Alt Summit Recap 1: Lessons Learned
Hey everyone! I’m back from Alt and have had a little more sleep. I’m feeling much more pleasant today. Thank goodness! You know when you don’t sleep for a week and then everything starts to look black and white and start to shake? Tell me you know what I’m talking about… Anywho, I’m back on the blog bandwagon and am ready to share lots of the details from Alt Summit. This year was a whirlwind. From planning The Hello Social (more details on that next week! It was a hoppin’ bash, let me tell you!), to staying up til 2:30am with my roomies EVERY NIGHT, some amazing experiences were had. I made a small graphic explaining the top things I took away, but read on to learn more about what I did and who I stalked!
First of all, I had THE BEST time. I’ve been looking forward to this conference since the beginning of 2012. I wanted to go to Alt Summit 2012, but couldn’t swing it and didn’t dare to. And I kicked myself everyday afterward. You guys! If you think that you aren’t big enough or that nobody knows who you are, you’re wrong! Size doesn’t matter. Determination does. If you want to go to Alt or any other conference, do it. Sign up. Get out there and meet people, for heaven’s sake! Companies are waiting for someone like you to walk along and say, “Hey, company! I’m talented! I’m awesome! This is what I got and I want to work with you!” There is a job and a place for everyone in blogland.
The week before Alt, I spent every hour planning what to wear, making my biz cards (20+ hours on those guys! Holy!), and trying to catch up on a few other tasks needing completion. I worked on my media kit. I planned my whole schedule. I thought I had every hour planned. I was wrong. While I had a general idea of where I was going, I would re-route to meet and talk to others. The friendships made were the best part of Alt for me. In fact, those friendships need a paragraph all on their own. See below:
I was lucky enough to room with a few gals (Kelly, Ashley, & Brittni) who I knew over the interwebs. We were cyber friends. And now I feel like they’re my best friends. It’s like girl’s camp. You stay up late with your new friends and talk about anything and everything. The best conversations were had at 2 in the morning. We got real. We discussed numbers. We discussed opportunities. We discussed ideas and collaborations. We weren’t jealous of each other’s successes! It was so refreshing to learn that others feel what I feel about blogging! I definitely recommend rooming with AT LEAST two others at Alt. Sharing beds is awesome and the conversation is even better. Good roomie tip: I danced my little heart out on Friday night at the Method/Girls With Glasses party. The parties were over and we went back to our room. We ordered pizza because we were starving. The pizza came. I devoured a few slices. And then passed out on the floor. Face down. In my party attire. Fur scarf and all. And my friends didn’t snap a pic and post it for the world to see even though I’m positive they had the desire. Good friends right there! :)
Never pass up a photobooth. I would like to take a moment to publicly apologize to everyone I took a photo with. I just can’t smile normal. It’s tough! The photobooths were killer this year. Smilebooth is the official photobooth supplier at Alt and they really delivered this year. Anytime you see one, you should just jump in and take a pic! It’s much easier than instagramming. :)
Pay attention to the keynotes. The man above is Stefan Sagmeister. His energy is infectious. I knew a little about him before attending Alt, but holy crap! The man blew me away! He had me laughing and then crying at the drop of a hat. I’d blame that on my lack of sleep, but I’m positive it’s because he was that inspirational to me. Stefan’s latest project, The Happy Show, is all about finding what makes one happy and doing it everyday. He shared a 10 minute clip of his documentary with us. I cried three times in those ten minutes! Three times! What the?!
The biggest thing I took away from his speech was that risks can work out. Doing what we are afraid to do can be the biggest life-changer. He spoke about how it is difficult for some to go out of their comfort zone and talk to others. If you have ever met me, you know that I will talk your ear off. I love to talk to people. I love to compliment people. I never truly realized that it can make others physically ill to do that. I always worried that I was such a chatterbox and that it would drive friends away. Now, I just see it as a blessing. I feel so lucky to be able to strike up a conversation about nothing anytime. And I will forever be thinking of those that are working to break out of the shell. I vow to find those people and help them do that. When Stefan’s movie comes out, who wants to come with me to see it?! I’ll be waiting anxiously for that one.
Check that photo above! That’s Darcy Miller! With me and Ashley! Honestly, meeting her was one of my favorite experiences at Alt Summit. And it was totally unplanned! I was having lunch with friends and a few of them were missing something (Martha Stewart Weddings mags. How appropriate!) so I went to find some for them. Ashley decided to come and help me carry them back. We’re walking down the hall and whaddayaknow? There’s Darcy just lookin’ all cute. She was so down to earth and very sweet. She complimented my shirt and I was THIS CLOSE to offering it her. We snagged a pic and she gave us some chocolate. It was five minutes. That’s all. And it was the best part of my day.
I’m going to stop things there. I’ll be sharing more recaps throughout the rest of the week and next. Check back later this afternoon for a few of my fave biz cards! I’m splitting them into categories and there are a lot! Can’t wait to share those with you. :)
For two hours…