What a week! We just got back from all the festivities in sunny Miami at Hispanicize. This week-long event boasted a packed program of informative panels, concerts, film premiers and your favorite celebrities. Hispanicize 2015 concluded with an epic concert at The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater in South Beach, which was open to attendees and the general public (a Hispanicize first). Another first, the Tecla Awards, created to honor achievements of influencers, brands and content creators in the digital world. The event is also growing, it can be seen by the increase of the number of attendees. There was also a noticeable uptick in celebrity attendance too.
1. Celebs Sightings Galore
The selfie sticks came out to capture famous Latino faces among the attendees! William Levy, Miss USA Nia Sanchez, Luis Guzman, Luis Fonsi, Don Francisco, Dulce Candy, Chino Y Nacho, and Gente de Zona were all spotted at the conference.
2. Expect the Unexpected at Hispanicize!
Hispanicize's founder, Manny Ruiz shared his take on the celeb buzz at the event. "One of the things that happened this year was an integration of celebrity attendees that we have not seen before," explains Ruiz. These cameos were unplanned. "Celebs, hosts, actors and actresses were just checking in out the event to see what was going on. We had Pedro Martinez at one of our film premiers, Chino Y Nacho did an additional performance and Tito Puente Jr. popped up to perform."
3. The Nation’s Most Powerful Latina Journalists
The week-long conference created for influential Latinos in media was full of informative panels. Including a roundtable with the Nation’s Most Powerful Latina Journalists, discussing everything from style, politics and the hottest Latinos in Hollywood. Panelists included our own Shirley Velasquez, Latina's Executive Editor; Mercedes Soler News Anchor at CNN en Español, Cynthia Hudson Senior Vice President and General Manager at CNN en Español, Myriam Marquez Executive Editor of El Nuevo Herald and Maria Elena Salinas Co-Anchor of Noticiero Univision.
4. Networking Through Cultural Connections
We loved how brands participated and and hosted additional events for influencers. A fan favorite is the McDonald's Yacht Party, which takes bloggers and journalist on a sunset cruise and ends with a VIP McDonald's experience. Another great activation was Target's new #SinTraduccion campaign. The idea is to highlight Spanish-language words with no English equivalent and celebrate moments, traditions and emotions that are treasured by many in the Hispanic culture.
5. Latinos Honored For Doing Good
Miss USA Nia Sanchez and Luis Guzman emcee the annual Positive Impact Awards presented by 3Mpact. Created as homage to the late Louis Pagan, co-founder of Hispanicize and well-known social media entrepreneur, who passed away suddenly in February 2013. Louis was widely known for his kindness and commitment to giving the community a voice through his vast social media networks. In the same way, the Positive Impact Awards recognize those who contribute selflessly for the betterment of their community.
6. Digital Influencers Are VIPS
Celebs mingled with influencers at the event, there was a mutual fascination between bloggers, Viners, YouTubers and iconic stars. Here Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi flanked by host and journalist LeAura Luciano of EverSoPopular, Nicole Kestenbaum of Lipstick and Brunch and Ilean Harris founder of Lady Boss Academy.
7. Beauty Takes Center Stage
Shea Moisture provided products, education and even touch ups with Celebrity hairstylist Cesar Ramirez at the InterContinental hotel! Orgullosa hosted the Living Fabulosa Lounge. Influencers, bloggers and journalists learned about skincare, beauty and lifestyle products from Gain, CoverGirl, Olay, and more. Vive Mejor created an oasis at the conference. Offering informative and interactive sessions with experts from Suave, Dove, Ponds and Lipton, just to name a few.
8. Technology & Music Meet
Cricket hosted the official Hispanicize After Party at Haven Lounge where 15 content creators and journalists had the opportunity to participate in an intimate Q&A with up-and-coming Mexican-American music artist Sofia Reyes. Yarel Ramos of Mun2 (NBC Universo) served as the MC for the Q&A. Attendees kept the celebration going all night long while dancing el #cricketeo "el baile del texteo."
9. Living Legends Honored
This year Chilean TV Host Don Francisco, was one of the honorees of the Latinovator Award. Franscico, who most of us grew up with, captivated audiences with his variety show on Univision, Sabado Gigante.