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A Week in Boston with Marketing Melodie

August 9, 2014

The primary reason for my most recent trip to Boston was to attend the National Eczema Association’s patient conference. I love exploring new places and really making the most of my time when I travel. So in addition to attending the conference, here are some other great things I got to experience during my week Boston.

My first AirBnB experience– I have known about Airbnb for years. When I needed a place to stay in Boston, I decided to try it out. I found a nice house with my own room that wasn’t too far from my conference so I went for it. Although I only saw my host when I checked in, he was very nice, explained all the keys, got me logged in on wifi and provided me with fresh towels. Sometimes when you rent on AirBnB the people renting to you are still home, so you have to make sure you’re ok with privacy. As for my case, no one else was ever home when I was there so I enjoyed my own space and had access to the entire house. I definitely recommend Airbnb as a hotel alternative when traveling. You can find a place that has a full kitchen, you can rent an entire house and often times you can save money. Here is $25 off your first Airbnb if you want to check it out!

AirBnB  in Cambridge

AirBnB Cambridge Dining Room

Special screening of Boyhood and meeting the actors– I was invited to a special screening of Boyhood.  This movie was filmed over 12 years with the same cast. The drama charts the rocky terrain of childhood. Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between come together. The film is both a nostalgic time capsule and an ode to growing up and parenting. There are many moments in the film that will make you think of your own journey. It was amazing to see the actors grow up in front of my very own eyes on the big screen. After the movie we all got to meet the stars of the film Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane. They graciously stayed for a Q & A session which gave me even more insight into the unique experience of creating a movie over 12 years. 

Boyhood Movie Poster

Watching entertaining improv shows, YES….and…! – I’m intrigued and inspired by the concept of improv. I have personally taken improv classes and feel that they have helped me significantly in my business. You learn how to think on your toes, adapt quickly to any situation and craft answers that address tough questions on the spot. If you have ever considered trying improv you can check out 10 reasons taking an improv class will make you happy. My good friend since high school, Lauren Magnuson is a great improvisor and regularly performs various improv formats in front of live audiences. I personally love watching improv performances because they are hilarious and I always learn something new. Whether it’s a new word, phrase, pun or fact, I love taking in new tidbits of information while being entertained. I had a chance to watch Lauren perform at Improv Boston and then again at Comedy Sportz. Comedy Sportz is an improv competition between 2 teams where they play games based on audience suggestions. I love the interactive nature of this improv format and thoroughly enjoyed both shows.

Improv Boston with Lauren Magnuson

Comedy Sportz Boston

Autographs and Apps with C.C. Chapman- I had the honor of meeting C.C. Chapman and getting my books autographed by him. We connected on Twitter a few years ago so it was great putting a face to the Tweets. In addition to teaching marketing classes at National University I am also in charge of course development. I created a course called “Interactive Campaigns” and searched for books that touch on this topic. I came across C.C.’s book, Content Rules co-authored with Ann Handley and knew it was perfect for my course. There are many specific examples of successful businesses creating unique content tailored to their target audience. I highly recommend reading this book if you want inspiration to develop content that really connects to your customers. C.C. and I had a great chat sharing our favorite apps (He recommended I download Trip Advisor and I recommended he download NextDoor), discussing speaking engagements and the latest tech gadgets.

CC Chapman Autographing Content Rules

Getting Social with Socialnomics and Erik Qualman– Another successful entrepreneur I look up to (and literally because he’s tall!) is Erik Qualman, the founder of Socialnomics. I was grateful for an opportunity to hang out with him. Despite his busy schedule of  just getting back from DC and then heading off to Kenya in just a few days, he graciously took time out of his day to connect with me. He inspired me with many ideas to write my own book and gave me tips on getting started.  Erik is the genius behind the Socialnomics video series, the most watched videos on YouTube about Social Media. Back in 2009 when I was teaching Marketing and Communications classes at Platt College San Diego, I introduced social media to my students through showing them Erik’s videos. They provide a clear, concise and fun way to understand the power of social media. Erik has now created the 5th version in his Socialnomics video series. You can check it out here and I guarantee you’ll appreciate learning this valuable information.

Books by Erik Qualman

Lunch with Lillian’s Test Kitchen- I had a chance to spend time with the lovely Lillian of Lillian’s Test Kitchen. Lillian and I connected on social media a few years ago. I love her cooking show which focuses on delicious food that’s gluten, dairy, cane sugar and soy free. One of my favorite recipes is her cauliflower rice dish. We caught up over lunch at an amazing organic, vegan restaurant, called Life Alive (so good that I came back the next day before I had to catch my flight) where we shared cooking and health tips. Then we walked around Cambridge/ Harvard Square during the World Cup which was being shown outside on a giant screen. There was definitely a lot of great energy from everyone who was rooting on their team.

Touring Boston with Lillian's Test Kitchen

An abundance of yoga in Boston- Yoga plays a significant role in my life. I recently have been dedicated to getting stronger in my practice both mentally and physically. One of my favorite things about yoga is that there’s an abundance of yoga everywhere. Even though I’m thousands of miles away from San Diego, being on my yoga mat always makes me feel at home. I set an intention to make time for yoga while traveling and despite my busy schedule, I was able to take 5 classes, one of them being acro yoga! I recently started playing around with acro and love that it adds variety into my regular yoga practice. It builds strength, trust and looks cool! Most of my classes were taken at Karma Yoga. They have 3 locations and a variety of awesome classes to choose from. I highly recommend dropping in for a class when you’re in Boston and enjoyed every yoga class I took during my trip.

Acro Yoga at Karma Yoga

That’s my week in Boston in a wrap! Social Media has really enhanced my social life in real life. 3 out of the 4 people I spent time with in Boston were due to a social media connection. One bonus during my trip is that the weather was great! It was nice, sunny, mostly in the 70s with no humidity. I like to think that I brought the awesome San Diego weather to Boston during my stay! This was my 4th trip to Boston so if you’re ever planning a trip there, feel free to ask me for more recommendations on things I enjoyed. I’m so lucky that a conference took me to a city where I’m connected to so many amazing people who all went out of their way to make my trip “wicked” (I have only ever heard the term “wicked” in Boston) awesome.

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