Before anything else, I want to let you know that some portions of this post are part of a campaign sponsored by Toyota and Hispanicize/Dime Media. Without their support, I would not have been able to do the many awesome things I did in Miami. Having said that...everything in this post is my opinion and 100% my own. The way it should be :)
If you follow me on social media, you know I was at the Hispanicize conference in Miami in early April. You'd also know that Miami was a blast! I'm still recovering, actually. Let me tell you a little bit about how I came to be involved with the conference and the many fun things I did while in Miami.
I was first invited to the conference by a business colleague last year. From what I was told, it was the premiere event for Latino professionals in media. I didn’t know what to expect, but when I showed up, I was very impressed. I had been to many conferences in the past, heck, I had even helped put together a conference myself, but the level of production quality and sessions were unlike any I had ever seen. I was so impressed, in fact, that I knew I wanted to be part of the conference in some way. So I introduced myself to Manny Ruiz, the mastermind behind the conference and I told him that I would like to be part of the conference this year.
After I left the conference in Miami, I started getting lots of calls from agencies and brands that wanted to work with me (a great reason for content creators to attend Hispanicize). One of those calls was from Dime Media, who is headed by Manny’s wife, Angela. Throughout the year, I did a few campaigns with them for different clients.
What I liked about working with "Dime" was not only their level of professionalism, but the fact that their campaigns aligned very nicely with the things my channel is all about. More on that later.
A few months passed and then I got a surprise call from Manny. I say surprise because not only did he remember who I was, but was inviting me to be part of the conference as an Advisory Board member. He told me, “Eddie, I seriously don’t know why my wife and all the girls at Dime love you, but if you’re OK with them, you’re OK with me.” As I later learned, this Manny's way of delivering a compliment. LOL!
Manny told me that as an Advisory Board member, I would be lending my expertise, helping with key decisions, and helping set the overall tone for the conference along with the rest of the Board.
Seeing how many bloggers were starting to venture into video the previous year, one of my first suggestions was to have a session on how they could take their videos to the next level, which was met with a resounding “Heck yeah!" from Manny. A few weeks later, Manny told me that Dime and Hispanicize would be merging and they would be dedicating an entire day to social media influencers (which came to be known as the Dime Summit) at Hispanicize. This was great because it meant that I got to work with Piera Jolly at Dime Media again. After a few calls, Piera and I came up with what became the outline for “How To Make Videos Like A Boss”, which I taught to a packed room of over 50 social media influencers and creators on the first day of Hispanicize.
Teaching the course was such a rewarding experience. I shared my tips and tricks for making videos and had a great time meeting content creators from all over the United States and Latin America (which is another great reason for content creators to attend).
Prior to the conference, the ladies at Dime told me about an opportunity to partner with Toyota and meet with Pat Pineda, a Group Vice President at Toyota. They thought I would be a perfect fit.
I was invited to Toyota Corolla’s 50th Anniversary party in Key Biscayne. We had some great food, ate a cake that was shaped like a Corolla, and I even won an iPad Mini!
But by far, the highlight of my day, was getting to interview the highest ranking Latina at Toyota, Pat Pineda. Check out the interview!
Pat had many great things to share. My favorite being the concept of Kaizen (continuous improvement) which I had actually learned about in grad school when one of my professors used Toyota as an example in class. In that class, we learned that at the heart of Toyota's rise in the automobile industry, was its commitment to excellence through the art of continuous improvement. True story!
Some things I didn't know though we're that:
- The Corolla is the all-time world’s best-selling car.
- 1 out of 4 new Corollas sold in the U.S. is sold to a Latino
- The Corolla is built in North America!
- Pat Pineda was instrumental in bringing manufacturing to the U.S.
It was great chatting with, and dancing with, Pat! I love spreading stories that empower our Latino community.
On Thursday we were all invited to the annual award ceremony at Hispanicize, the Tecla awards, (which was also sponsored by Toyota). I was nominated in the category of Comedy and got to hang out with these awesome creators:
Though I did not win (Joanna from Flama won), the fact that I was even nominated with such a talented group of people was enough for me. Don't get it twisted though...next year, it's going down!
The last day of Hispanicize was awesome. I got to meet the creator of Monster (headphones, cables, etc.) Noel Lee:
I also got to meet Ozzie Arau, who runs Tyler Perry's studio. As someone in comedy with aspirations of making my own studio and doing sketch comedy and movies, getting to not only hear, but connect with an innovator like Ozzie is life-changing.
I keep telling every Latino Creator I know about Hispanicize. Last year, the presence of west coast people was small. This year, we showed up in bigger numbers. I hope after this recap, everybody who has been wondering if Hispanicize is worth the trip to Miami will be convinced...Hispanicize is THE premiere event for Latinos in Media. But, if you need more convincing and want to see posts from the event, search for the hashtags #Corolla50 #VayamosJuntos and #Hispz16, on social media.
See you in Miami next year!