HVCB, MPI Team Up to Showcase Hawaii Island to Meeting Planners – Sustainability is Key Theme of Four-Day Conference

This weekend 30 meeting planners are coming to Hawaii Island from throughout the nation to take part in a first-time educational conference and experience the qualities that make the Hawaiian Islands a premier destination for business meetings.

The hosting of the Hawaii MPI EduFAM conference, June 9-12, is the result of a partnership secured by the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) with Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the meetings industry’s largest trade organization.

The meeting planners, who collectively book group programs worth tens of millions of dollars annually, will do site tours of Hawaii Island resorts and meeting facilities, experience activities, learn about Hawaii’s cultural diversity, and take continuing education courses.

In addition, Hawaii industry suppliers, including resorts and service providers, will meet with the planners to discuss opportunities for future group bookings. Most of the planners are also extending their stays to conduct site tours of Kauai, Oahu, or Maui.

“We look forward to welcoming the meeting planners from across the U.S. to showcase the Hawaiian Islands as an ideal place to conduct business,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA).

“Planners will be able to experience first-hand our world-class facilities, one-of-a-kind destination and the aloha spirit of our people. The HTA, together with the HVCB, remain committed to marketing the Hawaiian Islands as a premier global meetings destination and growing our meetings, conventions and incentives (MCI) market.”

The importance of cultural and environmental sustainability will be a key theme of the conference and is being communicated daily with presentations by a native Hawaiian cultural advisor. The planners will also take part in a corporate social responsibility (CSR) volunteer project in support of Kukaiau Forest on the northern slopes of Mauna Kea.

The conference’s featured presenters are Bruce MacMillan, CEO of MPI, and Paul Salinger, vice president of marketing for Oracle. MacMillan will make a presentation on the state of the meetings industry, while Salinger will lead the workshop, “Best Practices for Sustainable Meeting Management.”

Michael Murray, CMP, CMM, CASE, HVCB’s vice president of sales and marketing, noted the conference will be a superb showcase for Hawaii Island while reinforcing the state’s business brand as a site for hosting meetings and conventions.

Murray commented, “We are very grateful to MPI for bringing this education conference to Hawaii and allowing us to create a meeting experience offered nowhere else in the world. The meeting planners taking part represent the diverse interests of organizations and third-party providers who are exactly the kind of groups that would find doing business in Hawaii rewarding and productive.”

Murray added that the conference’s focus on sustainability is building on the principals conveyed during Hawaii’s successful hosting of the 2011 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders Meeting (APEC). Hawaii entities making innovative advancements in clean energy, as well as ocean, earth and sky sciences, and health and life sciences, were showcased during the APEC conference.

“Hawaii is a recognized leader in being sustainable and preserving our natural resources and this conference will continue to highlight the importance of that message and how it can be integrated into the overall meeting experience,” said Murray.

Based in Dallas, MPI has more than 21,000 members representing 86 countries in 71 clubs and chapters, including Hawaii’s Aloha Chapter, making it the largest meetings industry trade organization in the world.

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, preservation of natural resources, community desires, and visitor industry needs.

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