There are many beautiful beach destinations around the world, but when corporate groups visit Hawaii, they want to know they are in Hawaii. The best destination meetings offer authentic cultural and educational experiences in a distinctive location and, to successfully achieve this, you need a local, experienced staff that knows what makes the destination especially unique.

Many of the passionate staff at Queen Kapi‘olani Hotel were born and raised on O'ahu. We’ve compiled three questions to ask to help you determine how your desired venue’s staff can help our team or group plan the event of a lifetime.

1. What is the estimated total time your venue staff has lived and worked in Waikiki?

Look for venues whose staff have been employed at the property long term. One of the longest tenured staff at Queen Kapi‘olani Hotel has worked at the property for over 30 years.

Queen Kapi‘olani Hotel, Lobby Greeting
Queen Kapi‘olani Hotel, Lobby Greeting

Venue staff who have face-to-face interactions with guests have an uncanny sense of what people want to see and experience on- and off-property.

Many team members know the repeat clients and groups and are also familiar with not just the history of the city but also the latest hot spots in the city. Who knows what visitors want better than staff who that have delivered memorable and entertaining Waikiki events for decades?

2. What “off the beaten path” experiences can your staff offer?

Tenured local staff automatically offer attendees an insider take on the local scene—they know the ins and outs of the location and community.

Much of the staff at Queen Kapi‘olani Hotel are locals, born and raised in Hawaii, so when planners want to “do what the locals do,” the team can direct them to the best beaches, hiking trails with views of waterfalls, hip food trucks around town, local rum or distillery tours, art walks, museums or "Instagrammable" spots.

In addition to the hotel staff, the property’s preferred DMC partners can step in to add even more expertise for adding Hawaiian culture to your meeting.

These partners can offer ideas and itinerary suggestions that don’t include the “same old, same old” activities that have been done before. With the help of a staff that are locals, paired with a destination expert, groups can arrange for the best itinerary to explore the destination.

Surfing Is Just One of Many Popular Local Experiences in Waikiki
Surfing Is Just One of Many Popular Local Experiences in Waikiki

3. How do the staff help make your venue distinctive?

Experienced staff members know that groups today are seeking new and authentic experiences that they can only get in Hawaii, or even only in Waikiki.

For example, to get a sense of the local culture and history of both the Queen Kapi‘olani Hotel and the destination, all groups have to do is show up.

[Related Content: 4 Tips to Plan Unforgettable Events Infused With Hawaiian Culture]

The staff immediately take attendees back to Hawaii’s Golden Era from the first step in the hotel. From walk-throughs of our on-site Royal Art Gallery, with restored oil paintings of Hawaiian royalty, to haku lei-making demonstrations on the Leahi Lanai, to the array of off-site local experiences just out the hotel’s doors, our staff collaborate with meeting planners to achieve truly authentic Hawaiian experiences. For those looking to learn more about the life and legacy of Queen Kapi‘olani, after whom the hotel is named, the hotel’s Director of Engineering also provides a weekly tour at the Royal Art Gallery.

Queen Kapi‘olani Royal Art Gallery Group Tour
Queen Kapi‘olani Royal Art Gallery Group Tour

One of the reasons people come to this part of Hawaii is for the views of Waikiki and Diamond Head. Our property sits where Diamond Head meets Waikiki Beach, with a direct and unobstructed view of the iconic Diamond Head. Local staff can give visitors tips for how to optimize engaging with these national wonders—a perk not every Hawaii venue can boast and one that will make a lasting impression on your group’s experience.

Diamond Head View at Queen Kapi‘olani Hotel
Diamond Head View at Queen Kapi‘olani

A host property with tenured staff who can deliver authentic on-and off-site activities can make the event a success all around and give attendees a sense of place.

Consider asking your venue contacts these three questions before choosing the location of your next Hawaii corporate event.

Come experience a unique Hawaiian setting where Diamond Head meets Waikiki. Contact us today.

Joy Tomita is director of marketing with Queen Kapi‘olani Hotel​, which recently completed a renovation in celebration of its 50th anniversary. Click here for more details on the property.