After helping to put together the first ever Hispanicize Texas event here in Houston over the summer I thought I knew what to expect when I signed up to attend the Hispanic Heritage Month edition of this series of national events: Hispanicize Los Angeles or Hispanicize LA for short. Well, let me tell you, I was very pleasantly surprised.
Not only was the vibe of the LA event completely different (in a good way), but the content itself was pretty insightful and informative – I might even go so far as to use the word inspirational. That probably has something to do with my perspective as an attendee this year as opposed to where I was in my life the last four years when I made it to the national Hispanicize events in Miami. Those are five-day events and they are pretty massive. I always tell people the national Hispanicize event in Miami is a must for anyone who is serious about being in the digital space.
This year, I was attending Hispanicize LA both as an influencer and a business owner. And sure, technically as an influencer business has always played a role in my wanting to attend these events, but when you’re running your own business full time it’s just a little different.
For the last couple of years when I attend industry events like this one I make it a point to attend the sessions and panels that are most foreign to me. Not exclusively, but for the most part I find these are the sessions where I actually learn the most. It’s always a little eyeopening to hear how other people who are in completely different job categories are participating in the digital space. In LA, for example, thought leaders from the tech and entertainment industries really had a lot of interesting things to say that left me contemplating a lot of new ideas for myself and my business.
I’m still mulling over several of these.
The other thing I really enjoyed was getting to know the brand representatives who made a commitment to be there at Hispanicize LA. Microsoft’s team in particular was especially welcoming. They hosted me and a group of other influencers for lunch at one of their stores, giving us a pretty in-depth behind the scenes look at their latest technology and innovation efforts. It was also where we all had the chance to meet entrepreneur and Microsoft partner Ariela Suster.
Ariela makes handmade jewelry and accessories in El Salvador through her company SEQUENCE, which employs at-risk youth and seeks to disrupt the sequence of violence in that country. She uses Microsoft technology like the Surface to bring her designs to life and connects with her team using OneNote and Drive. Her story was kind of exceptional.
For me, the entire LA experience was pretty exceptional. At the end of the day, during the very last panel, I found myself walking up to one of the speakers and motioning with my hands to her that I was literally mind blown by what she and the rest of her panel had shared. This was the session titled “Latinas Who are Breaking the Ultimate Glass Ceiling: Silicon Valley.”
I think that pretty much sums up my LA experience at Hispanicize.