Tuesday, April 17, 2012

HISPANICIZE 2012! Friends, Fun and what I wore #Hispz12

Hello everyone! I'm back from Miami and I can't wait to share some of the wonderful people I met and heard there. I arrived a day after the conference had started, so I missed the truly inspirational presentation by Ted Rubin talking about one of my favorite topics: how social media is all about relationships. I flew out early on Wednesday courtesy of Hispanicize sponsor Southwest Airlines. I was SOOOO impressed by their new "Evolve" interiors and all the staff were extremely friendly and helpful-thanks Southwest!
Miami at night-AMAZING!

First of all, it was my first time in Miami. Wow! I can totally see why people are so crazy about this place, it is GORGEOUS! Even though it's only April, temperatures were aleady in the 80s and, unlike Southern California, it stays balmy well into the evening. The first night I was there I was delighted to attend what was called a "blogger yacht party" sponsored by McDonald's. Let me just say that I was not expecting an actual yacht. IT WAS AN ACTUAL YACHT!
The McDonald's yacht-Me Encanta (that's Spanish for "I'm Lovin' It!")
It was great to re-connect with my blogger friends, many of whom I met at last year's Hispanicize conference. We toured beautiful Biscayne Bay while enjoying the yummy food and cocktails that were served before they opened up the "nightclub" on the lower level. We all danced the night away to OLD SCHOOL salsa music and I spent most of the night singing at the top of my lungs!
Getting down with my blogger friends on the dancefloor!
And that? Is how I lost my voice. Yes, I spent the entire remainder of the conference unable to croak out more than 3 words at a time. Le sigh. The upside, though, was that I had the opportunity to really listen to the sensational seminars and speakers that followed! One of my favorite seminars was presented by Voxxi editor Lorraine Ladish and Rene Alegria, founder of Mamiverse. Although I've been writing for Mamiverse for a while (you can see my articles HERE) it was the first time I've met Rene in person. He is even more interesting and hilarious in person than he is online!
Rene and Lorraine talk about engaging Latina moms
My FAVORITE thing about the whole conference, by far, was the addition of the "Latinovator" series. Every breakfast and lunch we were treated to an extremely motivating interview with groundbreaking Latinos like producer and entrepreneur Nely Galan (you might remember her from Celebrity Apprentice!):
Nely Galan-image via Mamiverse.com

And Cesar Millan (yes, The Dog Whisperer was there!!) I was so moved by his rags-to-riches story:
Cesar Millan interviewed by CNN's David Puente
One of my favorites was Emilio Estefan-he is such a positive person and he says he rides his bike 2 miles every day! I thought, "If someone as busy as Emilio Estefan makes time for daily exercise, I can too!":
Emilio Estefan-fresh from his morning bikeride!
I also loved having the time to really speak to the sponsors. So often at a conference it's just absolute mayhem and you don't get the chance to really talk to anyone. I LOVED the "Target Lounge" with it's music, wine and complimentary massage-thanks Target! I also loved the "Better Living"Lounge (sponsored by Unilever) which featured healthy cooking and beauty demos, including a Q&A with a dermatologist!
Q&A with the skin doc in the "Better Living" Lounge
 It can be so intimidating to try and keep up with the fashion bloggers at these events! They really turned it out, and I did as well as I could with the long days, the air conditioning and the HEAT:

Clothes by Jockey, shoes and bag by Fancy Steps!
I even got to wear my new fave dress from Macy's new Door.ri collection! Here's me in my green dress chillaxing by the Bay with my friend Jennifer Hutcheson (@Mami2Mommy) at just ONE of the many, many wonderful parties (btw-the dress is currently on SALE at Macy's in black for only $40! click HERE to buy):
Jennifer (@Mami2Mommy) and I by the bay!
My two other favorite events were the "Mommyblogger" breakfast with the Utilisima Channel by Fox Hispanic:

Did I mention the food was FABULOUS?
 And I especially loved the "Latina Entrepreneurs" luncheon with Jeanette Kaplun (cofounder of TodoBebe) and my friends (and sister Mamiverse contributors) Aurelia Flores (@LatinaLeader) and Kathy Cano-Murillo (@CraftyChica)!
Kathy and Jeanette share their entrepreneurial secretos with Aurelia!

 So, all in all, I had the BEST time! I must admit, I had my doubts that they would be able to top last year's conference in LA, but this year really raised the bar. The "Latinovator" series alone was worth the trip, but I got so much more out of my experience at this year's Hispanicize conference. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if I had actually been able to converse with the phenomenal people I met! Next year I'm going to take every precaution to preserve my voice-lol. Let's just say I was grateful to have my cozy McDonald's pashmina to wrap around my tired throat on the plane ride home!
My souvenir from the yacht!
 I hope you have the chance to attend next year's Hispanicize conference-you won't be sorry!

Well, I'm off to brew another cup of "Throat Coat" tea. Partying has it's price, I guess!

Wishing you love with extra cheese-
Nacho Mama

Disclosure: My attendance, accomodations and travel to this conference were sponsored by Hispanicize, Mami to Mommy and Southwest Airlines. The above is my honest opinion, honest!

1 comment:

BellaVida Letty said...

Great photos & recap. Hopefully next time we can meet up.