Can one agency be great ata convention center as well as managing it? That’s the test for SMG, the venue management company that currently oversees the Hawaii Convention Center, and previously booked only short-term business. Starting in January 2003, SMG will assume marketing responsibilities previously handled by the Hawaii Convention Bureau, which had a $4 million to market the facility. The announcement was made late last week by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
The move is a result of state legislation passed this year requiring that the center be managed and marketed by one agency. Philadelphia-based SMG, which manages 156 venues and is the leading private facility management company in the world, has managed the Hawaii facility since its pre-opening in 1996. SMG’s new marketing contract for the center will be for three and a half years. SMG is currently hiring additional staff to support the new function, and will be focusing on a smooth transition for all the center’s clients, according to a company spokesperson.
The Hawaii Convention Center is the second one this year to have its marketing function taken away from the local CVB and awarded to a private agency.