Monday, October 8, 2012

I'm Going To #LATISM12 and 5 Reasons Why You Should Too

Ever since I met the lovely ladies of LATISM back in May for the Top Bloguera Retreat and briefly reunited with them at BlogHer I have been trying to figure out a way to make it to the LATISM conference in Houston, Texas. 

Unlike BlogHer, the conference where it's easy to get lost in a crowd of 5000+ people, I knew LATISM would be the conference for me: intimate, familiar, inspiring. 

I may have also wanted to go because a conference means I get to sleep in a hotel room without a six year old foot in my face but I digress...

And now I am so excited to say that I'M GOING! Thanks to LATISM and the wonderful folks at Johnson & Johnson, I get to go to LATISM12. I am so grateful and honored for this opportunity to be a representative for Johnson & Johnson's philanthropic mother-orientated initiatives. And I cannot wait to share more in the weeks to come.


Here are 5 reasons why attending LATISM12 is important to me. And they may be important to you too.   

5. To Learn. This may seem obvious but whether you're an experienced blogger or a novice  there is always something to learn. Maybe you haven't quite embraced Pinterest or Google+ plus freaks you out. Maybe you haven't discovered that 'oh yeah, there's an app for that.' Maybe you want to hone your photography skills or improve your writing or grow your audience. Or maybe you're thinking about turning your blog into a book.  

Check out the agenda.  LATISM focuses on Education, Health, Technology and Business. And there are some pretty amazing sessions going on with something for everyone regardless of your niche. 

4. Connect with Brands. It's only in this last year, that I've connected with brands. It can be intimidating to approach a brand blindly but LATISM attracts major brands. And they're there for one reason - to connect with bloggers and social media influencers. 

3. To Meet Your Blog Buddies IRL. One of the best parts about attending conferences is that you get to meet your favorite bloggers and tweeps in real life. Over the last year, I've got to meet some pretty fabulous and inspiring men and women of social media. So for me, LATISM is more like a family reunion - with hashtags and instagram filters.  

2. To Network.  The sessions are great, the parties are fabulous but it's those one on one moments that will make the difference. LATISM is the place to talk about new ideas, to brainstorm, to meet, greet and smile, to make new connections. A social media conference like LATISM are where projects are born and inspiration can be found. 

I will be taking serious notes during the Pitch 101 session. I'm friendly and nice but pitching  and networking is a challenge for me. I'm shy, I get nervous - I need to work on that. I know LATISM will make a difference. And what I learn about networking at LATISM, I can take with me where ever I go.      

1. To Be InspiredThe opportunity to attend LATISM is inspiring. I mean do you know who will be speaking at LATISM? It's pretty impressive.

One of the key note speakers is Sandra CisnerosSANDRA CISNEROS! Do you know what that means? For me? 

I grew up in a home filled with books (my father worked in a book factory) but not a single one was written by or about a Latino. 

I've worked in Corporate America for almost 20 years, I am always the minority. 

I have spent the last few years in graduate school, hearing how difficult it will be for me to become published because I'm Latina. 

The opportunity to meet an award winning, internationally known Latina author at a Latinos In Social Media conference is something I could have never even dreamed about as a little girl. And while I may not be a little girl, it's never too late to stop dreaming.  

So I hope that you can make it to LATISM this year, because if we haven't met - I would love to. And if we've already met, I would love to see you again.  But even if you can't make it this year...follow us on twitter #LATISM12. Hopefully it will inspire you to join us next year. 

To learn more about the LATISM conference click HERE

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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.