Once again, the LATISM (Latinos in Social Media) National Conference proved to be one of the most vibrant and worthwhile Latino/a interest opportunities available. The three-day extravaganza hosted its 2012 version last month at the Hyatt Regency in Houston. I first attended the LATISM National Conference in Chicago last year at the famed Navy Pier conference center. This year, I had the privilege of being invited as a guest speaker in a panel discussion. Myself, along with Melissa Salas Blair, Claudia Deschamps, Olga Romero-Rios, and moderator Monica Vila, discussed various marketing communication insights on the panel entitled Understanding the New Hispanic Consumer. Our Friday morning panel was lively, well attended, and set the tone for what would be an exciting and invaluable second LATISM experience for me.
I am happy to have been selected as a guest speaker at this year’s LATISM (Latinos in Social Media) Conference in Houston. Last year, I had the pleasure of attending the national traveling conference when it came close to my neck of the woods at Chicago’s Navy Pier. I found the experience both educational and inspiring (you can read my recap post about the 2011 conference here). In Houston, I will be a panelist for a discussion under the business track entitled “Understanding the New Hispanic Consumer”, a session dedicated understanding the key issues businesses must remember to create effective strategies to reach Latinos. I am looking forward to participating on the panel, rekindling old friendships, and making new connections.
A year ago at this time, I was in Puerto Rico enjoying the holiday season with family. One night, we experienced a holiday tradition known as a Parranda. During a parranda, friends and family will gather at the front door of a local home and sing traditional Christmas songs. Eventually the guests are invited in for more singing along with food and drink. The parranda will make its way through the neighborhood stopping at more homes and gathering people along the way. As you can see from the video above, we had a lot of fun participating in the parranda. In additional to being a popular holiday tradition, can the idea of a parranda help to create Puerto Rican unity online through social media?
We have read the news and are aware of the hype – Latinos continue to rock in the social media world. Likewise, recent statistics indicate Hispanic small business owners continue to grow in influence as well. Case in point, a quick drive down the Latino dominant Grandville Avenue in Grand Rapids, Michigan, one will pass several locally owned “mom and pop” businesses; party stores, restaurants, bodegas, taquerías, and salons. Although we have seen plenty of professional and acculturated Latino businesses embrace social media, what kind of value can it deliver for local “mama y papa” businesses?