Recently, I went to the WeAllGrow Summit held at the Line Hotel in Los Angeles put together by Ana Flores and the WAGLN crew. This was my first exclusively Latina conference and it was amazing. Actually, it was life changing.
Seriously. At this point in my blogging career, I have been to several conferences and I know that some are strictly for learning (though at this point, I’m finding that most conferences are teaching for beginners), others are for networking and some, well, some you are just paying a couple thousand dollars to hang out with your friends but not #WeAllGrow Summit. Ana Flores took this conference to the next level because there were no wasted days and each session I attended, I learned something new, even if it was just one thing.
When I arrived, I was a little nervous. Like I said, I’d never been to a conference exclusively for Latinos. The reason I was nervous? Well, while I know lots of bloggers (and they know me) I feel on the fringes as far as the Latina blogging community is concerned. It’s a really tight knit community and I knew very few Latina bloggers.
I could count on one hand how many of the bloggers attending WeAllGrow Summit that I’d actually ever met in person and on two hands, those who I have known online. I believe there were around 300 in attendance. I loved the intimate size of it compared to larger conferences. I think I actually said hi, at least once, to most everyone.
From the moment I arrived at LAX, I was welcomed with open arms, starting with my airport share ride buddy, Yoly Mason, who was sweet and kind (and did I mention that she is a SEO mastermind? I didn’t find that part out until she was speaking at the SEO session). She put me at ease without even knowing it.
When we arrived at the YouTube Pretreat, Yoly introduced me to MaríaJosé Ovalle whom I hit it off with immediately. You know those people you meet and you feel like you’ve been friends with forever? That’s Maria Jose. She is lovely, funny and down to earth plus she knows a whole lot about fashion and beauty!
I’ve been wanting to step up my vlogging game and have no idea where to begin, so this pretreat was perfect and useful. As bloggers arrived, I met ladies that I had been talking to in the FB group for the past few months like Rocio Mora. One-by-one, we said hello. There were no awkward tensions where you found yourself face-to-face with someone you’d been talking online with only to have them look right through you in person.
I also met many bloggers that I had never known before like Liz Beth and each and every one said hello, had conversation and no one ever made me feel like they were looking for someone bigger. (You know what I’m talking about…the Tier 1 blog scan so many of us have seen in the eyes of fellow bloggers at conferences mid-conversation). Hell, Astrid Rivera even let me store my luggage in her car and she didn’t even know me. Everyone was so nice. I spent the day learning loads of helpful tips and meeting lots of interesting women. You can read all about how to make your YouTube channel rock over here.
I roomed with Claudia Krusch, who has been to several Latino conferences and it was nice to have such a positive person guiding me through my first experience. She knew everyone and if I hadn’t already met them, she introduced me. That was just day one!
And I made brand new friends like Cynthia Velasco and Claudia Rebecca Garcia Herrero better known as Becky Boriqua. Really once you cry with someone, you are friends for life.
The bottom line is that everyone I met, even for the first time, was kind and welcoming. The true spirit of the conference, the people and the culture, was palpable. We all know that if one of us grows ( succeeds) we all succeed and there is room enough for all of us. There is no need to knock or keep someone else down to feel better about ourselves or grow our blogs. I wish every conference could be this way but as we all know, that is not the way it is.
I want to tell you more and share all the great tips I learned to improve your blog but I’m going to have to make this a series because I’m already at 733 words! To be continued…