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