Large conferences are returning to Hawaiʻi Convention Center. Here's the outlook on event bookings
Thousands of scientists and their families were in Honolulu this week for what’s known as the Goldschmidt Conference — named for Victor M. Goldschmidt, the father of modern geochemistry.
It’s the largest event of the year for the Hawaiʻi Visitors and Convention Bureau.
"I think Goldschmidt is a good indication of the attractiveness of Hawaiʻi, exceeding their registration, and the desire to have a meeting in Hawaiʻi," said HVCB Senior Vice President John Reyes. "They've gotten good attendance, in fact, they're 20% higher. Their original attendance was 2,500 and they're over 3,000 people."
Reyes is in charge of the meetings and conventions market for the HVCB. He says the outlook for the short-term future looks good.
"Corporate citywide events booked within a three-year window, that allows us to fill the pipeline with short-term corporate events. And then obviously, sports events, the Hawaiʻi Convention Center did a nice job in investing over a million dollars in sports equipment that allows competitive sports like basketball, volleyball, dance, etc.," Reyes said.
He says bookings for 2023 and 2024 are looking strong, and the program is targeting groups like the Goldschmidt Conference that tend to be more respectful of the ʻāina.
"Goldschmidt is a perfect example of that. For the attendees, they've asked them to mask, they've asked them to be vaccinated. They have really talked about — when you come to Hawaiʻi, either as a group or as an individual, to look for a way to volunteer and give back. Because Goldschmidt is the premier geochemistry conference in the world, you have people that are very sensitive to natural resources and the environment," Reyes told HPR.
The Goldschmidt Conference will be held in France in 2023 and then in Chicago the year after. It wrapped up in Honolulu on Friday, July 15.
This interview originally aired on The Conversation on July 14, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.