Note: I attended Hispanicize thanks to a free blogger pass provided by Disney Parks. All expressions of excitement, especially for a certain Mouse, are strictly my own and stem from a lifelong love for all things Disney.
This was the second time I attended Hispanicize, thanks to Disney Parks, who hooked up bloggers with a free conference pass! Last year Hispanicize was great and this year the Hispanicize team really outdid itself, making it bigger and better. It was a week full of learning, seeing old friends and making new ones and lots and lots of networking. Truthfully #hispz15 was networking on steroids.
Thanks to Disney Parks for the Blogger Pass to Hispz15 and to my awesome roomie @Laliquin!
Some of the highlights of #Hispz15 included:
Fun with Disney: I arrived bright and early on Monday morning (via JetBlue of course) to head to the Disney blogger event at the Ritz-Carlton. It was a delicious lunch by the beach with yummy food and the best Latina mom bloggers around and of course, the head Mouse couple itself—Mickey and Minnie! I’m telling you, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen a group of Latina bloggers go crazy over Mickey and Minnie! Also, please note that Minnie and Mickey have already been hispanicized and they love to salsa dance.
Monday evening brought us the first ever Tecla Awards, celebrating the best in the blogger and digital influencer space. The night ended with a special concert by Chino y Nacho who sang their greatest hits… I was lucky enough to snap a pic with Chino who surprised me while I was posing.
Tuesday night Target hosted the Opening Night Reception “Sin Traducción” which was SO MUCH FUN! Great drinks, awesome music and a fun photo booth, what’s not to love? Target is a store I love and what I love even more is that they love and appreciate their Hispanic customers.
5 Reasons Why You Should Go to Hispanicize
I could go on and on, and plan on sharing more with you but what I really want to share with you are the reasons you should consider going to Hispanicize if you are a blogger or a digital influencer.
- Hispanicize offers amazing opportunities to network with executives from PR and marketing agencies, digital influencers and brands you want to work with. The brands and companies at Hispanicize believe in working with Latinos, because they know the power that Latinos have.
- You will undoubtedly learn something. There are so many great panels to choose from; sometimes you wish you could be at two places at once!
- You will make new friends (and see old ones). The virtual world turns real when you get to interact in real life with social media professionals that you only communicate with online. Maybe you will meet that person we’ve been interacting on Twitter with, or maybe you will meet a fan, or an editor you’ve been dying to pitch. I can say that my online relationships are real and genuine. Some of the women and men I’ve met through social media are some of my greatest friends and mentors and inspire me. Because we all live in so many places, Hispanicize is the one place where we can all come together and catch up in person.
- The brands are the best of the best and you will meet famous people! Last year I was impressed, but this year, I was super duper impressed. We’re talking Disney, Vive Mejor Shea Moisture, P&G, Transitions, Home Depot, 3M (they’re about so much more than scotch tape!) and more. We’re talking beauty experiences, pampering (foot massages? Yes please!) and opportunities to meet some of the most awesome digital innovators and celebrities… This year’s roster included Don Francisco (OMG), Dulce Candy, William Levy, Gente De Zona, Maria Elena Salinas, Miss USA Nia Sanchez and more.
- Hispanicize will leave you energized. Let me be honest, after a week at Hispanicize, you will be tired, but your spirit will not be! Quite the contrary! Your spirit will be energized, you will leave feeling incredibly inspired by what your peers are doing, by how far we have come as a community, and by the bonding and camaraderie that you will experience. You will work hard (days are long) but you will also have fun (of course, it’s not a Latino event without musica, food and fun!)
In case you’re thinking “OMG I wanna go!” Hispanicize 2016 will take place in Miami at the Intercontinental Hotel from April 4-8, 2016… so mark your calendars and meet me in Miami!
My Best Hispanicize Moment
Finally, I have to say something about my favorite favorite moment… meeting Don Francisco! I grew up watching Don Francisco. At a time when there weren’t hundreds of channels in Spanish (and we didn’t have cable) Sábado Gigante was a given in our home. I remember thinking why La Cuatro would come back every week, and asking my dad why he couldn’t go there so he could win a car. I think I secretly also wanted to participate in the kids’ games.
Growing up, Don Francisco was an icon, and I never in a million years thought that I’d 1. Hear him speak in person and 2. Get to take a picture with him. I’m going to be honest, I shed a few tears. He was so eloquent and incredibly inspiring. Here are three gems I took away from his Latinovator award interview:
- “Be responsible with what you are saying as a communicator.” –
- It’s never too late to reinvent yourself. – Don Francisco started making television when he was 46 years old… and look at how far he has come! So if you ever think it’s too late… It’s not!
- “El Que Persevera truinfa.” Perseverance! Sometimes you’re not successful and you need to keep going.
There is so much we can do as a community and Hispanicize is proof of all the amazing things we can accomplish and there is so much more to come!!! Congrats to Manny Ruiz, Piery Jolly, Cristy Clavijo-Kish, Angela Sustaita-Ruiz, Kat Johnson and all the people that made hispanicize possible! Can’t wait until #Hispz16!
Did you go to Hispanicize this year? What was your favorite moment?