Maui Business

HTA Seminar Helps Festival and Event Organizers “Revitalize Guest Experience”

April 27, 2011, 5:23 PM HST
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File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Sonia Isotov

The Hawai’i Tourism Authority’s (HTA) seventh annual Festivals and Events Seminar entitled “Revitalizing the Guest Experience” will be held this year on May 5-6.

This educational opportunity for festival and event organizers around the state will be held on May 5 on O’ahu at the Hawai’i Convention Center and May 6 on Hawai’i Island at Keauhou Beach Resort in Kailua, Kona.

Attendees will have the opportunity to hear national and local experts speak on various topics including attracting broader audiences, getting the most out of revenue resources, overcoming operational obstacles and more.

“Hawaii’s festivals and events constitute an important part of our tourism product, showcasing the diversity of our people and culture, and setting our islands apart as a truly unique visitor destination,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the HTA, in a statement today.  “This seminar will provide important tools for our local festival and event organizers to further develop their skills and training to enhance and improve their product, and to stay fresh, relevant and successful.”


Seminar organizers have already confirms national and local speakers in the areas of agricultural, sports, music, and economic development:

  • Sam Lemheney, director of design, Philadelphia International Flower Show. Lemheney joined the Philadelphia International Flower Show, which attracts more than 300,000 visitors each year, in 2003 as director of design. He is an active member of the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) and served on its board of directors from 2002-2008.
  • Rick Egged, president, Waikiki Improvement Association. Under Egged’s leadership, the Waikiki Improvement Association (WIA), a private, nonprofit organization, developed Agenda Waikiki, an action plan for Waikiki revitalization. The WIA also supported the Kuhio Beach Park and Kalakaua Avenue improvements, as well as launched the Waikīkī Business Improvement District.
  • Diana Bertsch, event director, Ford Ironman World Championship. Bertsch joined the Ironman Team in 1997, having herself completed the challenging Ironman event in 1995. Prior to joining the Ironman Team, Bertsch owned and operated an event management company that organized sporting events, weddings and various community festivals, among others.
  • Becky Genoways, president, On-the-Waterfront. Genoways has transformed On-the-Waterfront into Illinois’ largest music festival, attracting more than 250,000 visitors over the span of four days. Expanded to now include a film festival, festival store and new sources of non-sponsorship revenues, the 25-year-old festival has been awarded the prestigious national Gold Pinnacle Award by the IFEA.

Early registration is $59.99 and ends April 29.  Regular registration is $69.99 and deadline is May 5.  The registration fee includes lunch, refreshments and seminar materials.  For more information call (808) 528-4050, email [email protected], or visit

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