve welcomed during this busy month of May.

“May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii Nei.” This statement brings to mind the annual celebration of Lei Day during the first day of May. Adding to the festivities was the annual May Day 2019 Concert was held in our Kamehameha Exhibit Hall last May 1st to celebrate Lei Day. A star-studded lineup featured Robert Cazimero and Halau Na Kamalei o Lililehua, the vocal artistry of Kaumaka‘iwa Kanaka‘ole, the celebrated reunion of Na Palapalai and more. Concert attendees were also treated to exclusive access to a May Day marketplace, featuring local vendors and artisans.

From May Day, we quickly transitioned to welcome the American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) for their 2019 Annual Meeting. Among the world’s premier conferences for radiology professionals, the ARRS Annual Meeting drew nearly 2,500 participants from 32 countries, generating an estimated $9.4 million in statewide visitor spending. In total, more than 3,000 will participate in the meeting, including virtual registrants from around the globe. ARRS, founded in 1900, is the first and oldest radiology society in the United States. It was an honor to welcome them to Hawaii for the first time and look foward to having them back again soon.

Check out some of our photos below for highlights of some of our notable group and to find out more on upcoming events in the coming months.

Aloha ARRS! This was the first time the American Roentgen Ray Society hosted their Annual Meeting in Hawaii
ARRS presented our team with a very cool 3D Printed Pineapple at the conclusion of their Annual Meeting, the first to be held in Hawaii.
To celebrate Lei Day, the annual May Day 2019 Concert was held in our Kamehameha Exhibit Hall last May 1st and showcased a star-studded concert and a May Day marketplace.
Lovely orchid leis being given out during the May Day 2019 Concert.
Global Games is a dance and cheer event featuring international teams from around the globe in competition with domestic U.S. clubs including local Hawaii teams. Teams and clubs participating come from New Zealand; Australia; China; mainland US and Hawaii.
The Hawaii Convention Center’s Sunset Mele and Night Market is back on May 31st! This free community event showcases live entertainment, family-friendly movie, pop-up marketplace, local eats and drinks. This month’s featured move is Aquaman.

A Voyage of Discovery

The month of April welcomed an eclectic mix of events that highlighted diverse cultural, social and educational fields.

Kicking off the month was the return of one of Hawaii’s most popular local anime comic conventions, Kawaii Kon, which welcomed close to 12,000 attendees and showcased a lot of unique costumes throughout their 3-day event from April 5 – 7.

Next up was the return of voyaging canoe Hokulea to the Hawaii Convention Center last April 19 – 20. Sailing aboard the canoe included crew members and students representing the young generation of “navigators” who are working on solutions to create a sustainable future. Hokulea crew members also welcomed visitors on board to tour the legendary canoe and learn about the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s mission to perpetuate the ancient art and science of voyaging and promote the values of caring for Island Earth. The event culminated with a gala dinner on April 20th in our Kalakaua Ballroom.

Another notable event this month was the Applied Materials meeting. This corporate meeting welcomed back close to 1,300 attendees for a private training event for their Sales team. Applied Materials provides innovative equipment, services and software to enable the manufacture of advanced semiconductor, flat panel display and solar photovoltaic products helping to make smartphones, flat screen TVs and solar panels more affordable and accessible to consumers and businesses.

Check out some of our photos below for highlights of some of our notable group and to find out more on upcoming events next month.

Last month’s First Hawaiian International Auto Show featured over 350 new cars, trucks and SUVs inside our Kamehameha Exhibit Halls.
Each year, Kawaii Kon attendees show up with even more creative costumes
It was an honor to welcome back the Hokulea voyaging canoe to the Hawaii Convention Center
Hokulea crew members also welcomed the public on board to tour the legendary canoe.
Some of our culinary creations this month
We always like to end a meeting on a sweet note. Guests at the Art Hawaii reception enjoyed this yummy Haupia (Coconut) Mousse with fresh fruit and lilikoi pearls created by our Food and Beverage team.
The Hawaii Convention Center recently hosted a welcome reception for industry partners to meet the organizers of the upcoming Art Hawaii International. Pictured above from left, Peter Shaindlin, Chief Operating Officer of Hotels & Resorts of Halekulani; Teri Orton, General Manager of HCC; Margarite Almeida, co-founder of Art Hawaii, James Cavello co-founder of Art Hawaii and Hawaii State Representative Richard Onishi.
For the first time at the tropical crossroads of the Pacific, a new art fair economy is coming to Honolulu on Nov. 7 – 10, 2019. Art Hawaii International combines the best of contemporary and modern art with cutting edge technology in one of the most extraordinary destinations in the world. This new art fair concept, similar to Art Basel in Miami, can attract a large volume of quality visitors, bringing revenue to the art trade as well as providing an important economic benefit to the cities who host them. For more information, visit https://www.arthawaiifair.com/

Springing into Action this March

As we welcome the first few days of Spring, the month of March has brought in a number of popular community and sporting events as well as a few new meetings. 

We began with the 25th Annual Honolulu Festival last March 8 – 10. The Honolulu Festival is Hawaii’s premier cultural event, promoting mutual understanding, economic cooperation and ethnic harmony between the people of Hawaii and the Pacific Rim region. During this 3-day festival, they showcased cultural exhibitions which are free and open to the public. They also featured a Bon Dance, Japanese film festival and dance workshops, along with a fair featuring more than 100 food and craft vendors and kids games and activities. This year’s festival also showcased a special Kabuki performance on March 8th during the Friendship Gala.

Next up, we welcomed the Society of Gynecologic Oncology’s 50th Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer from March 16-19. This conference is the premier educational and scientific event for women’s healthcare professionals, including members of the entire gynecologic cancer care team who provide treatment and care in the areas of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and palliative care. This meeting drew registrants from more than 40 countries and close to 2,400 attendees. We are honored that SGO chose to hold their 50th meeting here in the 50th State!

Lastly, another showcase event this month is the annual First Hawaiian International Auto Show which will feature over 350 new cars, trucks and SUVs inside our Kamehameha Exhibit Halls. We are looking forward to closing the month on a high with such great events.

Check out some of our photos below for highlights of some of our notable group and to find out more on upcoming events next month.

The 25th Annual Honolulu Festival showcased cultural performances from various cultures in the Pacific Rim.
Getting ready for the Bon Dance at our Lobby during the 25th Annual Honolulu Festival.
Welcome SGO 2019! From left, HCC General Manager, Teri Orton presents a special welcome canoe paddle to SGO’s Chief Meetings & Education Officer, Teri Jordan (center) along with HCC’s Event Manager, Kealoha Chang (right).
SGO’s 50th Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer was held from March 16-19 and welcomed close to 2,400 attendees from over 40 countries.
We are excited to welcome our new Executive Chef, Hans Lentz to the Hawaii Convention Center Ohana! Lentz has nearly three decades of experience in culinary management, working at internationally renowned resorts and convention centers in Hawai‘i, Dubai, Oman, Africa, the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico. In his new role, he will oversee the Center’s 20,000-square-foot on-site kitchen and develop menus for gatherings and events at the building. View news release HERE.
HCC’s Vice President for Sales, Lee Conching, presented to industry partners during the March HTA Spring Update Update.
We are looking forward to the annual First Hawaiian International Auto Show this March 29 – 31st!

World Water Day 2019 is March 22

The Hawaii Convention Center joins AEG1Earth in recognizing World Water Day on March 22nd.

Some of our Water Conservation Efforts include:

  • Automatic dispensers for sink faucets, hand towels, hand soap and hand sanitizer in all restrooms save on water, towels and cleansing product.
  • Low-flush toilets and urinals and low-flow aerators in sinks and showers are used throughout the building to reduce water use.
  • Installed artificial turf on 25% of lawn space to reduce need for watering
  • Xeriscaping and drip irrigation in the landscaping minimize water use.

For more information on our Sustainability initiatives, visit our website.

What is World Water Day?

Sustainable Development Goal 6 is crystal clear: water for all by 2030. By definition, this means leaving no one behind. But today, billions of people are still living without safe water – their households, schools, workplaces, farms and factories struggling to survive and thrive.

Marginalized groups – women, children, refugees, indigenous peoples, disabled people and many others – are often overlooked, and sometimes face discrimination, as they try to access and manage the safe water they need.

This World Water Day, 22nd March, is about tackling the water crisis by addressing the reasons why so many people are being left behind.

For more information, visit: http://www.worldwaterday.org/

Celebrate Earth Hour on March 30th!

EARTH HOUR is held worldwide on March 30th between 8:30pm – 9:30pm (local time).
Individuals, communities, households and businesses are encouraged to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol for the planet.

To learn more about Earth Hour and the issue of climate change, visit www.earthhour.org

At the HAWAI‘I CONVENTION CENTER we work hard to reduce our impact on the environment through energy-efficient lighting and an active recycling program.