Daze Summit is the Epitome of the Millennials of Color Entrepreneurial Spirit
Lately, I have been re-envisioning my career path and most importantly my network. In other words recognizing it is time to expand. For me, this means going back home to New York City. My sister who works operations for Daze Summit invite me to be a contributing writer to their blog.
Daze Summit is a 7-day summit held annually included musical performances, shows, panels, business expo, dance classes, social media workshop, all over Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York. The mission of the summit is to raise money for college scholarships.
The blog covers a variety of events, music, reviews, and more. Writers and media correspondents are from all across the country. I was excited about the opportunity. I wanted to attend more events in New York City, connect with my sister and get out there more. That’s the only way to expand yourself.
It was powerful to be a part of an event led by young people of color, and for the next generation of doers. The summit was motivated by being able to provide financial assistance to high school students heading to college. But at the same time the informative, and once in a lifetime summit was accessible and affordable to millennials.
What I saw happening was the new wave of excellence coming through, shining, lighting up New York City. I can see everyone who was there and involved being their own versions of Diddy in the future. What is happening is the next generation is coming, and they are coming hard. There are such an array of moves being made to create distinct brands, and prosperous careers.
The ambitious energy and thirst for knowledge and connectives were all too real. Attendees were on their A-game when it came to introductions, and you made sure not to leave a room without meeting someone new and exchanging information. At the very least, follow one another on social media. My own social media following went up nearly 20%.
The Daze Summit team bringing it to life is the founder Scott Morris, Asia Golden, LeTrice Deshon, and Donna. Plus many hardworking volunteers on site.
Everyone involved brought their own network of people. Brands that people worked for that were in attendance included the Live Civil site, BET Networks, Black Enterprise, VH1, Hot 93.7, Hot 91, WBLS, Indie Creative Network, Sony Music and more. Guests were a mix of musicians, producers, writers, photographers, creative directors, a Ph.D. in hip-hop, business owners, managers, and so much more.
When it came time to choose which of the events to cover I automatically gravitated towards the panels. Why not learn something while I working the event? I also had the opportunity to be on a panel about writing, blogging and how to get to a point of making a living doing it. But I will get to that later.
The panels/events I ended up covering were:
Art of Networking – learn skills on how to make the most out of an event
Outside Yourself – learn how to get out of your comfort zone to make things happen
For the Culture – what is the state of hip hop culture?
Like A Boss – a panel of young female boss ladies spill their secrets to success
Hear My Voice – learn how to not only make a podcast but how to design a successful one
Who Did You Meet? x Daze Summit – networking event that offers a unique experience in meeting new people and collaborators.
The Art of Networking panel took place in the penthouse of the many locations in midtown hosting Daze Summit events. I was soon met with a life size poster of this panel’s moderator, Avery Watson of MultiArtistry. I have known Avery for years now, as she has been a close friend and business partner with my sister LeTrice. I have always admired how she was able to approach people so easily and is one of the hardest working and consistent women in the business. When I learned that she was going to leading a discussion about networking, I was all the way in.
On the panel was Jamila Mustafa, Miss Lissa Knows, Katelynn Hackett, Rae Holliday, Tiffany Stevenson, Calligrafist, Zana Ray, and Joey Harris.
I liked that Avery opened her session with a chance for the attendees to network, with wine. As the room began to fill up the conversation began. Because of time constraints, Avery asked each of the panelists to tell their “networking story”. Tell the story of how you got where you are, and the people and unexpected experiences that got you here.
I love hearing others journeys throughout their careers because it really inspires me. People go through so many ups and downs and life and it is amazing what can happen when you just don’t give up on your dream and vision. It makes me think that just because your path looks a little different than in your head does not mean you are not on the way to meet that right person to open a door for you.
The biggest lesson I took away from the Art of Networking panel was gem Avery dropped. She said to never go to a party, events, show, whatever without goals in mind. This can be a person you want to make sure you connect with or a photo with someone before you leave. Don’t waste opportunities when you are out having fun to still be working. This I have been doing ever since!
The Outside Yourself panel was moderated by Donna, who was one of the key organizers of the Daze Summit events. I was interested in this one because it was all about getting out of your comfort zone. How to not be shy when it comes to making an introduction of giving that elevator pitch on what you do and have to offer.
I remember thinking to myself so many times, I can’t network. I would over think everything and makes such a huge deal of things like what I am going to talk about with people, that I would just shut down and not talk to anyone. I would notice someone and know that I should meet them but just freeze. And once I was on my way home I would curse myself and be filled with regret. I needed to stop this and live in the moment, get over my fears.
On this panel, because I could not stay for the entire thing I decided to interview the panelists myself before it started an hour late. From them, I learned that it was all about being secure and having self-confidence when it comes to putting yourself out there. Know what your strengths are, what you have to offer, believe that and be strong in your convictions. Then, no matter who you decide to introduce yourself to, you got this!
Panelists included Excell, Shani Culture, Kev and more influencers.
For the Culture was all about hip-hop appreciation. And you all know I am always for that. I grew up during the 90’s and early 2000’s where the culture was extremely influential and coming into its own. Listening to hot 97 and keeping up with hip-hop magazines was some of my cherished memories growing up with my sisters. Now that I am older and have been experiencing more when it comes to perception to the genre and polarizing culture, I feel such pride for it. We all know that black culture is pop culture and it is about time the world acknowledged and respected that.
Panelists included Gabriel Williams, Travque, Kyle Bailey, Deeno Esperance, Calligrafist, DJ Maserati, and the doctor of hip-hop Dr. Blake who all talked about the current state of hip-hop. Answering questions about how social media has affected the business and authenticity of hip-hop artists. How important are lyrics now? And so on. This was great because the panel was diverse in age, race, and affinity to the musical genre. You got to hear from many different perspectives. Did you know that there was such thing as having a Ph.D. in hip-hop? How cool is that?
The Like a Boss panel was special for me because I got to watch LeTrice on the panel discussing some of her experiences being the one that does it all! her, and the rest of the panelists
were such high inspiration for me. Again, just learning of the wild rides some other entrepreneurs have been on is so eye opening. You just really never know what is going to be the one thing that puts everything over the edge for you. Never stop grinding!
One moment that really struck a chord with me during this panel is when Sigourney, a wardrobe stylist for VH1 based in New York City, talked about how hard it is to be a strong, ambitious and successful businesswoman and maintain a relationship. She pointed out her boyfriend who was in the audience, and talked about some of those struggles, but how much it was a blessing to have a partner through it all.
Hear My Voice panel was all about the podcast. Not just how to begin producing a podcast but how to produce a successful. On the panel were close to experts in different facets of this booming industry.
On the panel was
It was nice and diverse, the ones represented on the panel. Ones with just one host, or multiples, video, and styles of production. You got to really wrap your head around what it takes to produce one.
There are so many things to think about when considering this venture. Tone, length, subject matter and of course, finding a way stand out amongst the many podcasts there are out there.
Who Did You Meet? x Daze Summit
The ultimate networking event, founded by LeTrice Deshon, served as the coming together for the summit. The event brought together everyone event brought together everyone involved, the organizers, guests, and those millennials who want to mingle with like-minded. With the event already having such a good following and a rep for being fun, yet productive.
And there is always something new to each edition. With hopes to bring it nationwide, fuck even global. The inaugural event in Harlem, NYC introduced the color-coded wristbands to allow you to connect with the type of creative you want to meet. Example, if you need a photographer for a coming shoot, you know someone wearing a yellow band is who you need to talk to.
Past editions have been the WDYMxLust edition which hosted a speed dating type networking approach, and there are more to come. For the Daze Summit edition, there were boards for people to share information, dreams, and art. All in all great event.
I highly recommend everyone to be at the next one! Daze Summit was so inspiring and good to see this kind of activity.
Written by Patricia Rogers