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Friday
Feb012013

Happy Weekend & Alt Summit Recap

Happy Weekend! It's taken me a while to pull this post together, because I have so many fun things to share, & interesting points to make from Alt Summit, I didn't want to sound like I'm a jumbled mess of stories & words; thus, simplify these dancing thoughts. I will remind you that I went as a buddy (with my lovely friend, Sharon McMullen--thank you!), & still walked away with great inspiration. So, I hope my little words & lessons learned can serve as something to you from the 2 classes I attended, & wonderful people I met!

It's difficult to attend an event such as Alt & not walk away with at least one valuable thought, lesson, or stepping stone. I was able to attend 2 classes, & with all of the wonderful people I met, I would say the theme of the week for me was this: Celebrate, Create, & Support Community. 

Most of those who attend Alt Summit are bloggers, & with that, some can get too caught up in their own blog that they unintentionally only care about what they're doing & how they want to grow it. We've all been there, I certainly have. I completely agree that it's important to want to learn more about your blog & how to grow it for you, but don't forget about your community who supports you & your blog, and/or how you can create a supportive & welcoming atmosphere on your blog, or business for that matter! It's good to have a healthy & genuine balance of the two, because clearly you have unique talents to offer your readers, but be sure to reach out & make them feel special & appreciated, & see how you can get involved in your blogging community. Reach out to your favorite blogs, or simply be supporters of other blogs you believe in, too. One of the most precious lessons I learned was this, my Jessika Hepburn:

Pretty strong, genuine, refreshing, & kind-hearted words, right?

Aside from the important note above, the other lesson I learned & kept in mind while planning to go to Alt & my stay there was this: Just be yourself & have funn!

I don't mean this in a "Debbie Downer" way, but I went to Alt with kind of low expectations. Not because I thought it wouldn't be as great as I imagined, but the contrary--I knew it would be a super awesome, fun, glittery event from reading past tweets, checking out their photos from previous events, that I didn't want to buy into this uber excitement, &, therefore, get too caught up in the wrong idea of the popularity, the hype, keeping up with the rest of the great & successful bloggers, businesses. I wanted to go as me, no comparison to anybody else, stay grounded to the fact that "I am in Salt Lake City & I'm going to meet some awesome people." Simple as that. No high expectations of what would come of it "for me."

So, I guess I wouldn't consider that a "low" expectation, but a realistic & honest one. I feel this mindset helped me feel relieved, refreshed, & higher than when I arrived because I left more room for my experience to grow into its own, special excitement. I let everything go with the flow, & that worked out in so many ways for me--less stress, more fun, more natural connections.

I feel some may go into Alt thinking all of these wonderful things are magically going to happen, so they get their business cards ready to actively pass out to everyone they see. It can unintentionally turn into a distant & non-genuine connection to others. I didn't want to turn Alt into this stressful & empty endeavor--I wanted to make connections, absolutely, but, like I said, have honest expectations with yourself that you're not going to meet everybody (so make real, sweet, fun, & great connections with the "few" you do meet), you may or may not make an awesome project or big next step for your business or blog, & all of that is okay. Don't get too excited that you can't see clearly your reason for truly attending.

When I was walking around Salt Lake City on my first day visiting, starting to get those nervous feelings of meeting new people, I saw this "Trust Jesus" stamped on the sidewalk. I apologize if I offend anyone who doesn't believe in God & "little blessings," but I do, & I believe that seeing this message was a blessing, & God's way of telling me, "chill out, there's nothing to worry about, pray about all who are here & whoever you meet & what you should say to them, I'll be here to help you with your little anxieties. You're going to meet all of the right people today." Phew. What a "Godsidence," right? This validated my previous feeling of simply going to this event & simply being yourself, potentially praying about it all, so that you're better able to have everything else "magically" fall into place on its very own, as it should be. Does that makes sense? What do you think--do you agree? 

I've been curious what everyone's thoughts were of Alt, especially since this was the first time I had actually been able to go, so I've been reading up on some great posts from other attendees (some links below), & trying to truly dig deep of what my own thoughts were. Thanks if you're still reading my little thoughts!

Alt is a conference I will surely try to attend next year--ticket availability permitting! Based on other posts I've read of their experiences of Alt, there are a lot of people who like conferences like this, others who don't, & some who have things they'd change. In my opinion, there's always going to be something to change at any event, & there's always going to be something to praise. I think if you go into events like this with a simplistic, realistic & fun agenda, you'll more than likely leave on a good note. &, if in the event you don't, then hopefully it empowers you to aspire ways to make it better; thus, becoming your own inspiration for you & others!

Here are some fun photos of super cool things I saw, people I met, & Salt Lake City!

Reminder, that links are below of others' experiences of Alt, if you're interested! It's great to hear everyone's thoughts & help develop your own, & see if this is an event you'd love!

The Land of Nod had a glittery, fabulously-French, girly tea party set up for all attendees before, after, or during classes. With Marie Antoinette playing on the big screen, coffee & tea & croissants at our service, large & glamorous swan, & fun crafts (my "bringing back the prom corsage" in the girliest fashion above) for all of us to just let loose & bring out the inner 13 year old in all of us. 

My Wednesday night dinner was with UmbaBox, a handmade curating subscription company (genius idea!). The cookie was delicious, the ladies who run UmbaBox are the nicest ladies I've ever met. You can't go wrong when the main subjects at hand are all about the handmade world. Oh, & the dinner & ambiance of the restaurant (Caffe Molise) was amazing--if ever I go back to Salt Lake City, I will be making a stop here for sure.

The Great Gatsby party, hosted by Erin Loechner, & the stunning lettering by Melissa Esplin.


My favorite mini party had to have been the Method party--thrown by the crazy fun ladies from Girls with Glasses. Oh, & I fell in love with this Geronimo balloon. I think that's all I'll want for my birthday. In 5 months.

Some great new friends at the interesting & creative Clue Party!

So, I mustache you a question....whether you experienced Alt Summit personally, or virtually, what did you think of it? 

Links:

Foxtrot Press | Oh My Handmade | Alt Summit | Ciera Designs | The Proper Pinwheel | Paper & Stitch

Reader Comments (2)

Stopping by from ALT's recap link post - love your perspective! I attended my first blogging conferences last year (BlogHer and Blogalicious) and I'm all for managing expectations. Your screen shot is something that was also reiterated at Blogalicious by Miss Lori and it's stuck with me now 5 months later. It's all about community! I'm glad you had a good time and I look forward to dipping my toes in the ALT waters by attending ALT NYC here in my backyard this summer.

February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterQuiana

Thanks, Quiana! I plan to attend Alt NYC, too! Maybe we can finally meet:) & I am so glad to have had the refreshing reminder of how important community is in this new blogging world--makes it so much more special, & More than "just blogging." Just checked out your blog, too & it's very inspiring!!

February 12, 2013 | Registered Commenterlindseybee

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