This week, the County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and the Maui Chamber of Commerce released a full report detailing the results and economic impact of the 4th Annual Made In Maui County Festival, which was held on November 3 and November 4, 2017 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului, Maui.
Presented by the County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development and the Maui Chamber of Commerce, the MIMCF is Maui County’s largest products show. Last year, over 140 vendors, including 17 companies from Molokai and 7 from Lanai participated in this two-day event – a veritable showcase of Made-in-Maui-County products. In addition, 16 food trucks also presented a diverse menu of island cuisine in the event’s Food Court.
The annual MIMCF was created to improve the islands’ economic well-being by helping to grow and sustain Maui County’s manufacturers in an effort to diversify the economy, showcase entrepreneurship and locally made products, and encourage job creation.
“The festival was designed to be more than a large community celebration promoting local artisan and manufacturing businesses and spurring massive sales on a single day; it is about creating business capacity and long-term growth,” according to OED Director Teena Rasmussen.
Over the past four years, 265 local vendors who participated reported as a result of this two-day festival:
- Over $1.8 million in retail sales.
- Over 118,900 items sold.
- Over 980 new wholesale accounts secured.
- Over 6,290 new leads established.
Some of the highlights of the 2017 MIMCF include:
- Over 10,000 visitors and residents attended the festival in 2017.
- Participating Product Vendors reported as a result of the two-day festival:
- Over in $572,963.56 total product sales. (Compared to $512,922 in 2016, $416,000 in 2015, and $300,000 in 2014).
- Over 217 total new wholesale accounts/orders were closed.
- Over 703 new wholesale leads and/or prospects were developed.
- A total of 550 qualified wholesale buyers and distributors attended a special invitation-only Buyers Preview on Friday, Nov. 3.
Vital to vendors’ success and the event’s overall economic impact is the “Buyers Preview,” a B2B event where prequalified wholesale buyers and distributors receive complimentary festival admission to meet with vendors and find new locally made products. In 2017, over 550 wholesale buyers and distributors across the state and as far away as Canada attended, which was a 65 percent increase over last year’s Buyers Preview attendance.
“The relationships built and resulting purchases by wholesale buyers and distributors are taking Maui County businesses to new heights and to markets with both domestic and international export potential,” said Pamela Tumpap, President of the Maui Chamber Commerce. “This major event also spurs economic development to our fledgling companies that are given the opportunity to attract major buyers and are urged to consider the implications of scaling up production.”
“We started our business four years ago but the success we experienced during the festival’s Buyers Preview last year really made us realize we could do this,” said Shanna Kanahele of Na Koa Brand. “My husband and I are now working on our business full-time. This festival was really the catalyst for getting our business out there and we’re so grateful for all the people who make this event possible.”