PRIME Conference Showcasing Hawaii this Week as Host Site for New Business Meetings

Media Release:

The 13th Annual Pacific Rim Incentives & Meetings Exchange (PRIME) takes place this week highlighted by the collaborative effort of Hawaii’s meetings industry to sell the Hawaiian Islands for business meetings, conventions, and incentive trips.

PRIME is the preeminent Hawaii-based conference promoting the state’s meetings industry and the benefits of hosting business events in the islands. Headquartered at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa on Hawaii’s Big Island, PRIME will feature a two-day business meetings tradeshow, September 23-24, that includes one-on-one appointments with visiting meeting planners and special presentations about the islands, followed by three days of site inspections and FAM trips statewide, September 25-27.

“Hawaii is an ideal meetings destination with our strategic location in the Pacific and world-class facilities, and we look forward to showcasing all our islands have to offer during this week’s PRIME conference,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA). “With the APEC Leaders Meeting coming to Hawaii in 2011, HTA hopes to gain exposure for our islands and continues to work toward developing and sustaining our meetings, conventions, and incentive market.”

More than 300 meetings industry executives and exhibitors are taking part in PRIME, including 100 meeting professionals from North America and Asia. Selling the Hawaiian Islands will be sales and marketing representatives from the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) and its island chapter bureaus for Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Hawaii’s Big Island, and resort properties and group service providers statewide.

HVCB, with funding from HTA, is PRIME’s major sponsor and sees the conference as key to both the continued development of new business in Asia markets and changing perceptions within the industry about Hawaii’s image for hosting serious business meetings.

“PRIME allows us to keep nurturing the new business opportunities emerging in Asia and lets visiting planners see for themselves when they come to Hawaii that our industry is all about business and making sure their clients’ measurements for success are exceeded,” said Michael Murray, CMP, CMM, CASE, vice president of sales and marketing for HVCB’s corporate meetings and incentives division.

“PRIME generates new business but is also helping to erase pre-conceived notions about Hawaii’s ability to host business meetings and generate the results that corporations, associations, and groups want in today’s economy,” Murray added.

Priscilla Texeira founded PRIME and serves as managing director for the conference. She noted that PRIME is structured to bring Hawaii’s meetings industry representatives in direct contact with visiting planners and decision-makers.

“We have an excellent group of planners coming to PRIME from outside the state who have great influence over the scheduling of corporate events and business meetings in 2011 and years to come,” said Texeira. “Hawaii’s sales professionals do a superb job of marketing our islands, and I’m confident that PRIME’s format of hosting individual meetings, group events, and FAM tours will lead to many new bookings for the state.”

HVCB is contracted by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the state of Hawaii’s tourism agency, to provide marketing management services for the conventions, meetings, and incentives market segment. HTA was established in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry well into the future. Its mission is to strategically manage Hawaii tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with the state of Hawaii’s economic goals, cultural values, and preservation of natural resources, community desires, and visitor industry needs.

What Will Happen to the Old Pahoa Police Station?

Does anyone know what’s going to happen with the old Pahoa Police station after they move into the new one?

If they don’t already have plans for it… does anyone have any good ideas for it?

The current Pahoa police station

I like the thought of it becoming something like a Satellite City Hall.  Someplace that could be staffed by about 6 folks who would normally work down at the County Building.

Let’s bring more government services out to Pahoa!

As you can see, the project is behind schedule

Public Funding Pilot Limits Outside Influence

Media Release:

The story dates back to the 1978 Constitutional Convention. At that time, voters in Hawaii decided they did not want outside interests funding Hawaii’s elections and influencing her laws, so they created the partial public funding system that still exists today. Since then, however, election costs have skyrocketed, and the partial public funding system is rarely used.

In reaction, citizen activists pushed for a full public funding option to keep publicly funded candidates competitive with those raising increasing amounts of private money. In 2008, a law was passed that created Act 244, a pilot program for Hawaii County Council elections, which allows candidates to attempt to qualify for full public funds to run their campaigns.

“Instead of looking to mainland architecture and development firms, this program gives Council candidates an alternative option for raising funds,” said Kory Payne, Executive Director for Voter Owned Hawaii, an organization that advocated for the program. “Now many candidates are not dialing for dollars, but going into their districts, registering voters, and collecting qualifying signatures and contributions,” he added.

The money for candidates comes from the Hawaii Election Campaign Fund, which is funded by voluntary check offs on state income tax forms. As of July, the Fund had over $5 million. One area of controversy in Act 244, was a fiscal cap added by legislators, mandating that Hawaii County Council elections cannot pull more than $350,000 out of the Election Fund for the pilot program.

“We explained to legislators that it was highly unlikely the pilot program would ever exceed $600,000, but still the $350,000 cap was put in place,” said Payne. “In the upcoming legislative session, we’ll be advocating for legislation to raise that $350,000 cap,” he said.

This year, the program used a total of $140,188 after eight candidates qualified for full public funds. Sixteen candidates filed “intents” to try to qualify using the program. In order to qualify, the candidates needed to collect 200 signatures from registered voters within their districts, and each signature had to be accompanied with a $5 check or money order.

Kory Payne
Voter Owned Hawaii