15 Reasons to attend the 15th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival & Win Free Tickets

I love attending the San Diego Asian Film Festival (also known as SDAFF) every year and I love seeing how much it grows each time I come back. There are always more films to watch and more people who attend. I’m very happy to be partnering with SDAFF to promote the film festival again. In honor of their 15th anniversary, here are 15 reasons to attend. Make sure you read them all because at the end I will share with you a special offer to buy tickets for the film festival and I’m also giving away a 4 pack of tickets to a lucky winner.

San Diego Asian Film Festival 2014
1. Watch Unique Films - Going to the movies during the film festival is very special. I enjoy going to the movies all year long, but during the festival I’m able to see unique films that are not normally in theaters across all different genres. You’ll find comedies, romantic comedies, short films, horror films and action films just to name a few.  The Festival has grown to become the largest exhibition of Asian cinema in the western United States, and has showcased everything from future classics like Bong Joon-ho’s Memories of Murder (US Premiere) to luminary independent work like Patrick Wang’s award-winning In the Family (North American Premiere). There is really something for everyone.

2. Check out Different Movie Venues in San Diego-This year, SDAFF will be showing films at a record 9 different venues in many different areas of San Diego. While their home base will be at the UltraStar Hazard Center, this is a chance to check out some new spots including the Arclight Cinemas in La Jolla and La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas. You can find a list of all the venues, along with additional information on each venue here.

 3. Celebrity sightings- You never know who you’ll see at SDAFF. I heard Jeremy Lin and George Takei have both made appearances at SDAFF in the past. I also had the pleasure of meeting MC Hammer. I can’t believe that I am unable to find a photo of this moment, but it did happen! Make sure your cameras are ready on selfie mode when you spot a famous star.

4.  Film Premiers- Each year, the festival brings West Coast and world premieres of films from around the world to San Diego, giving you a chance to see some films before anyone else.

5. Free Films- Did you know that you can attend SDAFF for free? That’s right, all weekday film programs at 4:00pm are free, courtesy of the Hom Family Foundation. The catch is that you have to be able to make the early show. You can pick up tickets for the free films in advance at the UltraStar Box Office starting Oct. 31. (limit 2 per person)

6. Bring the Whole Family- While some movies are for adults and teens only, there are still plenty of options for the while family. In fact the Shorts for Shorties program that airs Saturday November 8th is free for kids 12 & under.

SDAFF Shorts for Shorties
7. Cultural Diversity- For its 15th Anniversary, SDAFF will showcase over 140 films from 21 countries! Attending the film festival is a great way to expand your knowledge on many different cultures and ethnicities.

8. Shorts- I love watching short films because it gives me a chance to see so many different creative endeavors all in one sitting. Another great thing about shorts, is if you don’t like one of the films, you can rest assured that it will probably be over in less than 10 minutes.

9. You Have a Voice- In previous years, after watching a film, there are always staff members standing near the exit to collect short questionnaires that ask your general thoughts and rating of the films. This gives you a chance to voice your opinion. It also gives film makers great feedback for the things they work so hard on creating. You are essentially a part of the festival jury!

10. Free Live Music- While film makers get to showcase their work, local musicians will also get to share their skills. There will be a variety of musical acts throughout the festival as part of the annual BLOWFISH UNLUGGED. You can find the full schedule of BLOWFISH UNPLUGGED here.

11. Volunteer- Whether you want to get your foot in the door with Pacific Arts Movement or the film industry, enjoy volunteering at cool events or are just looking for a great way to rack up volunteer hours, you have a chance to do all of that by volunteering at SDAFF. All the details on volunteering here.

12. Films, Music and now Dance with MOVEfest- In addition to having a chance to watch dozens of films and enjoy free music, you can also add dance performances to your SDAFF itinerary with MOVEfest. SDAFF partners with Outreach Through Dance to present the inaugural MOVEfest, a showcase of live hip-hop and contemporary dance by the most exciting API performers, choreographers, and dance cinematographers around. Details for attending MOVEfest can be found here.

SDAFF Movefest

13. Support the Pacific Arts Movement- The San Diego Asian Film Festival is organized by Pacific Arts Movement, a non-profit media arts organization dedicated to sharing Asian American and international films to inspire, entertain, and support a more compassionate society. Attending SDAFF is a wonderful way to support this organization that’s doing some amazing work in San Diego and beyond. For more information about Pac-Arts, click here.

14. Taiwan Film Showcase- For the the third straight year, SDAFF is showcasing the diversity and achievements of Taiwanese cinema. Presented in conjunction with the UCSD Taiwan Studies Lecture Series and the UCSD Chuan Lyu Endowed Chair in Taiwan Studies. All the information and show times related to the Taiwan Film Showcase can be found here.

15. If you’re still not convinced on why you should attend SDAFF, watch this trailer!

SPECIAL OFFER- 4 Pack of Tickets for $22! I worked with SDAFF to launch an awesome promotion and ticket offer with NBC 7’s The Goods. You can buy a 4 pack of tickets (Normally $44) for only $22. With this pass, you can watch 4 different films on your own or enjoy films with friends. This is such a great opportunity to check out a variety of films for a good price. There are a limited number of 4 packs available at this price, so sign up for The Goods here, then click on the home page to find the special offer for SDAFF.

WIN FREE TICKETS! If you’re feeling lucky, you can enter my contest to win a 4 pack of tickets. Entering is simple. All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post and tell me which film you’re looking forward to seeing  the most. You can earn an additional entry by Tweeting this post. Make sure you include my Twitter handle @MyMelodie and the film festival’s hash tag #15SDAFF. The contest will close at 9pm on Wednesday Nov. 5th, the eve of the 15th annual San Diego Asian Film Festival.

I look forward to seeing you all at the 15th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival. If you weren’t planning on attending, you now have 15 reasons on to go, a special ticket offer and a chance to win free tickets!

Marketing Melodie Emcees the San Diego Night Market and has your Free Tickets!

I am very honored and excited that the organizers of the San Diego Night Market invited me to emcee their event this coming Saturday October 4th. I’ll be at the main entertainment stage from 5pm-8pm where I have the privilege of introducing our very own Mayor Kevin Faulconer along with many other talented performers and distinguished members of the community.

What is a “Night Market” you might ask? Well just as the name suggests, it’s a street market, usually held outdoors that’s open at night. Night markets are organized so you can leisurely stroll through all the vendors, shop while getting some great savings all while enjoying authentic street food from different cultures. The San Diego Night Market in particular aims to fulfill the following mission:

  • Promote Asian Pacific American culture in cuisine, arts, and music
  • Support local businesses – Asian and Non-Asian, small and large
  • Cultivate innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship
  • Foster volunteerism, leadership, networking, and teamwork
  • Expand the cultural vibrancy of the San Diego region
2013 San Diego Night Market

2013 San Diego Night Market, Photo Credit: Convoy District

Ladie's Market Hong KongMy first experience of attending a night market was a few years ago when I was invited to Hong Kong for a speaking engagement. I had plenty of time to be a tourist, shop and enjoy everything Hong Kong had to offer. One of my stops was the “Ladies’ Market”, the most popular and busy night markets of the area. Even though I was told it would be busy, I was not expecting it to be as packed as it was. I snapped the photo to your right of ladies at the Ladies’ Night Market in Hong Kong. Keep in mind, this photo was taken around 11pm! People were excited about the new shipment of purses here. There was so much enthusiasm and energy from all the ladies (and gentlemen) at Ladies’ Market. It was definitely a fun experience which is why I’m looking forward to experiencing the night market culture right here in sunny San Diego.

On Saturday you can expect to satisfy your taste buds with delicious food, learn to cook at the various cooking demonstrations, be awed by amazing dance performances and so much more.

Here are the details for the San Diego Night Market:

Date: Saturday October 4th, 2014
Time: 4pm to Midnight
Location: Engineer Rd. near Convoy St. in the Convoy District
Cost: $2 entry fee

As usual, I’m hooking you up! I have two pairs of entry tickets to give away to two lucky winners.  Each winner will also receive $10 to spend on food at the event. I’m basically giving you free dinner! What’s not to love about that? All you have to do to enter is to leave me a comment on this post about what you’re looking forward to the most at the San Diego Night Market. You can enter until 10pm on Thursday October 2nd.

If you have attended other night markets, I would love to here your experience. I also look forward to seeing you at the San Diego Night Market. Please remember to come say hi to me. I’ll be at the entertainment stage from 5pm-8pm and if I’m not making announcements on stage, you can be sure to find me enjoying some of the delicious food that will be offered at the event. 

Marketing Melodie Speaks: Learn LinkedIn with Women in Business San Diego

Women in Business San DiegoI’m honored to be hosting a LinkedIn workshop for the professional group Women in Business San Diego. It was very fitting that Women in Business San Diego found me and reached out to me through LinkedIn. I’ll teach you how your future customers can find you on LinkedIn too! This workshop open to both Women in Business San Diego members and also guests. The event will be located at the gorgeous spa like workspace for women, Hera Hub in Sorrento Mesa  It will be very hands on. As a business professional, I understand how busy you are.  If I just give you a list of things to update later, it may or may not get done. This is why I’ll work with you to ensure you leave with results that will start benefiting you immediately.

Here are the details on how you can join my LinkedIn Workshop:

Date: Monday September 15th, 2014

Time: 6pm- 7:30pm (Check in and networking will begin at 6pm, workshop begins promptly at 6:30pm)

Location: Hera Hub Sorrento Mesa 9710 Scranton Road #160 San Diego, CA 92121

Cost: $20

Registration: Click here to register

LinkedIn Logo

Make sure to bring your laptop or tablet so you can access your LinkedIn page because my intention is for you to walk away with an updated profile that will help you optimize your professional brand and reach new customers. As a bonus for attending, you’ll be entered to win a complimentary 1 hour marketing consulting session with me. This will be your chance to get all of your marketing questions answered so I’m really looking forward to offering this.

In preparation for my LinkedIn Workshop, I also am asking for your help.  If you’re a savvy LinkedIn user, please share with me how this site has helped you professionally. Also I am looking for some great profiles to showcase as examples. Let me know if I can use yours in the comments below and thanks in advance for your help.

Padres Hit a Grand Slam with the #SDSocialSummit

This year has been a memorable one for me as a Padres fan. We lost our beloved announcer Jerry Coleman and then Hall of Famer, Tony Gwynn. They were both icons in the Padres organizations and I know they would want us to continue to proudly cheer for our home team, which is exactly what I’ve been doing. I’ve attended over a dozen home games and even got to take on batting practice with the Padres earlier in the season. On Sunday, I had another memorable afternoon at the ballpark. The Padres hosted their first Social Summit and I was lucky enough to snag an invite.

Padres SD Social Summit Flyer

They hosted 30+ bloggers, marketing  professionals and other media influencers (all Padres fans of course) to their first ever SD Social Summit. Inning by inning, here’s how my day went:

First Inning- Check in was at 9am. We received an awesome #SDSocialSummit t-shirt (I’ll definitely be sporting this around) and tickets to the game that afternoon.

Padres Social Summit T-Shirt

Second Inning- The Padres provided us with a delicious breakfast at the ballpark! We had a chance to meet other attendees, mingle and as a bonus we had an amazing view of the Coronado Bridge.

Breakfast at the Ballpark

Breakfast at the Ballpark. Photo Credit: @gdarkligher

Third Inning- Wayne Partello, the Padres Chief Marketing Officer introduced himself and gave us a run down of what our day would look like. The audience was filled with questions on all aspects of Padres baseball including the PR disaster about the naming of our Hall of Fame. The new name honors MLB Commissioner Bud Selig who many feel did nothing for the San Diego franchise. Mr. Partello was kind enough to answer our questions and admitted that their reasons for honoring Bud Selig weren’t properly conveyed to fans before the backlash happened.

Fourth Inning- We got a VIP  tour of the field with cool photo ops.

SD Social Summit Padres Field Tour

 

SD Social Summit Padres Field Tour with Friars

Fifth Inning- After touring the field, we took a seat in the dugout to await the arrival of the Padres head coach, Bud Black.  Bud Black gave a press conference right from the dugout.  This was one of my favorite parts of the summit. Mr. Black very gracious and appreciative of all our questions and boy did we have a lot! And tough ones too! I’m not sure he expected so many hard questions from our group but he answered all of them thoroughly and honestly. I personally asked what we were going to do to make sure we’re a strong contender for the NL West title and have a strong chance of October baseball next year. He replied by sharing his strategy to fill the farm system with a depth of talent and also discussed how he will continue to motivate the team to always fight until the very end whether it’s during a single game or to fight for that last wild card spot (we still have a chance this year!).

Meeting Padres Coach Bud Black

 

Press Conference in the Dugout

Sixth Inning- We had the unique opportunity to share our input by participating in a brainstorming session about future fan giveaways and promotions. There were definitely many interesting ideas including a fanny pack giveaway and having a Star Wars night. I personally voiced that I enjoy practical giveaways for items that are timeless and can be used year after year. The Padres agreed that they definitely want people to be using their giveaways long term. They want to avoid giving out tchotchke items  that will be tossed. I’m looking forward to seeing their future promotions and giveaways calender to see if they’ll use our ideas. Being a true fan, I really appreciated having a voice in how their fan programs are run.

Padres Giveaways Brainstorming Session

Seventh Inning- Padres President and CEO Mike Dee joined us and shared his thoughts about our team and also the future of our team. He explained the new hire of General Manager A.J. Preller and how his role will help us build a championship team. Preller is said to not only have an eye for talent but also has the ability to really develop talent. I am excited to see his strengths put to good use in San Diego. With time we’ll be able to tell just how good he is by winning championships and I look forward to it.

Eight Inning- After a quick seventh inning stretch, we reconfigured ourselves into 3 small groups.  We had one on one sessions with Padres executives and staff including Ron Fowler, Ted Leitner, Mike Dee and Josh Stein. This gave us another chance to voice our opinions and get our questions answered. I enjoyed Mr. Leitner’s stories about Tony Gwynn and his enthusiasm for the game.

SD Social Summit Small Group Sessions

SD Social Summit Small Group Sessions. Photo Credit: San Diego Padres

Ninth Inning- We wrapped up the first annual SD Social Summit with another tour as we made our way to a suite stocked with food and winning vibes. We made it just in time for the first pitch and enjoyed a game against our arch rival, Dodgers among good company. Mark Kotsay, a fan favorite and retired Padres Player who is now an announcer of Fox Sports SD stopped by our suite say hello during the game.

SD Social Summit Tour

SD Social Summit Tour. Photo Credit: @PadresMikeDee

Mark Kotsay at SD Social Summit

Mark Kotsay at SD Social Summit. Photo Credit: @Padres360

One thing that really stood out to me is the positive attitude from all the staff at the Padres organization. Every single person I met was nice, professional and shares a desire to see the Padres succeed.  The attitude to fight until the end that Bud Black instills in our players is also shared by the front office staff. Unfortunately we lost that game, but other than the loss, it was truly a day to remember. Attending the SD Social Summit affirmed my faith in the team and I still believe that we are very close to a World Series win!

Marketing Melodie Speaks: Community Health Institute

I’m excited to announce that on Tuesday August 26th, 2014 I’ll be hosting a Social Media session at the  2014 Community Health Institute held right here in American’s Finest City. The healthcare industry is making huge strides to connect on social media. Last May when I presented to a group of veterinarians at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital Symposium, I was thrilled to see so many professionals in the medical industry embrace social media as a positive tool for their business. So when I received the invite to speak at the Community Health Institute, I was happy to accept.

National Association of Community Health Centers

As Erik Qualman of Socialnomics says “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it?”. His quote is very fitting as many businesses that previously did not seem like a fit for social media (such as businesses related to healthcare)  are realizing that social media will now be a part of your business no matter what. I’m privileged for an opportunity to help people effectively integrate social media into their marketing mix!

Here are the details of the session I’m leading at the 2014 Community Health Institute:

Date: Tuesday August 26th, 2014

Time: 8:30am- 10am

Location: Manchester Grand Hyatt

Registration: Click here to register

I will be teaching healthcare professionals how to navigate social media in a field with many rules and regulations are in place. I will go over strategies for using different social networks and I’ll be hosting a Q & A to answer additional questions. If you’re a healthcare professional or are interested in this industry, you are welcome to register and attend. Also if you work in this industry and have any success stories using social media, please share them with me and you might be included in my presentation.

Marketing Melodie Speaking Engagement

I look forward to this upcoming speaking engagement. Speaking and teaching others is one of my favorite things I get to so if you are a business or organization who wants learn how to get real results with your marketing and social media efforts, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. You can learn more information on hiring me to speak here.

Takeaways from the National Eczema Association’s 2014 Patient Conference in Boston

I recently had the privilege of attending the National Eczema Association’s Patient Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. In the past I have shared my challenge as an adult with Eczema. I have also shared my dedication to helping find a cure. Attending this conference in Boston has given me a new positive perspective about a cure coming very soon. There were general sessions related to different medications and treatments, allergies, medical breakthroughs in Eczema and my favorite topic, alternative therapies.

The understanding from everyone at the conference was heartwarming. To be surrounded by so many others who completely understand what it’s like to live the itch life made me feel a support that I had never experienced before.

National Eczema Association Conference

I attended the patient support session: How do you cope with Eczema? This session was a group discussion where everyone had a chance to share their story. My favorite part of the session  was when we all shared one positive thing that’s come from our Eczema. It’s easy to focus on the negative but focusing on the bright side makes everything better. Here are some positive things the adults shared:

  • I am more compassionate
  • I have learned how to cope
  • I am more conscious of my healthy in general
  • I am grateful for NEA (National Eczema Association)
  • I am resilient and strong
  • I am a comedian and can add jokes about Eczema to my stand up routine
  • I appreciate my family being there for me
  • I have more self control

Everything on that list is awesome! The conference had a Kid’s Camp where the kids got to learn, make new friends and just have a good time with other kids without having to feel self conscious about their skin. On the last day we had a general session with both the kids and adults. The kids had a chance to share some positive things about Eczema and the conference too. Here’s what they shared:

  • I get to make new friends
  • I get to see my photo featured on the NEA magazine
  • I get to travel to new places
  • I am itching for a cure

IMG_20140711_180021_047

I am amazed at how smart and aware all of the kids are. The list of positive things from both the adults and kids  is a great reminder that even when experiencing something challenging such as Eczema there are many things to be grateful for. I mentioned that I really enjoyed learned about alternative therapies. I avoid pharmaceutical medications as much as I can so I was happy to hear doctors recommending other things to try. Dr. Lio, the founder of   The Chicago Integrative Eczema Center gave many suggestions on alternative therapies. He did let us know that with alternative therapies there haven’t been studies done to prove they work. Here are new things I learned:

  • Oil pulling- This is a tradition in Ayurveda medicine. I have heard about this before but not for Eczema and it wasn’t recommended specifically for Eczema either.  It’s a way to cleanse and pull toxins from your body through your mouth. At first the concept seemed odd but I’ve been doing it consistently for over a week with coconut oil and if anything, my teeth feel cleaner than ever!
  • Acupressure- I can’t tell you how many times people have recommended I try acupuncture for my Eczema. My answer has always been that I don’t want to use needles to puncture my skin since I’m already so sensitive and I just don’t feel comfortable doing anything that will further irritate my skin. People don’t really understand this response and always tell me how “small” the needles are and that I won’t feel it. Well when you have Eczema, you feel everything! Dr. Lio recommended acupressure instead. Without me even saying anything about my concern with acupuncture , he started off by addressing my exact concern! I was so happy to hear someone finally understand why acupuncture is not right for most people with Eczema.  He taught us how to do acupressure on ourselves and recommended we do it for 3 minutes, 3 days a week.
  • Sooth skin with oil before moisturizing- Emu oil was recommended for Eczema. Some people also use olive oil and coconut oil. I have tried olive oil and coconut oil but never emu oil. I will look into emu oil, it does not seem very common.
  • Hypnosis- This one seems odd, but I have actually tried it before! My friend Christian Wasinger is a Hypnotist  in San Diego and made me a recording over a year ago. Listening to the recording is very relaxing and similar to meditating. I had not listened to my recording for a while, but last night I found it and will be listening to it regularly again. I definitely notice myself not scratching when I’m listening to the recordings.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Baths- I rarely take baths but it was recommended to place one cup of apple cider vinegar in your bath water. I am open to trying this the next time I take a bath.
  • Get Vitamin D- I’m lucky to live in San Diego so I have plenty of access to natural Vitamin D from the sunshine. Vitamin D supplements can also be taken.
  • New Products- In addition to learning about new alternative therapies, I received dozens of new products to try. I am going to read the ingredients very carefully before trying any of these, but the sponsors were very generous with their giveaways. The photo below only shows a few products, by the end of the conference I had more than triple the amount of products pictured.

Products from the National Eczema Association Conference

Overall I feel very grateful that I was able to attend the conference.  One of my favorite things is the luncheon with a doctor at each table (I chose Dr. Lio’s table). Getting this one-on-one time with Dr. Lio was extremely valuable. I also enjoyed the opportunity to share our positive thoughts both in our sessions and on camera. Julie Block, the CEO of the National Eczema Association shared that now, more than ever there is more research that’s focused on Eczema. This only means we are closer to finding a real cure. I’m excited to see more developments in Eczema research and look forward to staying positive.

National Eczema Association Signs

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Marketing Melodie