Tuesday, October 1, 2013

LATISM Conference Recap

There was so much going on at the LATISM conference that it was tough to choose the sessions to attend. I attended a few sessions that I normally wouldn't attend and I found them to be informative and I learned a lot.

We all gathered for breakfast and were treated to Ballet Hispanico entertaining us. It was pretty cool. After breakfast, we were free to pick and choose the sessions. I ended up at a great session entitled: Let's Dare to Talk Racism in the Latino Community. It was so good. I learned so much and it was an invigorating talk that spoke plainly about racism among Latinos. I was glad I went.

I then headed to the Johnson & Johnson suite. I love Johnson & Johnson products and use them quite often. J&J were the main conference sponsor, which was great. J&J also sponsored the Social Good luncheon at the conference. J&J is very involved int he Latino community and does a lot of outreach in the community. The suite was great. There were free samples, goodies and the Care Inspires Care wall where attendees could post what they care about.

After visiting the J&J suite, I then headed back to the room to change because I was able to reserve a ticket to visit the 9/11 memorial that afternoon. I was a little scared to get on the subway alone and try to get where I needed to go but after talking to a random stranger on the street, who gave me directions, I felt okay about doing it. I made. I will also have a separate post about my visit to the 9-11 Memorial.

I got to the hotel in the late afternoon and I was pooped. But I had to shower and dress because that evening was the Great Gatsby Gala and Awards dinner. The gala was fun. The food was good and they had some great entertainment. I tried to skip out early because that's how I roll but ended up running into so many of my blogger friends that it took me almost 2 hours to get back to my room.

My roomie Ana. I have adopted her as my younger sister although I could be her mom! 

One of my favorite people ever: Laurita. She is a coffee fanatic like me and loves
Rachel Maddow.  How could be not be friends?! 

The next day was the last day. My roomies and I sort of slept in a little and then headed downstairs. Me and Ana ended up at Starbucks and then we picked the sessions we wanted to attend and headed up tot he conference. Ana and I wanted to support our friends so we ended up at the: Beyond Chronic Illness & Special Needs: Life Beyond Your Diagnosis session.

This is actually a session I would have never attended because I don't have a clue about the subject matter. But it was such a great session. I learned so much and to hear the personal stories of my blogger friends was very enlightening. It was really interesting and moving.

The next session was one I really wanted to attend. It was a session on SEO (Search Engine Optimization). If you have no idea what that is, don't feel bad. I am a blogger and I am clueless about it. But SEO is something that you must know about to grow your blogs etc. Now, I know a little but never practice it. Every time I have tried to understand it I get a big fat headache. I am SEO stupid. But this was actually the first time it made sense to me. My friends Yoly and Maura did a fantastic job. They made it simple to understand and just told us what to do versus trying to explain it. I actually learned something!

Then the conference was over except for the fact that LATISM scheduled a mini-march to a park in front of the U.N. to support immigration. Now I will be honest, I was going to skip it but I didn't. I didn't want to walk a zillion miles. But, in the end, the walk was not too bad and we marched along and it was cool.

Of course, after the walk I was popped and wanted to just sleep , But we headed back tot he hotel. I headed out to grab some noodles because this is something else I never get in Sylva, NC. Grrrr I had dinner and decompressed. I really wanted to pack and get ready since I had to leave the hotel pretty early to get to the the airport.

Overall, it was a great experience. I wish I would have had more NYC time but NYC is not the same without Tom. I was glad to see old friends. I have to say that the main reason I love going to conferences is to see old friends and to meet new ones.

Disclosure: as a Top Latina Bloguera, Latism paid for my travel and accommodation. No other compensation was given.

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