Alt Summit 2014
I attended Alt Summit the second year in a row this January. For those of you who do not know, Altitude Summit is a creative bloggers’ conference filled with dazzling blogger types who ooze entrepreneurial drive, a passion for sharing online, good taste and creativity up the whazooo. Held at the glamorous Grand America hotel in Salt Lake City, Alt never fails to entertain and inspire the attendees with top-notch speakers, easily accessible big name brands who want to meet everyone and beautiful decor and activities to keep your creative juices flowing. This year I attended as a speaker and lead a roundtable discussion on “Working from home and not losing your mind”. I covered topics such as productivity, work/life balance, office organization and time management tools.
The second time attending was a different experience for me.
Speaking gave me a focus. I felt more prepared and had a lay of the land now being familiar with the pace and culture of the event. I wanted to meet others who were having questions and/or issues with working from home as I did a few months prior. I wanted to meet like-minded people who I could help in some way and make deeper connections with other than just passing out cards over an elevator pitch. Last year was a definite eye-opener into the world of blogging and more importantly – the business of blogging. I wanted to attend everything, bopping in and out of the panel discussions and getting overviews of what they were saying. This time I was more tuned into the ones that pertained to me. I attended discussions and sessions on topics like: how to connect with your audience, personal branding, using social media and newsletters to grow your customer base and collaborations and hiring help. The keynote speaker, Garance Doré was adorable and started off the conference with lots of advice on being nice to everyone and ignoring the haters. Christy Turlington Burns, Mariam Naficy, Heather Armstrong, and Christiane Lemieux of Every Mother Counts spoke on their activism towards maternal health, and Ben Silbermann of Pinterest was humble and honest about his philosophy on work, his company and the future of Pinterest. I took away a few inspiring nuggets about blogging and doing great work:
1. Erica Domesek from P.S. I Made This is a hilarious and captivating speaker to watch. She had tons of great advice like:
“Be your own creative director and marketer. You are selling yourself.”
“Continue to put yourself out there so people know who you are.”
“Think about what makes you happy and it will come across.”
2. Famous wedding photographer, Jasmine Star, also had some words of encouragement:
” Be 100% yourself”
“Take what you have and make it work. What you have is your defining factor. Show what you are by showcasing what you do.”
Alt isn’t just all business. The amazing attention to detail in the sponsored lounges and parties made us creatives feel inspired and get in the mood to party. Blurb’s “Winter Olympics” themed room was incredible. There was snow on the ground, fake trees and even a medal ceremony platform and props in the photo area.
I love how visual Alt is. They really appeal to their attendees and there’s a great photo to take at every turn. The entire event is Pinterest-friendly! You are always finding something to photograph or create. I especially enjoyed decoupaging in the Bing craft station in between sessions.
Loved me some of the inspiration signage – Great type treatments and calligraphy get me every time.
Most importantly Alt is about making connections and deepening your current relationships. I had so much fun with my roomies (hey Ilene!) and met up with friends I haven’t seen in awhile. I met big brands, made new friends and was inspired by some amazing women with their personal stories and successes.
To see more photos from the event go to Alt’s Flickr page.