Words cannot express how extremely grateful I am to get to go to Hispanicize in Miami next week. Mostly because I really hadn’t planned on going, but it appears that I was meant to go because everything fell into place.
With that being said, I must cue the song that I have been indulging in ever since I found I was going for sure last Friday:
This will be my second blogging conference, and as a blogger, of course I feel the need to write about it. Today’s post is all about tips for people attending Hispanicize/blogging conferences. Also included is what I am most excited about and what I am most nervous about. And then I get all mushy and thank people at the end. Sound like a plan?
My top 3 tips for people attending Hispanicize. Now I am not going to go into obvious things like pack comfortable shoes, rest, eat, sleep, etc. Those are a given. I’m going to tell you 3 things that I wish someone would have really hammered into my head before I went to BlogHer last year.
1.) I was at a training for work recently, and the speaker said something that really resonated with me: “You can only be known by what others know about you” How this relates to blogging is that you have to let people (i.e.:brands/bloggers/contacts) know what you and your blog are about and what you can offer them. Quickly. As in try to get it down to under 30 seconds; that may be all you have. At BlogHer this is known as the elevator pitch, but it really works no matter what. Furthermore, don’t be shy about what you do. For a long time I kept my blog a secret to those who are around me everyday, but again, you can only be know by what others KNOW about you. Let it be known exactly what you do that makes your blog yours.
Brag. Be succinct. Be prepared. Be you. Be proud.
2.) Write down information about the brands/PR reps you talk to on their business cards. Don’t do this as you’re talking to them, unless you’re jotting notes, but do try to get it done within 15 minutes of meeting them. I have a stack of business cards from BlogHer last year that all are identical, but with different names on them. Heck if I know which brand Jennifer or David worked for/were representing, although they both do work at the same PR agency. Yeah, no clue. I should have written down the brand they were with, what we talked about or something that would allow me to put a name to a face. Or at the very least a memory to a business card. Now, this issue isn’t so big for blogger business cards since they usually filled with relevant info like blog URL, Twitter handle, yada yada.
3.) Let it be known that you are attending the conference so you can find people to hang out with. For me, this whole Hispanicize thing is very sudden. I won a pass, asked for help, got the help and BAM I am going. After all that sunk in, I was thinking, “Oh my gosh. I am going to be all alone.” I am just not down with that, at all. So, I went to all my networks and groups to let them know I was going. And now? I have several girls who are looking forward to hanging out with me, and we’re going to have cupcakes and go on a Chevy Landmark tour and party it up. Together. You’ll feel so much less intimidated if you just find some people who you can connect with. Get cell phone numbers, put them into your phone and make sure to keep in touch with them. A conference buddy is just a text away if you follow those steps. I am so looking forward to Carolyn being my BlogHer pal again this year. We truly bonded at BlogHer last year. She was the person I’d run around with or go to the room and chat with as we looked at all our swag. It’s amazing the friends you can make if you put yourself out there.
Now moving on to what I am most excited about at Hispanicize:
1.) Cesar Millan. Not going to lie, I am hoping to stuff him in my carry on and bring him back with me to Texas so he can make Pee Wee stop licking his paws. I am totally joking and mean no harm to Cesar Millan. He is a doggy genius, and just to be in the same room with him is a dream come true. Much like meeting Bob from The Biggest Loser at BlogHer was last year. These conferences are great for meeting people you admire.
2.) Connecting with brands and other bloggers. When you get that many people in a gorgeous location with all the creative energy moving through the air…it’s bound to be amazing. I hope to meet people that can help me take my blog to the next level. And I want to meet other bloggers that can share tips and advice. Furthermore, I want to let loose and have so much fun.
3.) I look forward to all the events being put on by Hispanicize and their generous sponsors. I’ll be attending a yacht party by McDonald’s and a fun event by the Latina Mom Bloggers. Besides being able to have a fiesta, these events are great to have longer conversations, take lots of photos and make special memories you’ll cherish. And blog about.
And although I am not a total conference newbie, there are things that make me nervous about Hispanicize:
1.) I hope no one tests me on my Spanish skills. I totally understand it, I can read it, but speaking it…oh lord. I am a bit rusty on it. I do know the words margaritas, fiesta and siesta. Hope that doesn’t disqualify me at still being classified as a Latina! ;-)
2.) Miami humidity. Will straightening my hair prove to be a waste of time?
3.) Feeling like I know no one. Even though I know I will know people, it’s still a little intimidating, but I am sure I’ll have a lovely time.
And now I’d like to thank some very special people/companies for helping make this trip a reality:
Eva Smith & Zelma: They are awesomesauce. Eva helped me try to find a flight sponsor, and she answers all my dumb questions via DM. She is what Hispanicize is all about-- helping others succeed and feel included. Zelma is my conference buddy and a total sweetheart. So blessed to have them in my life. <3
I’d also like to thank the Clever Girls Collective for my free conference pass, Southwest Airlines & Hispanicize for the free airfare and Collective Bias’ Courtney Velasquez for letting me crash with her for 2 nights.
See you in Miami!
To see what sessions I’ll be at during the conference, check out my schedule here.