I thought of writing about my experience at Hispanicize 2014 because it was the first time I attended the event and wanted to share the difference it has made in my personal SOCIAL approach.
I had heard about it from other seasoned bloggers who had attended previous editions of the event, but it didn’t resonate as something I needed to do. But this time around, reading about it and seeing a well-put-together site, with well-thought-out conference topics, and the word-of-mouth that virally exploded throughout the social platforms raised an interest in me plus the fact that my trip and expenses were sponsored. That was a big help, of course.
I have been, as you can image, to many conferences, locally or elsewhere, but Hispanicize was different. The venue, the topics of the conference, the people, the events, the entertainment, the food, and the hospitality of the organizers and hotel were simply TOP. While being there, I wondered how could I split in 3 so that I could be present in 3 different places so that I would not miss out on anything I wanted to attend, or go to the live music event that was taking place, or simply stay on the hallways networking. There was so much to do, cover, learn and people to meet that only if you went there you would know what I mean.
I wanted to do it all, but there was no way. So many invitations and events that sometime I thought I couldn’t keep up with the agenda I had created for myself. Once you are there, things start taking a different path because face-to-face socialization primes, be it with a blogger, vendor or a panelist. By the time, you are done with that, the other conference you scheduled yourself to attend has already passed. I have never ever collected or given out so many business cards as I did at Hispanicize 2014 last week.
As bloggers, most of our work experience is virtual, including the networking part of it. It is quite convenient and efficient to be behind a computer working, networking, socializing, shopping, reading, etc. This setup is ideal for busy moms, interacting with the outside world at the comfort of our homes. And, even though there is now technology that allows us to see people real time, it is never the same to have that person right in front of you. Putting faces to twitter accounts, match the virtual voices of the blogs to the actual person who writes it makes a huge difference in your future rapport with them.
As for entertainment, I had never been in a conference so engaging and fun. Having lunch in a huge ballroom, with a great stage, listening to amazing journalists like Maria Hinojosa, Maria Elena Salinas o Yoani Sanchez as well as meeting in person Fernando Fiori and also Ana Maria Canseco interviewing Carlos Vives – everything LIVE, was just an incredible experience, not to mention that we had also wonderful live-music happy hours from 4-5pm every day, and a fashion show by Target. Plus, did I mention that we had a kickboxing class sponsored by P&G? That Hispanic spirit, the latin flare could be sensed at all times. We certainly do things and think differently.
So, here are 10 reasons to go to Hispanicize if you are a blogger:
- To meet the people behind the Twitter Accounts (FB, Instagram allows you see the person behind the account more).
- To see that voice of your fellow bloggers for REAL.
- To interact/socialize with vendors, panelists, bloggers in the traditional way… it goes a long way.
- To meet vendors and let them know who you are.
- To feel “Orgullosa” of being Hispanic.
- To have fun.
- To be known by fellow bloggers and other key players you may consider important.
- To be amazed of how much we mean and have contributed to the US economy, plus how much more we will continue to contribute.
- Learn and be inspired by influential bloggers, journalists and panelists.
- To blog about it, of course! 😉
I was happy to meet bloggers I have interacted with via Twitter like @MamaContemporanea, @SuperMamaLatina, @EntreComprasyElHogar, @Joryckyt, @MamaBeaute, @lauraTermini, @DailyCurlz, @Jorkc, @Flordemariaf, just to mention a few and meet many latina leaders like @AnaFlores @JusticeFergie, @JeannetteKaplun, @MoniqueFausto, @ErConRad and meet new bloggers I had not met before like @Marixsa, @AsBestRecipes, @XOXOLizza, @TeresaGarza, @LatinMomTV, @TheQueenofSwag, @SorayaPena, again just to mention a few. Whew! Done!