It’s hard to believe it has already been two weeks since Hispanicize 2014 wrapped. In its fifth year, Hispanicize is the largest annual event for Latino movers, shakers, and trendsetters in the fields of social media, journalism, advertising, PR, film and music. I was so grateful to have been able to attend, thanks to winning a full event registration during the HISPZ14 Twitter Party in late February.
Here are a few of my favorite things about this year’s conference:
Location, location, location! This year the conference was held at the world renowned Intercontinental Hotel in Downtown Miami. The venue was great!! Because it is downtown there were several parking options, including affordable event valet parking. Public transportation was another great option, with the Metromover station just two blocks away. I didn’t take advantage of the Metrorail/Metromover, which would have saved me gas and tolls, since I knew I’d be sticking around for a few of the late-night events. While I still had to deal with rush hour traffic in the morning, I didn’t have to drive all the way to Miami Beach, which would have added 30 minutes to my already-long-enough-during -rush-hour 90 minute commute from home. I’m definitely going to attempt staying at the host hotel or nearby next year.
Old and New Friends: It is always fun to hang out with old friends at an event like Hispanicize. You have someone (or someones) to compare session notes with, take silly pictures with, and share great meals with. But it’s also equally enjoyable to make new friends. Not only have I added great people to follow to my Twitter, Instagram, Facebook accounts and my blogroll, I’ve made some promising connections that I hope will grow into wonderful personal and professional relationships.
Target Lounge – Target knocked it out of the park once again! Their lounge in the brands expo area was so much fun, with a photo booth, comfy couches and a virtual jukebox (visitors tweeted songs from a list and their selections played in the lounge). Then on Wednesday night, they transformed the main ballroom into an amazing space with a catwalk to introduce the upcoming Ambar collection. This confirmed something I already knew: Target is fabulous!
Here I am, hamming it up with Staci from 7 on a Shoestring, Leanette from Teach Me 2 Save, and Janet from Outer Sparkle. Below is the ballroom, converted for the Target Party/Fashion Show, awesome huh?
Latinovator Luncheons – Each day during Hispanicize, outstanding Latino individuals were honored with the Latinovator award. From the Hispanicize website:
“The Latinovator Awards recognize Latino celebrities, business professionals and other high achievers who have become crossover successes or whose stories of achievements are remarkable or inspirational.”
Music – Oh my, I was in music heaven during Hispanicize, thanks to the hard work of Vanessa James and Katherine Johnson. On Wednesday night, Hispanicize showcased local bands Elastic Bond and Spam Allstars during the Miami Sounds “Noche de Musica” at the Gibson showroom in Wynwood. Because I know the team, I offered to lend a hand during this event, and I saw most of the two performances from backstage. That was so cool!
Besides Wednesday’s event, another favorite was the “house band” during the Positive Impact Awards on Thursday night: Suenalo! I got to see three out of the six bands featured on the recent documentary Miami Boheme in a span of 24 hours, and I was ecstatic! And, as if that weren’t enough, Sheila E. performed during the Positive Impact Awards after party. She not only Rocked, but looks absolutely stunning! I hope I look half as amazing as she does when I turn 56!
Cricket Event I was fortunate enough to have been invited to an event hosted by Cricket Wireless. At first I was not sure I was able to attend, as I did not have anyone to pick up the kids from school that day, but the stars aligned and Eric ended his workday early: problem solved! The rest of the invitees and I were whisked off from the hotel to Haven Lounge near Lincoln Road for a wonderful reception and some exciting news that I can’t share just yet. Suffice it to say, great things are coming from Cricket!
There you have it, my Hispanicize 2014 wrap-up. Can’t wait ’til next year!