Posts Tagged ‘Mailani Makainai’

The view from my room at The Fairmont San Francisco.

The view from my room at The Fairmont San Francisco.

It’s been about 10 years since I last visited the San Francisco Bay Area as a college youngster attending the PRSSA National Assembly with fellow classmates from the University of Hawaii. Looking back on that trip, the only things I recall were the conference itself, Fisherman’s Wharf, and drinking Guinness for the first time. Couldn’t tell you what hotel we stayed at, where we ate, who we met, and what else we did. Sad but true!

So I was excited to get back to the Bay Area this past week on business to launch the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau’s (HVCB) new Hawaii: A Thousand Reasons to Smilecampaign. What’s this all about and what else did I do there? Read on.

San Francisco Chronicle Travel Editor Susan Fornoff and SFGate's Hawaii Insider Jeanne Cooper.

Catching up with San Francisco Chronicle Travel Editor Susan Fornoff and SFGate.com's Hawaii Insider Jeanne Cooper at the HVCB Smiles reception.

Hawaii: A Thousand Reasons to Smile

Hawaii’s second-largest market for visitors – the San Francisco Bay Area – is going to see, hear, and experience the Islands of Aloha in March like never before in a new campaign led by HVCB. This initiative is a month-long promotion throughout March that will showcase the appeal of Hawaii’s culture, natural beauty, and music to residents throughout the Bay Area through print, broadcast and online advertising, digital freeway bulletin boards, in train stations and BART cars, on ad walls in popular settings, and TV shows, including ABC’s The View From the Bay. The campaign will direct consumers to visit GoHawaii.com/LotsofSmiles, a new HVCB microsite that will engage them with interactive promotions, offer information about Hawaii events in the Bay Area, and let them plan their vacation.

To kick it all off, HVCB hosted a reception for more than 50 Bay Area media at the Fairmont San Francisco on Feb. 26 featuring the incredible music of Willie K. and the Polynesian Cultural Center, along with the delicious cuisine of Chef Jake Belmonte of The Faimont Kea Lani, Maui. Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann was also there, along with HVCB and its Island Chapters. This event has been my pet project for the past couple months and it went off well. I also owe a huge mahalo to my colleague Michael Ni who traveled with me and also my team back at the office who made it happen. It was an amazing night and you can see who was there by checking out the photos on my Flickr page.

Aloha Friday Pau Hana Concerts at Gordon Biersch

In the island-style tradition of “work over, hang loose”, Hawaii’s music, cuisine, and Aloha Spirit will also be showcased in Aloha Friday Pau Hana Concerts being held at Gordon Biersch restaurants in San Francisco, Palo Alto, and San Jose. Each Friday in March, from 5-11 p.m., some of Hawaii’s top entertainers will perform their musical magic and Aloha Spirit, including Willie K., Raiatea Helm, Brother Noland, Mailani Makainai, Kealii Kanealii, John Cruz, Cyril Pahinui, and Taimane Gardner. Patrons will also enjoy a special menu of Hawaii-inspired cuisine and can win trips to the islands. My colleague Michael has done an amazing job putting this all together with the GB team and we look forward to seeing many smiling faces at the events.

Great meeting Nancy Brown (@nancydbrown), David Lytle (@davitydave), Amy (@cookingwithamy), and Vanessa (@amidoingokay).

Great meeting Nancy Brown (@nancydbrown), David Lytle (@davitydave), Amy (@cookingwithamy), and Vanessa (@amidoingokay).

Uptake.com and HVCB SF Blogger Meetup

Through the magic of Twitter, I’ve gotten to know Uptake’s Elliott Ng and appreciate his passion for travel. At his suggestion, he recommended co-hosting at meetup of local SF bloggers at the Hukilau restaurant on Feb. 27. It would be the last order of business before the Hawaii team headed back home. So Michael, Rebecca Pang of Stryker Weiner and Yokota Public Relations (representing Oahu Visitors Bureau), and I had the opportunity to meetup with about 20 bloggers/tweeters to talk about Hawaii and the new campaign. It was a great event pulled together by Uptake’s Pat Jenkins and Alison Osborne and I couldn’t help but take as many photos as I could which you can also find on my Flickr page.

Also found some time to “play”

While this was strictly a work visit to the Bay Area, I did manage to find some time to have just a little bit of fun. I’ve recapped most of that on my Flickr page, but also want to highlight a couple other nuggets of fun:

  • I finally had the chance to meet fellow tweep Ken Yeung in real life (IRL). He’s actually very familiar with Anthology Marketing Group having worked at Starr Seigle Communications after college before moving to the Bay Area. We stumbled upon a great little sushi restaurant – Sudachi – with great food and cheap beer for a mini-Tweetup. He’s a fellow social media explorer like me and maintaines a great blog that’s a fun and interesting read. Looking forward to tweeting up with Ken again.
  • I first had the opportunity to meet Social Media Club co-founder Kristie Wells in Honolulu last October at one of her workshops she was doing with hubby Chris Heuer. Since then we’ve managed to stay in touch via Twitter. So when the opportunity came up to have breakfast with Kristie in SF, I couldn’t pass it up. Breakfast itself at Brenda’s French Soul Food was unreal (I had the oyster scrambled eggs, potatoes, and biscuit which was phenomenal), but the conversation about social media, marketing, and life in general was incredible. Mahalo Kristie for a fun impromptu Tweetup. Only wish Chris could have been there too!

I could go on and on and on, but I’ll close here. San Francisco is an incredibly beautiful city for so many reasons. I can’t wait to get back and hope I can find a way to return soon with the family on vacation. Until then, I look forward to keeping in touch with all the great people I met. As we say in Hawaii, a hui hou (until we meet again)!

-NGK

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UPDATE: I’m proud to report that Honolulu Twestival raised more than $7,000 for charity:water! We had an awesome turnout at Oceans 808 and want to say MAHALO to everyone for their support. In case you weren’t able to be there that night, the leaders behind this effort – Ryan Ozawa and Vernon Brown We’ll look forward to seeing you next year! – have the story covered on their blogs.

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Dear Readers:

I’m proud to be part of the volunteer organizing committee for the first-ever Honolulu Twestival, a grassroots, 100 percent volunteer driven effort to raise money for charity: water, a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.

On Thursday, February 12, Honolulu will join more than 175 international cities in hosting a Twestival at Oceans 808 from 5-9 p.m. to bring Hawaii’s social networking communities together in an effort to raise money for this great cause. Our pau hana-style event will feature great food, drinks, and a lineup of live entertainment, including Guy Cruz, Anuhea, Mailani Makainai, Jama Hang, and Sunset.

Did I mention we’ve also received some great donations to give away throughout the night that includes hotel stays at The Wyland Waikiki, Aqua Resorts, and Sheraton Waikiki? Not to mention spa treaments from Spa Pure, roundtrip on the Hawaii Superferry, tuition to the Bartending Academy, admission to the Waikiki Aquarium, gift certificates for Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar and d.k Steakhouse, tickets for Atlantis Submarines and much more.

Tickets are just $20 per person presale online and $25 at the door that night, and includes pupu buffet and two (2) drinks. I should also mention that 100 percent of the ticket sales go directly to charity: water.  Please note that this event is only open to those 21 and older.

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Why am I involved in this? For one to experience how social networking communities (like Twitter) can come together to collaborate on an international scale, but working from a local level to impact a single cause.  And second, the fact that right now, 1.1 billion people on the planet don’t have access to safe, clean drinking water opened my eyes.  That’s one in six people.  Many communities in developing nations often have a plentiful supply of clean drinking water just below the ground, but no way to get to it. This is where charity: water and its partner organizations come in.

By purchasing a $20 ticket and joining us next week Thursday, you can give one person clean and safe drinking water for 20 years.

BTW, this wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of Ryan Ozawa and Vernon Brown who spearheaded the effort. And also to our sponsors Farmers Hawaii, eHawaii.gov, Hawaii-Aloha.com, The Kelly Mitchell Group, KGMB9 News, SubscriberMail, Alltop, and Pono Media.

Mahalo in advance for your support and I hope to see you on Thursday at Oceans 808.

-NGK

[Honolulu Twestival logo designed by Valentino Valdez of Valdezign.]


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