Live conventions, exhibitions prepare for return to Hawaii
HONOLULU (KHON2) – Level 5 of the Honolulu reopening strategy allows for the return of indoor events and conventions. Some event planners have said it is time to move forward with these plans and apply the necessary COVID-19 protocol to keep attendees and employees safe.
Vincent Van Gogh’s art is in the spotlight and many more events are planned after that. Hawaii Convention Center general manager Teri Orton said the facility was starting to see a return to events faster than expected.
“As we moved through these level structures, the CDC and DOH guidelines changed dramatically, and now that we are in the level, almost no restrictions,” Orton said. “We are helping the meeting organizer develop their mitigation plan. “
The City requires an event organizer to submit a COVID mitigation plan for events of more than 200 people. They must also require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test up to 48 hours before the visit.
Orton said: “Lots of changes for us, we had to redo all of our floor plans, whether it was theater bench seats to accommodate social distancing.”
Participants will notice the changes as soon as they walk through the doors of the center; Temperatures will be checked before guests can participate in an event. Spreadable buffets have been replaced with prepackaged meals, while cleaning and sanitizing has also increased.
All of these changes were made to allow an industry that had been on hiatus for over a year to restart.
Kawaii Kon draws thousands of people from all over the world, the event plans to return to the convention center in November.
But plans remain fluid and restrictions could be different in the fall.
“Honestly for the guests, this is going to be difficult because not everyone is vaccinated,” said Gina Maeda, public relations manager of Kawaii Kon. “Not all of them will be from the United States, and especially once you start watching international guests it gets even trickier. “
The convention has already been uploaded twice in the past year, so they’re open to a hybrid in-person and virtual event.
Orton said: “People want to come back and travel and go back to work and are willing to make accommodations and be a little more flexible in planning their events.”