Alt Summit was absolutely amazing. If you would’ve told me a week ago that Alt was going to change my life (like a couple of people did), I may or may not have believed you. My mind is still on excitement overload from meeting people and the knowledge gained. After getting back into the swing of things at home and reflecting on last week’s event, I felt compelled to share some of the things I learned, fun and serious. Here are my 10 greatest takeaways from Alt Summit 2017.
Bring the big suitcase, or at least another bag.
This may not be a surprise to those that have attended blogging conferences in the past, but you’ll want to make sure you have enough room to bring some of that awesome swag home with you! In addition to your welcome bag/box, you’re more than likely going to visit some sponsor booths, and they are going to have more goodies for you to enjoy. No greater buzz kill departing from Alt than “I can’t take any of this stuff with me!”
If you have something in your closet that you are scared to wear, this is the place to do so.
Alt Summit is truly the conference where you can let your freak flag fly in terms of fashion trends. Mix patterns and textures. The more colors in one outfit, the better. Your outfit will augment your personality and be a great icebreaker for conversations. If you plan to be conservative, you absolutely have a place too, but don’t be scurred if you want to wear yellow. Or green.
Bring a notebook, or a laptop if you are techie.
There is a chance that your swag bag will have a notebook in it, but you don’t want to bank on that. Bring a notebook and pen and take it with you everywhere. It’s great for writing down notes from breakout sessions, keynotes, and even remembering the people that you’ve met. Not good with faces, names and details? When you get to a quiet place, write down the names of people you just met and something you recall from the conversation. After you talk to hundreds of people, you’re going to want that reference guide more than ever.
on time for breakfast and lunch.
The early bird gets the worm and that’s the case when it comes to your breakfast, lunch, and snacks at the conference. It’s included in your ticket price, so you may as well take advantage of it, but if you want the best selection, make your way right on time or you might end up a hangry mess. Not that I know from experience or anything…
Consider having a pitch prepared for an event sponsor.
The event sponsor list is live on the site well in advance of the conference, which allows you to spend some time getting familiar with each one. Not all will align with your niche, but I bet a handful will. Wouldn’t it be great to work with them? Of course! Do they want to work with you? Of course. Why else would they have a presence at a conference full of influencers? You don’t have to do the delicate first date dance as you would with a cold call/email. Sure, you have to get acquainted, let them get to know you (and you get to know them), let your brand come to life, then why not slip in an idea too? It also gives you a way to follow up with them post-conference since you’ll be on first name basis by then!
Having a conference buddy allows you to tackle it all with precision.
Running late for your next session? Your buddy can snag you a seat. You can stand in the lunch line if you are out of yours early. This doesn’t have to be someone that you travel with. Is your Instagram sister coming, too and you’re finally meeting IRL? Have each other’s back at the conference and you can be in two places at once. Feel like you have no one? Don’t worry, you can find someone in the Facebook group in advance, or in the lobby opening day. It’s just like the first day of school.
Some of your newest best friends are waiting for you.
In addition to meeting some people I’ve followed for a while on social media (like Bethany from Twenty Something Plus below), I met so many amazing people that I instantly clicked with, and not just because we have blogs, because we have families, passions and goals that are all different, but kind of a like, too. The bonus is that they are also bloggers so we have plenty of reasons to stay in touch and collaborate!
We have a platform that is more than a pretty Instagram feed
Luvvie said it best. Many speculate that a brand may not want to work with you if you become too vocal about politics and current events, and that keeping a neutral stance is safe. Well, Luvvie and others have been unfiltered and that hasn’t stopped the flow of income. Don’t let it stop you, whether it’s income or followers that you’re worried about. You have to stay true to your soul.
We won’t get anywhere without having a community that supports us.
While at Alt, I had this overwhelming notion to collaborate with others, and how I feel that I’ve completely missed out on some awesome opportunities by not doing so. Well, hey. I am sipping on collaboration juice right now, so drop me a line if you want to make some magic happen. We have to root each other on, we have to be transparent about our experiences so that we all get the compensation and the respect that we deserve. We have to share each other’s content. We have to unite.
There are a lot of creative people that are thriving.
Creatives are hot! I mean that with the utmost respect. These are real deal entrepreneurs, bloggers and influencers that you’ll encounter at Alt. For some, their creative business is a side hustle, for others it’s their full-time gig, but the common theme I found was that everyone had a clear idea of what they were doing and what they wanted. How they were going to get there may have been up to a variety of factors, but I was so impressed with everyone I met. It made me do a personal audit for my brand and ask myself, “What can you do to make The Lipstick Giraffe better with what you have?”
My creativity was a volcano ready to erupt at Alt. And it has since erupted.
Truth be told, I’ve been feeling like I was in a creative rut for a while: With the blog, what I want out of it, and what the next step is. I’m not a newbie to this blogging game and I was starting to feel like a senior citizen, until this past week (and some pre-Alt activities I’ve engaged in). The most emotional takeaway of it all is that I’ve been my biggest roadblock ever! Since I’ve left the conference, I have been in the best creative space since I started The Lipstick Giraffe, and for those who have been around for a while, I really do thank you for sticking with me. I made a promise to always create content that would be from the heart and would hopefully inspire you. That hasn’t changed. I have content planned through April… Who am I?! I’m not quite sure, but I frickin’ love this chick.
Thanks for taking the time to read!