Successful Meetings - February 2009 - (Page 92)

MAUI > ALOHA! FROM MAUI ALOHA! FROM MAUI HAWAII’S SECOND-LARGEST ISLAND OFFERS TRADITIONAL CULTURE IN ADDITION TO SURF AND SAND By Elissa Hunter E xcept for the ubiquitous luau and a taste of poi, group visitors to the Hawaiian Islands typically end their time there without experiencing much of the traditional culture. But in Maui, meeting and incentive groups are adding on activities that celebrate the Polynesian cultural roots of the people who settled these Pacific gems. “We are seeing an increase in groups, large and small, bringing in a cultural aspect to the program—such as having someone coming in to do a chant or an ole to welcome the group to the island and specifically to the hotel,” says Tom Risko, Maui Visitors Bureau director of meetings, conventions, and incentives and international sales. Other groups attend a performance of Ulalena, a theatrical production that tells the story of Hawaii through acrobatics, song, and dance. And DeSilva Meeting Consultants has planned royal monarchy balls for meetings, where a king and queen greet guests and the venue is decorated in royal colors of either yellow and red, or purple and yellow. Maui offers an escape from the rat race, but visitors may witness a macaw race or two Island Partners Hawaii has done business session openers that include a ho’olauna sand ceremony. In it, attendees are seated at tables of eight to 10 people with two vessels at each table, one empty and one containing sand from the area. The vessels are passed around the table, with each person saying something about themselves and moving sand from one vessel to the other. At the ceremony’s end the sand is mixed together, representing the mingling of thoughts of the attendees. A portion of the sand is put into gifts for guests called makana, while some sand is returned to the area so their thoughts can remain there. “It’s been very successful every time we’ve done them. Some companies have used it when they were merging two companies together and they want to get people to feel comfortable,” says Tony Vericella, managing director of Island Partners Hawaii. Maui may be most famous for its beaches, but planners have chosen this Hawaiian island as a meetings destination for a myriad of other reasons, including the many cultural activities that give visitors a look inside the history of the island and can be used as bonding exercises. Additionally, Maui’s geography can offer a meeting attendee a little bit of everything, whether it be a spectacular view in the upcountry, unique day destinations, or outdoor adventures such as hiking. When Lions Clubs International held its international board meeting in Maui in October, the orientation for the 92 I SM I February 2009 I

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Successful Meetings - February 2009

Successful Meetings - February 2009
Editor's Letter
News Update: Meetings Associations Band Together
Planner Spotlight
Technology Talk
Food & Beverage
Making Cents of It All
Meanwhile, Back at Headquarters
Seal of Approval
Come Sail Away
Making Tracks
Places & Spaces
Florida’s East Coast
3 Days in Philadelphia

Successful Meetings - February 2009