Hispanicize 2012, an event "focused on Latino trends and trendsetters in social media, entertainment, marketing and media," got under way Tuesday in Miami.

In its third year, founder Manny Ruíz is focused on creating "a symphony" in which the industries that use the media and social networks can have a space for the exchange of ideas and future collaboration.

"Miami is the most important city in terms of the presence of the Latino national media," Ruíz, who also founded the firms Hispanic PR Wire, Hispanic Digital Network and media-monitoring service Latin Clips, told Efe.

The first two Hispanicize gatherings were in Dallas and Los Angeles.

For Ruiz, it was vital that this exchange succeed and so Hispanicize is organizing more than 80 sessions ranging from testimonies of successful bloggers to brand strategies and presentations by Latino innovators such as Andy Garcia, Emilio Estefan, Yul Vázquez, Dominik García-Lorido, Steven Bauer, Cesar Millán, Jessy Terrero, Nely Galán and Alfredo Ayala.

"The important thing is that they're key people. This isn't a common and ordinary event," Ruíz said.

For example, Ayala is the person in charge of technological research and development for The Walt Disney Company and he will share the experience he has gained in his career and his inventions.

SxSW Meets Latino

Being the only event for Latino bloggers, Ruíz said that it is vitally important to include them in the discussions.

"For many reasons they are key. First, the brands. Nowadays they don't want to do just their traditional advertising. Rather, they have recognized that we're living in a time of integration directly with the consumer and they're doing it through the social media," he said.

The event began on Tuesday with a half-day workshop for actors who are seeking work with soap operas and with sessions for the Latino LGBT community, as well as workshops for non-profit organizations, among other things.

Thursday's activities include a breakfast with Disney's Ayala.

Remembering the Real Cinco de Mayo

The Friday sessions begin with the breakfast at which businesswomen Nely Galán will speak and will continue with other forums covering the success of blogging mothers, a lunch with Emilio Estefan, marketing strategies, the movement of videos on the social networks and others.

On its final day, the schedule includes a talk by "Dog Whisperer" Cesar Millán, as well as forums about marketing for moviemakers, Facebook strategies for Latinos and other events.

This year's edition of Hispanicize will also feature films, including a screening of "Scarface" in the South Beach mansion where some of the scenes were shot, with cast members Steven Bauer, Pepe Serna and Angel Salazar on hand.

"I feel like we have the weight of the world on our shoulders because many people have told me that Hispanicize can be the most important event of the year ... for Latinos," Ruíz said.

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