Six Questions with Hispanicize 2012 Creative Director/Organizer Manny Ruiz

From April 10 thru the 13th Miami will be the host city for Hispanicize—the Hispanic marketing and entertainment’s industry premier event that brings together all expressions of Latino trends, from media and social media to film. The 4-day event packs a tremendous punch as conference organizers expand on the accomplishments of the last two years celebrating the event. Now in its 3rd year, the conference has its most ambitious agenda to date, bringing in more than 85 sessions on all sectors of interest to those focused on connecting with Hispanic audiences. To learn more about the event, visit www.HispanicizeEvent.com or follow @hispanicize on Twitter. Manny Ruiz, conference founder and director, answers six questions for PRSA Miami.

Hispanicize 2012 doesn’t sound like your typical Hispanic marketing conference?  
We don’t like to characterize Hispanicize 2012 as a conference because our event is much more than that.   Even though Hispanicize 2012 features a plateful of professional development sessions and networking like most conferences do, there also are strong elements of entertainment and fun that you don’t typically find at conferences.  Those elements and the fact actual Hispanic brands have ALWAYS been part of the presenters we feature every year since we started three years ago is what fully separates us.  By adding even more elements to the program like a National Latino Film Showcase and even a Scarface film screening finale at a mansion we are seeking to make people ravenous fans of our program.

What does this year’s content consist of?
There will be more than 85 sessions and activities wrapped around the theme of Latino trends in social media,  blogging, media, PR, advertising, film and entertainment.  This year we’ll have more than 15 sessions on social media, 25 with Latino bloggers, 25 about Hispanic advertising and public relations and 12 sessions on films.  Sprinkled in between everything are what we call the Latinovator sessions.  These sessions will feature inspiring, one-on-one live interviews with Emilio Estefan, Cesar Millan, Maria Elena Salinas and Nely Galan.  We’re also doing four nights of films and fun that includes a mega after party film showcase night with BlackBerry and Diageo at 1111 Lincoln Road.  The best way to understand what we are is that Hispanicize 2012 is what you get when SXSW meets Latino.  We want to inspire and celebrate the many innovations going on in the culture and the industries that are elevating it.

Why did you decide to permanently locate the event in Miami?
Miami is the ONLY metropolitan area that really lends itself to expanding the event.  Miami is the largest and most important Hispanic media and marketing industry market in the country, plus it has perfect chamber of commerce weather in April.  It’s proximity to New York, connections to Latin America and bounty of Latino celebrities also bring much benefit to a growing event like ours.

Who attends Hispanicize 2012?
The beauty of our event is that it gathers all of the creators of Hispanic media, advertising, social media, blogging, film, entertainment and public relations.  It’s a very dynamic setting when you put all of these talented people together and they have a chance, through just one event pass, to meet and go to any industry session they feel like.  In this digital age there is a lot of cross pollination of ideas and we like to think we’re instigating more of this! We have structured a conference that offers content for those new to Hispanic marketing, and for those who have been experts at it for years.

What can marketers and PR professionals take away from attending the event?
During the course of our event, some of the most innovative consumer brands will share case studies and best practices in reaching Latinos. Also, with such a strong blogger presence and media representation, plus influencer participation, the opportunity to create and strengthen connections is unparalleled.

What are your future plans for Hispanicize 2012?
We are determined to do for Hispanic marketing and culture what SXSW has done – the difference is we will focus on the Latino experience.  We still haven’t executed our 2012 program but we already know what we want to do bigger and better for 2013 and part of it will involve elements of music.  We also want to expand the number of days and sites where our event takes place.  I think we’re ready to do a larger takeover of Miami.