Back in January, we had the opportunity to attend Alt Summit here in Salt Lake City, and what an opportunity it was! To say we were nervous was an understatement. We read dozens of blog posts about how to prepare for Alt, what to wear, how to socialize, how many business cards to take – and how spiffy they needed to be… There was Just. So. Much. and for a couple of introverts, it was a lot to try to wrap our heads around. But we hopped on Trax, the light rail here in town, and took deep breaths as we stepped off at the Grand America. A few minutes later, we checked in and were handed badges, journals, and itineraries and were set free among a sea of wildly creative people and fabulous decor for three days of networking and note-taking.
To be quite honest – and it’s silly really – we were most worried about the whole networking thing… The walking-up-to-perfect-strangers-and-introducing-yourself thing. Within minutes of checking in though, Erin Hamilton of Piper’s Girls marched right up to us and introduced herself, and we were immediately put at ease and happy to make a new friend. That first interaction set the tone for the entire conference and it felt like smooth sailing afterward.
As a tiny new start-up trying to navigate the ever-changing and often rough waters of the online world, we were hopeful that Alt’s speakers and roundtable discussions would teach us about social media and blogging tactics, newsletter skills, how to effectively pitch brands and bloggers about partnerships and collaborations, and a million other crucial aspects of a successful business. And do you know what? Alt delivered big time.
We came home with over 50 pages of notes between the two of us and brains brimming with overwhelm. We’ve got a stack of business cards that just won’t quit, and memories of kind smiles, hearty handshakes, and warm hugs from some of the most wonderful ladies we’ve ever met (and a few men too). We were dazzled by the gorgeously designed lounges and displays from many of Alt’s sponsors, companies like Wayfair, Airbnb, Overstock, Joann, Flipboard, Tiny Prints, Minted, Squarespace, Q96Talk, and Artisan Books. And it wouldn’t be fair to talk about Alt without mentioning the swag. Oh, the swag! We came home with books from Baby Lit, socks from Woven Pear, tote bags from The Honest Company, a glass (or galss!) water dispenser from Alison at How Does She, and the tastiest treat – pinot lollipops from Jason at Passionfruit Ads.
We’d be hard pressed to name a single moment during Alt that was our favorite. From Lisa Congdon’s inspiring opening keynote, to lunch with Design Mom herself, the lovely Gabrielle Blair, to Dallas Clayton’s hilarious and moving closing keynote, every moment of our Alt adventure was fulfilling and educational, exciting and fun, and we’re grateful for all of it, even the overwhelm!