Alt Summit. It feels like the other day and last year at the same time. This year marked my fourth year attending the annual conference, and this was also the third year it was in Palm Springs! Alt has opened so many doors for me over the years, and this time, I wasn’t just looking forward to it because of the opportunities that were waiting to be cultivated, but because your girl really needed a change of scenery!
But hold up, what’s Alt Summit?
Alt’s original name was Altitude Design Summit. According to the official website, the conference started as a gathering for design bloggers, and as the new media landscape has changed, the content and attendees have changed too. I totally agree – a lot can change in 11 years. Alt now brings together creative entrepreneurs from all verticals — designers, artists, photographers, bloggers, small business owners, content creators, and the list goes on and on.
Last year was the first year an expanded schedule and multiple locations were brought into the mix. I don’t know if it’s because of my recent move to Dallas, because I’ve been to Alt a few times before, or if the multiple locations were a hindrance for me, but I just couldn’t do all of the things again this year.
But that’s okay!
Because I made valuable connections.
I had some face time with people that I don’t get to see very often.
I learned some new skills that will help me in my content creation and product offerings in the future.
And, one that is very important to me, and always seems to be on time – my WHY was reinforced. I really love connecting with other creatives, learning about what makes them tick, learning where they are a little stuck, and being able to provide a solution or inspiration for the next step. This manifested in the roundtable I lead this year!
Returning as a Speaker
This was my second time speaking at the conference and this year was the first year that Alt Summit implemented a public vote for their sessions, roundtables, and panels. I was elated when my roundtable topic made it to the conference! I had the opportunity to talk through the value of local media and shared tips on how to position your pitch. The roundtables are my favorite part of the conference, and I was so happy that they were offered on multiple days and time brackets during the conference so that even those that were leading roundtables would be able to participate.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with conference sponsors over the years and it’s a big draw for me when it comes to attending the event! For me, it’s always great to have an in-person connection with a brand so you can directly ask questions and present your brand in an authentic and personal way.
Interacting with Sponsors
I was a guest at The Home Depot’s dinner (remember the Halloween Challenge I took part in?) at the Ace Hotel & Swim Club’s Commune area and it was so so good. There were specialty margaritas and a taco bar. You know I went IN!
I had the pleasure of getting to know the Native team which was exciting because I LOVE their Charcoal deodorant (I started using it in December) and learned about their newly launched toothpaste. ConstantContact had a handful of educational sessions and I had no idea that their platform had changed so much since the last time I used it. Let me just say, CC is MUCH MORE than a simple eblast. I wrapped up my time in Palm Springs hanging out with BookSparks and Toyota in Joshua Tree. It was a fun day of glamping and walking around. It was awe-inspiring!
Attending my fair share of conferences and workshops, I have picked up quite a few tools to add to my creative and business belt, but, who couldn’t use a few more?
Learning Tricks of the Trade
I was excited to attend a wide variety of sessions but this year I was determined to learn new tools and techniques for video and discoverability. Both sponsors of the conference, Pinterest and Adobe Premiere Rush held sessions that didn’t just tell us how to do something but showed us. The Premiere Rush session at the Ace was worth the conference ticket in itself. Amber Torrealba showed us how she culled together videos and edited into a single one with a range of tools on the spot which made a really great behind-the-scenes video. Pinterest shared insights that would help our content perform even better on the platform and a few features that will be coming this year. What does that mean for content creators? Increased clicks and traffic, and if you’re a creative with a website like I am, that is golden.
My Alt Summit Experience in Pictures
Here are a few snaps from my time in Palm Springs at Alt.
If You’re Thinking About Alt Summit 2021
I would highly recommend Alt Summit to any entrepreneurs looking to grow or be inspired in the next phase of their business growth. Hell, I’d recommend it for someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing but wants to be surrounded by creatives! No one is too big or too small to benefit from Alt. Your cup will be filled regardless if you’re in the midst of all of the conference magic. I always share some tips for those who may be seeking them at the end of my Alt recaps, but this year, my recommendations come from a logistical place to give you peace of mind.
Designate Your Conference Buddy – for real
I think it really helps to have a conference buddy. This doesn’t have to be someone that you travel with. Maybe it’s someone that you’re besties with – or besties online with. You can split some of the sessions and you can be in two places at once. If you don’t have any connections to people attending Alt, rest assured that you can find someone in the Alt Facebook group or on the Alt Summit event app (you get access a couple of weeks before the conference).
Accept that You Will Miss Some Content
There will be sessions you want to go to that you’ll be unable to attend due to overlap, or just the inability to get there in time from one venue to another. When the schedule is available, but before the conference begins, I’d look at it carefully and go through what are the non-negotiable sessions that you want to attend and make contact with the speaker in advance of their session. You could meet up with them at lunch, or simply provide your email address for any content shares following their session. SO many of the speakers share their materials afterward.
Consider renting a car
In lieu of the shuttle (that only runs between conference venues and not 24/7), consider renting a car to get around to point a and b – and if you want to do some exploring on your own. Last year I drove from Sacramento, but this year I rented and I’m glad I did. Even when the conference was at one location, I spent nearly $100 on Ubers getting to other places during my time in Palm Springs. I ended up renting a car for $120 for the week and it was the best money I spent.
Photos by StudioK10, Crissy Cross Photo, Nicole Breanne + The Kachet Life