Monday, May 15, 2017

Aloha from Lanai - Event Report from Paradise

Our lucky team members are still swooning to the sounds of ukulele music. We had the wonderful opportunity to work with a cherished client on a series of events in Paradise:

Location: The incredible Four Seasons Resort Lānaʻi

The Event: a multiple-days incentive event for 300 guests. 

We still feel Aloha in our hearts. 

Our work allows us to spend time in many beautiful locations but judging by our team members' Facebook postings, the Four Seasons Resort Lānaʻi cast a special kind of magic over our crew. We keep hearing "Paradise" and "Fantasy Island". 

Producing a series of Welcome Events, business meetings and a Grand Banquet Night for our client, who had bought out the resort for this event, allowed us to customize and brand with abandon. The island of Lānaʻi is the most undisturbed, unspoiled and remote of the inhabited Hawaiian islands. Working here was an incredible experience.

We were allowed to brand more than ever before, starting with the airport arrival area signage to our rental vehicles to the resort pool bottom. The event logo was applied to every possible aspect, from wrapping vehicles to embroidering cushions, to printing logos onto golf balls and water balls, and even applying logos to helicopters!

Our Honolulu-born Executive Producer Kristen Rensch took over the island office ahead of time to coordinate the production. Working in Paradise posed some challenges:
" Lana’i – also known as the pineapple island – is the smallest publicly accessible island in the Hawaiian island chain with a population of about 3,000 people concentrated in one small city center, Lana’I City. It is 18mi in the longest direction. Despite its small size, it contains several microclimates and diverse terrain. Since it is so small and untouched, resources on the island are very limited – one gas station, one small hardware & supply store with limited open hours. No traffic lights on the island, and most of the attractions are accessible only by dirt roads that require a four-wheel drive vehicle. No shopping malls, limited public transportation through the hotel and one privately owned company. There are only a few restaurants on the island.
The number of rental cars is very limited– we used a private agency that utilized some personal vehicles on the island. Methods are unconventional – cars are parked in overnight stalls at the airport, unlocked, keys in the ignition. Clients drop off by leaving cars unlocked with keys in cars at the airport. 
Our event location is the only large hotel on island – the Four Seasons Resort Lana'i. Another hotel under renovation – the Lodge at Koele (also a Four Seasons property) housed some of our production crew, as did the only other very small hotel on the island – Hotel Lanai, originally built by James Dole of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company in the early 1920s.
Lana'i is accessible via small aircraft from Honolulu ONLY, or ferry from nearby Maui. There are no direct flights."

"Consequently all show materials were transferred to the island inside a shipping container originating in Southern California, passing through Honolulu via an ocean container ship, and then transferred to a barge that is towed by a tugboat at a maximum speed of 8 knots to Lana’i.
The barge arrives one day a week, and departs one day a week, assuming the conditions are good. Shipping schedules are subject to change without notice. The commercial freight port on Lana’i is located on the southwestern coast of the island and access is subject to conditions of the sea. If the weather is too rough freight might be delayed up to a week or longer. Easter weekend also affected when our container could unload, so we planned movement around this holiday.
All other event materials were drop shipped via expedited carrier to the central handling facility on the island, and deliveries or return shipments had to be coordinated.
We rented linens and two 72” round tables from neighboring Maui, that were brought over on a ferry by the vendor, and returned by our crew via ferry to Maui. Special coordination for this extra cargo had to be arranged with the ferry master. Another shipment of décor was flown in from Honolulu and returned via a small air carrier.

Florals posed another challenge. All fresh floral was drop shipped directly to Lana'i, where movements had to be closely monitored and florals had to be kept in air conditioning, with limited storage space available on the resort as most was in use by the client for their event.

It’s a sleepy piece of authentic Hawaiian paradise, even though much of the island is desert-like where the hustle and bustle of the real world feels far, far away.
It was the ultimate luxury to feel transported back to a more genteel time.
The challenges were all overcome through planning - and most importantly - through the wonderful cooperation we received from all our new friends on the island."

Our client honored the history and culture of the islands throughout the event. We hired Hawaiian-born entertainers for all shows. 

Ted Bowers is equally enraptured:
"When you arrive to Lana’i the small plane touches down in a landscape of rusty earth that looks like the middle of nowhere. 
However, after spending time to explore and becoming familiar with the island, meeting some of the local residents and discovering hidden gems, including the best poke I’ve ever had, the deserted island becomes charming untouched tranquility.

The very tiny Lana’i City doesn’t have a single traffic light and that’s exactly how the people of Lanai like it. People wave to every car, residents stop to talk with their friends, fishing is considered a priority in life, and leaving the keys in your car's ignition is standard practice.

Lanai is a special place where you find serenity and adventure.

We are now certainly spoiled by the luxury of the Four Seasons Resort. You almost expect to hear "da plane, da plane" upon arrival but this fantasy island is real."
Mahalo to our wonderful client, our friends on Lana'i and Brad Kasselman for providing us with photos of this event!

Photo Credits: 
Images 2-5: Event photography by
Image 1: an EventWorks mobile phone snapshot.

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