Made in Maui County Festival a Success
By Maui Now Staff
The first-ever Made in Maui County Festival held Nov. 7 and 8, 2014, included 130 vendors and sold roughly $300,000 in products over two days.
More than 9,400 people attended the event, even in the wake of poor weather. Vendors reported gaining 180 new wholesale accounts and 1,070 new business leads for potential sales in the future.
The successful results were announced in a full report issued by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development (OED). The full report can be viewed here.
“We want to thank the entire Maui community for their support for this first festival,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa, “Building the capacity of our locally made product companies will strengthen our community, not only with the jobs they create, but with the diversification this brings to our economy.”
The event opened on a Saturday at 8 a.m., drawing thousands who braved the rain to visit the vendors, see demonstrations, watch a fashion show, eat from local food trucks and participate in prize drawings. An estimated 35 percent of attendees were off-island visitors.
“The vendors were required to have GET licenses, to attend mandatory tradeshow training, to create wholesale price sheets and think about how to build supply if they gained large orders,” Rasmussen said. “We required them to look professional with their signage, marketing material and displays. Everyone had to step up to the plate and the public loved it!”
Vendors were selected according to the quality and presentation of their products, and ensuring that they were at least 51 percent value-added in the State and operating out of Maui County.
“We had comprised a wait list of over 40 vendors that still wanted to participate,” said Kimberly Haueisen, MIMCF coordinator with the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development. “The response was tremendous and showed the pent-up demand for this kind of event for our local product companies.”
Over 6,500 local and national media outlets were notified of the event, with over $80,000 in print and radio advertising secured for the festival, as well as listings in nearly every event calendar in Hawai‘i.
“The public and vendors overwhelmingly have requested that MIMCF become an annual event,” Rasmussen said. “Going forward, our office will be working to fine-tune the festival, so we expect this year’s event to be even better.”
For more information on the event, visit www.madeinmauicountyfestival.com.