If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I recently attended Hispanicize in Miami. Many of you – especially those of you who don’t live in Miami or Los Angeles – have asked me about my thoughts on this conference so I’ve decided to do a Hispanicize review for you all.
Just note, this is not a review of the personal financial content available at the event (which is pretty good by the way). Most of the questions I’ve received are business related. As in, is it worth it to spend money on this event if you’re a Latino content creator?
What is Hispanicize?
If I’m going to do a Hispanicize review, then I need to explain what Hispanicize is. For those of you who don’t know what Hispanicize is, it’s a large conference for Latino influencers and Latino members of the media. Brands who are looking to cater to the Latino market are also present at this event. The conference also isn’t specific to any genre or niche. You have everything from financial bloggers like myself to music bloggers and everything in between.
Furthermore, although there is a focus on Latinos, the event is pretty inclusive to all people of color. In other words, don’t think you don’t have any business being there if you aren’t Latino. At the end of the day, all people of color have some shared experiences.
My experience at my first Hispanicize in 2017…
The first time I went was a little crazy. There were literally events all over the city and it was hard to catch your breath. If you’ve ever experienced Miami traffic, you know this setup is a disaster.
This time, however, the event seemed more contained. That made it easier to network and make meaningful connections which I found was more difficult to do in 2017. (To be fair, I was also traveling a lot last year. I was already exhausted and burned out by the time Hispanicize came around in April which I’m sure affected my experience.)
This year, I was only able to attend one of the days due to scheduling and client deadlines. To be honest, everything I needed for my own business was the first day. So my plan of attack was to go hard the first day and then if I made it to any other day it would just be icing on the cake.
So yes, my Hispanicize review is based on one day. However, it was a 12 hour day and I hit up everything I personally wanted to do while attending.
Attending with friends
Part of the reason why this year was so different for me is that I attended with friends. Last year, I went alone and ran into friends while I was there.
This time around I went with fellow finance blogger and Cuban soul sister, Jessica Garbarino, of Every Single Dollar, who actually crashed at my place. Since I live in Brickell, we were able to walk to the venue where the event was being held. This is also different than last year when I was living in Coral Gables and had to Uber (hence hating traffic).
By the way, here’s a conference tip. If you’re ever attending a conference where you must travel, just shell out for the hotel where the event is being held. It makes life easier.
We also got to spend some time with my producer, Melissa Vargas, for the A Todo Color Radio Show on CVZ La Voz which was awesome because she’s so in tune with Latin media.
You see, I’ve been working the American media market for years. It wasn’t until recently that I started getting more involved in my own community. This is for various reasons, but mostly because the community wasn’t yet ready to have a conversation about money. Brands weren’t really trying to reach the Latino community either, at least not when I started blogging back in 2010.
But, of course, times have changed. I noticed a shift in the market a couple of years ago and that’s when I began to speak more about my experience as a Latina and first-generation American. At the end of the day, my financial experience is probably not the same of a white woman living in middle America. It’s just not. So, it’s important that I cater to my own community.
That’s why I was so excited when Meli invited me to do a monthly financial segment on her show. Her expertise in the Latin media market has also been super helpful as I begin a crossover. Having her there with me at Hispanicize was definitely a part of what made the experience so much better for me this time around.
I also ran into a ton of other friends and colleagues while I was there. Since I’ve gotten more involved in the local blogging community over the past couple of years, I began seeing some familiar faces including Paola Mendez of South Florida Bloggers, Jani Flores of Buena Vida Media and Shani Curry St. Vil of Purse Empowerment.
I also made new friends but more on that in a bit.
Here is one thing I actually enjoy about Hispanicize: Brands literally tell you exactly what they are looking for in influencers. In fact, I would venture to say that apart from having a Latino focus, this is what sets Hispanicize apart from other online marketing conferences.
There was one session from a large brand where Jessica and I were like “Holy crap! If only brands did this at all the other conferences we go to!” They were so detailed in what they were looking for and even showed us examples of how they work with influencers!
You also get the opportunity to learn directly from members of the media and people who blog for a living. This is really cool because, again, our experience as a culture and community tends to be a little different.
And by the way, those are just the sessions with the basic admission. Since I had a Press Pass, I also got to stop by a separate track they have for CMOs of large brands. That content just blew my mind as a marketer because it wasn’t the basic “Here’s how to write a blog” but rather more of the “here’s how emotion drives buying decisions” kind of content. Any business owner looking to improve their marketing would have gotten immense value from that track.
As a side note, Cardi B was referenced in just about every financial session and I was living for it.
The entire point of attending a conference is the networking, so you bet I’m including it in this Hispanicize review. I feel like the networking at Hispanicize 2018 was way better than 2017. Again, maybe it’s because the event felt more contained instead of being spread out all over the city.
I actually got to make really good connections this year including:
- The head of sponsors and influencer campaigns for major brands
- Editors for large media outlets. This included online media like NowThis and more traditional outlets like CNN.
- Other bloggers! My goodness, it was so much easier to do this in 2018!
The first two are, of course, invaluable for business. I’ve ramped up the influencer side of my business so being able to meet the people who make these decisions for major brands is a big deal. Meeting journalists and editors is also a big deal as you learn how to get media for your business.
The last one was probably my favorite though. In particular, it was a joy to meet Natalie Torres of Financially Savvy Latina. I feel like without Hispanicize I may have never run into her amazing work.
It’s also amazing to see the number of Hispanic financial bloggers growing with each passing year! There were definitely more of us this year which makes my little Cuban finance nerd heart sing!
Hispanicize is full of events including musical performances and the Tecla Awards which happen every year. I only got to attend the opening party but damn was it a good one!
The opening party took place in the middle of the Miami Design District. If you’ve never been there I highly recommend checking it out because it’s gorgeous!
We also got free tequila drinks, paella, and free musical entertainment. But, once again, the best part was probably the networking. I met so many bloggers, podcasters, and editors at that party – certainly far more than I met last year. I’m also starting to see some crossover from other big online media conferences like Social Media Marketing World and Podcast Movement.
And, perhaps the highlight of my night, was meeting Jenny Lorenzo! For my non-Latino readers who don’t know who this woman is, she makes hilarious videos where she’s a Cuban grandma. Her videos crack me up because she basically finds all the crazy stuff our culture does that other people may not understand. Not only that, but she’s so popular even our parents and grandparents know who she is and watch her videos! My mom literally freaked when I told her I met Jenny!
Final Thoughts on Hispanicize Review
Overall, I feel like Hispanicize was really good this year. I can already see how bloggers would make a return on their investment and have a lot of fun while doing so. I’m also liking the fact that bloggers from other conferences are starting to make their way to this one because it’s a good sign they are either receiving valuable content or making money off their investment. And finally, the quality of the connections I made was incredible. I mean, come on, it doesn’t get much better than meeting editors from CNN and Univision.
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