What do registration fees cover?
Full time adult registration fees give access to all general sessions and workshops. Registration fees meet about 60% of the cost of putting on the conference including: speakers’ travel, hotel, and honoraria; rental of all the rooms we use at the Hawaii Convention Center; audio/visual rental for speaker presentations; sound and light and other technical requirements in the ballroom so that participants can see and hear presentations; notebook assembly and printing, nametags, speaker outlines and other participant material; conference décor including putting up banners and directional signs.
Can you bring some of the really popular Christian speakers for the conference?
We’d love to! And we keep inviting all those names that everyone knows but get turned down for lots of different reasons. You should see our list of declined invitations, many of them from speakers whom we ask every year but to no avail. Many speakers book years in advance; others severely limit their speaking engagements; some have requirements including speaking fees that we can’t meet. Keep praying, though, for them to come. We need your prayers in this area.
It would really help to have the Honolulu Conference during Hawaii public schools Spring Break. Can you schedule that?
We agree that it benefits more people and especially our youth when we hold the Honolulu Conference during Spring Break. However, we are at the mercy of the Hawai‘i Convention Center when it comes to scheduling. We have to choose among open dates that they offer us, and we try to get on their calendar as soon as we can to guarantee space, usually years in advance. However, many large corporate users and national conventions beat us to our ideal dates. On top of that, the Hawaii DOE finalizes its school calendar year-by-year, so we do not know Spring Break dates 3-4 years in advance when we have to reserve our Convention Center use.
The Worship Concert used to be included in conference fees. Why is there a separate charge now?
Worship concerts by artists such as Chris Tomlin are a wonderful enhancement to the Honolulu conference. We love them and they love us. However, the cost of bringing these musicians, including their honoraria, is beyond what regular registration fees in combination with grant money meet. If we included the concert in conference registration, we would have to increase conference fees substantially for every participant, regardless of whether they attend the worship concert. Our best solution is to offer the worship concert to fully registered conference participants at a reduced price and charge full price for stand-alone concert tickets.
Why is the concert included in the youth registration but not in adult registration?
Up through 2008, HIM received a very generous grant from the Frear Eleemosynary Trust that has underwritten a huge portion of the Honolulu Youth Track and the youth participation in the concert. However, the Frear Trust has now closed and we are looking for a donor or underwriter to replace that funding. Depending on whether we find new funding and how much, youth may in the future have to purchase tickets to attend the worship concert. You can be praying with us for a generous donor who loves youth and believes in HIM.
What are you planning to do to improve entrance and seating at the Worship Concert? There seems to be a lot of empty space in aisles, and around the seats – can you let more people into the ballroom for the concert?
Every year we gather a committee to work on concert admission procedures, and every year we try to create a process that is fair, organized, safe, and that runs as smoothly as possible. We think we are getting better, but frankly it’s hard to contain the highly charged anticipation that accompanies great worship. And our Worship Concert artists lead great worship!
Numbered seats would help. Unfortunately, the Hawai‘i Convention Center ballroom seats are not numbered, making open seating our only option.
We’d love to accommodate more people in the ballroom, but …for safety measures, we are required to comply with fire codes and keep the aisles clear. A fire marshal monitors us throughout the conference and has the authority to shut us down if we violate code. Part of that code mandates that every person must have a seat. Fortunately, we have video overflow available in the Convention Center amphitheatre, where for a greatly reduced price people can enjoy stadium seating and an unobstructed, close-up view of the concert in its entirety.
Youth are given priority seating and let into the concert first because the concert is underwritten in large part by a grant we work hard to get to underwrite the Honolulu Youth Program. Without the grant, HIM cannot afford to bring artists like Chris Tomlin to Hawaii and offer admission to the concert at such an affordable price.
Please pray for us: the Frear Trust, which has generously and faithfully supported the Youth Program since its inception, has now closed its doors and can no longer fund the program. Please pray for new underwriters to step up, or for us to find a business plan that makes ministry and financial sense.
Can our church group bring food into the Convention Center, and can there be less expensive food available at the concession stands?
Those are good questions. We would love to accommodate you, but the Convention Center strictly prohibits outside food and also is in control of all food sales. Thankfully, the Ala Moana Food Court is close by with lots of inexpensive great choices. There are also a growing number of restaurants along Kapi‘olani Blvd and on Ke‘eaumoku Street in the Walmart area.
Is it possible to provide childcare?
We understand the challenges of attending the conference when there are childcare issues involved. We’re parents and know how frustrating that can be. Throughout HIM’s history, we have struggled with childcare issues. If we set up childcare, there would be liability issues, room rental costs, and childcare providers fees. On top of that, children (and their parents sometimes) may not take well to a strange person in a strange environment. At the end of the day, again as parents ourselves, we feel that a child’s best interests are met when a parent makes personal arrangements for childcare.
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