Mayor’s Office of Economic Development releases results of 2016 Festival
This week, the County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development (OED) released a full report detailing the results and successes of the 3rd annual Made In Maui County Festival (MIMCF), which was held on Nov. 4-5, 2016.
Presented by OED and the Maui Chamber of Commerce, last year’s Festival featured over 140 vendors, including 16 companies from Molokai and 1 from Lanai offering a veritable showcase of Made-in-Maui-County products. In addition, 12 food trucks also presented a diverse menu of island cuisine in this year’s Food Court on Saturday.
Some of the highlights of the 2016 post-event report include:
- Over 11,000 visitors and residents attended the two-day Festival (compared to 10,000 in 2015), of which approximately 35 percent were visitors.
- As a result of the two-day Festival, Product Vendors reported over $512,922 in total product sales (compared to $416,000 in 2015 and $300,000 in 2014), and over 335 total new wholesale accounts/orders secured (compared to 250 in 2015, and 180 in 2014).
- Over 360 qualified wholesale buyers, retailers and distributors attended a special invitation-only Buyers Preview on Friday, Nov. 4.
The full 2016 Festival report can be viewed at www.mauicounty.gov/oed.
“We are so grateful to the entire community for how far the Festival has come in just three short years,” said OED Director Teena Rasmussen. “The most gratifying aspect is it is becoming an economic engine for our county. By identifying these Made in Maui County companies through the festival, we are building an entire entrepreneurial eco-system for their growth and success. We have also brought together over 15 business development partners to offer these companies a wealth of programs, grants, consulting, and workshops to help their development. This in turn, lays the framework for job creation and vibrant economic growth in our community.”
The Festival’s goals are as follows:
- Showcase locally made products that have a 51 percent value added in Maui County to both visitors and residents. These products included foods, produce, art, crafts, jewelry, fashion, gifts, collectibles, and any other products that meet the criteria for vendor participation.
- Help to grow our islands’ businesses by providing opportunities for participating vendors to meet with prospective retailers and wholesalers and connect with new customers.
- Help strengthen our community by encouraging job creation and diversification of our economy.
“We’re delighted with the impact this Festival has made over the years,” said Pamela Tumpap, President of the Maui Chamber of Commerce. “A big mahalo goes to the Maui County Council and the Mayor’s office whose financial support makes it possible for our local entrepreneurs to afford to participate in a major products show such as this. The County’s support along with our event’s generous sponsors, planning committee, festival friends, and volunteers collectively play key roles in producing this world-caliber event.”
Last year’s vendors also sited the Festival’s impact:
Marla McManus of Three Coconuts Maui remarked, “I am very grateful to have a County that is so supportive of small business, especially to recognize and promote products that are made here. The Festival has been outstanding for my company. Everyone who puts this event together is wonderful to work with – personal, professional, and helpful in every way. Because of your efforts I have grown my business, become confident and encouraged and inspired by all of you.”
According to Carol Bodin of Uli Kai Designs, “I believe the Festival helped my company become more wholesale ready. We learned a lot about how to better brand and market our products. The wholesale contacts made were quality businesses and I am excited for the possibilities. Overall, I love, love, love participating in the Festival, and feel it was a great success in moving my business forward.”
Justin Orr of HI Spice shared, “Just the shear volume of people who came was awesome, intimidating and exciting at the same time. This event was the most intense market research we’ve ever conducted so far. Being able to interact with people and get their immediate feedback on our flavors and packaging has provided us with invaluable information. It really validates what we do and that we’re heading in the right direction.”
In 2016, as a result of the success of the Made in Maui County Festival, a new online shopping resource called the “Made in Maui County Marketplace” – www.MadeInMauiCounty.com – was launched in October 2016. The Marketplace website is a project of the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) in cooperation with the County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and the Maui Chamber of Commerce. This website provides Festival vendors with an opportunity to showcase their Made-in-Maui-County products and to connect with prospective customers year-round.
Now in its fourth year, the Made in Maui County Festival will be held on November 3 and 4, 2017. The two-day event will feature a wide variety of made-in-Maui-County products from over 140 product vendors, ono grinds from local food trucks, product demonstrations, fashion shows, prize drawings and more all in one location – the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului. Visit www.MadeInMauiCountyFestival.com for event highlights.
Maui County-based businesses interested in participating in this year’s Festival, can download an application at www.MadeInMauiCounty Festival.com/vendors-2017 (for product vendors) or www.MadeInMauiCounty Festival.com/food-trucks (for food trucks).
A variety of sponsorship opportunities are available for companies and organizations interested in promoting their goods and/or services and who want to promote their support of local businesses. Download a Sponsorship Kit at www.MadeInMauiCountyFestival.com/sponsors.
Qualified wholesale buyers/distributors may receive complimentary admission to attend a special “Buyer’s Preview” on Friday, November 3. To register, visit http://www.MadeInMauiCountyFestival.com/buyers.
For more information, visit www.MadeInMauiCountyFestival.com, email info@MadeInMauiCountyFestival.com or call (808) 270-7710. Connect with the Festival on Facebook, Twitter (#MIMCF2017), Instagram and Pinterest.