You get to plant seeds, build relationships, share best practices, meet like minded people, find collaborators, hire talent, connect with brands, find sponsors, make new friends, learn insights, learn from each others’ mistakes and the list goes on and on. In essence any event is what you make of it, but when you have an event with this much influence… you can only emerge better than you walked in.
I will be writing a series of posts about how I totally turned my business around based on what I learned and who I connected with at Hispanicize… so stay tuned for that.
Last night, I had dinner with Lisa Velazquez, The Love Style Coach™ to discuss collaboration on projects at Bogota Latin Bistro in Park Slope Brooklyn (merely blocks away from the new Barclay’s Center) and we were talking about how we grow our business. When the owner of the Bistro, Farid Ali Lancheros walked over to welcome us with my old friend Phil Velez, we had a great 4 way conversation about Latinos and how we position ourselves for success in business. All of us do consulting on some level and the biggest takeaway from the conversation was that Latinos are resistant to investing in their own success. Reason? we do not know or respect our own value… my feeling is that being around other successful Latinos helps to overcome that.
We all agreed that is because we have gaps in certain communities as to what resources are available and the ones that are available require personal investment. Investment is the key to finding your value and the value of partnerships and collaboration. I referenced Hispanicize in this conversation because I think Manny Ruiz and his team (over the last 4 years) has shown us what right looks like.
So as a blogger who has been around longer than the title itself and one who has been to, participated in and even developed conferences around topics of social media and branding I will be the first to tell you that Hispanicize is the best first step you can take to make that investment.
I do realize that many of you (based on your inquiries) may not even know what Hispanicize really is, so I am going to fill in the blanks for you. These are the 5 most common questions I get about Hispanicize…
What is Hispanicize?
Hispanicize 2013 is the iconic annual event for Latino trendsetters and news makers in social media, journalism, marketing, film, music and innovation. This event is in it’s 4th year and this year will be adding some great
What is the focus of the conference?
Now in its fourth year, Hispanicize 2013 is the annual Latino trends and news makers event for Hispanic marketers, media, bloggers, filmmakers and music artists. A multi-industry event with no peer, Hispanicize 2013 features five days of more than 80 professional development sessions. Major content focus is given to the industries of Hispanic marketing, social media, media, film and music. The event has become the No. 1 platform in the United States for launching products, services, initiatives, celebrity endorsements and more in front of a coveted national media and Latino blogger audience that is not found anywhere else.
Why did you you go?
It is simple, I have tried to figure out what it was going to grow my business for more than 14 years. I have rebranded and changed the services I offered many times in keeping with the trends. truth is, there were not enough companies loking to market to the English dominant Latino segment, and those that were, were not looking at doing it using a blogger.
I came to a realization that there is something very valuable about the big picture in this “social world” we live in and there is much to be said about how successful you can be if you simply open up to learn and share selflessly. The people that the Hispanicize people have engaged for this conference have the talent, experience and passion to take Latino / Hispanic brands to the next level. What I like most is that the conference addresses the needs from a blogger looking to start his blog all the way to the brands that need the right influencers to represent their brands.
What were your biggest takeaways?
Well as an event producer, I got a great glimpse of what it takes (on the operational end) to make a great conference work. I have spoken at some great conferences in the past but never have I seen a conference deliver on their promise as they did at Hispanicize 2012. I met some great people that I am (or will) be collaborating with in the future like Jewel Figueras, Ted Rubin, who is not Latino but dances a great Salsa. He spoke about the concept of Return on Relationship *#RonR* (also the title of his new book) alongside other great panelists like Lance Rios, Eva Smith, Lynn Ponder and yours truly.
I also connected with brands that had an almost immediate impact on my bottom line. I was able to get consulting gigs and do some social branding projects with great organizations like Being Latino and Latina Mom Bloggers. That was huge for me because for over 10 years I would never work with brands because I did not feel that they respected my audience… so I say all that to say that seeing the brands at Hispanicize really let me know that they are willing to learn from us just as much as we want to learn from them as we make these relationships work in a win / win kind of way. We are truly on our way.
PS… aside from all the work… I had a lot of fun… some of the coolest moments were:
- Speaking at the conference with such a great panel.
- visiting Calle Ocho, being introduced to delicious croquetas (Thanks Ford Motors)
- Meeting Steven Bauer and the cast of Scarface while having drinks with them , listening to them talk about their careers as we watched the movie
- Watching For Greater Glory after having had a great conversation with Andy Garcia (who was sitting next to me) and not knowing it was him. QUE VERGUENZA!
Ok… so when and where is this taking place?
Hispanicize 2013, a partnership of the Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA), Hispanicize and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), will be held at the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach, April 9-13, 2013.
Invest in yourself and your audience…
For more info or to book visit http://www.hispanicizeevent.com
(Note: I am an Hispanicize 2013 Advisory board member, but I was not compensated in any way for this post, this is 100% my opinion)