I can't really put into words how great Alt Summit was. Instead of doing a quick recap, I wanted to share some notes with you and what I learned at Alt. (especially since last year I missed blogging about the event) So get ready for a really long post!
Lillian & I arrive and head straight to the thrift shops. We were pretty hard core and visited about 10 shops.. Then we checked into the Grand America and headed to the lobby and met lots of new friends. Then we part ways for dinner and I meet my roomies for the first time, Melanie (You are my Fave) & Natalie (Sensible Styled)! Also met the sweeeeetest ever Marta from Marta Writes and the hilarious Amy Turn Sharp from doobleh-vay.
I kicked off the morning taking the Design Camp Calligraphy session with Melissa Esplin. It was lots of fun and I pretended I wasn't tracing the letters and I could just bust out really legit calligraphy.
Then I headed to Advertising Beyond the Banner with the lovely Erin Lochner from Design for Mankind, Liz Gumbinner from Cool Mom Picks & Maggie Mason from Mighty Girl. They gave us 12 key points, here are some of the main ones that stuck with me: Reinvent the wheel meaning get creative! Do something unique on your blog. Know yourself: What is your brand? What do you stand for and how can you add value to your readers? Disclosure: Blog with integrity. Your readers must know if you are just recommending a product or if it's a sponsor. Meaning - if you received something from a company to review on your blog, you must disclose it. If you don't have trust with your readers, you have nothing.
Lunch was AWESOME. They keynote lunch featured Mondo & Seth Aaron from project runway. Can I just say how amazingly down to earth, sweet, and humble Mondo is?? He totally hugged me for the photo, I may have had a dream about him later that night ;) Funny story: Natalie's husband works for crocs and Seth Aaron totally dissed crocs during his talk. So afterward, Natalie goes up to Seth Aaron and tells him her husband works for crocs and that she wants to send him and his family some shoes. She's awesome, and it made for lots of laughs.
Aren't Mondo's shoes awesome? Oh, if you saw any of my tweets from Thursday, here are some quotes from the keynote: "dont look for trends, just do whatever you want. Wear what makes you feel good" -by Mondo on upcoming trends. "You can't grow without criticism. But take 20% and throw the other 80 out." -Seth Aaron "a women should always put on what she wants and never second guess it."-Mondo. Other fave quotes by Mondo: "I started with a hot glue gun", "mustaches are in", and "I love thrift shops."
Next up, Social Media Ethics & Etiquette with the amazing: Emily Newman from Once Wed, Grace Bonney from Design Sponge & Joy Cho from Oh Joy! Grace says "pick your battles" regarding copying/stealing. On comments, comment politely and don't promote yourself in comments. Leaving your link within your comment is considered spam.
Last session for the day, I attended Taking it Offline - Events and Social Media with the fabulous: Ashley Meaders, Brittany Egbert from One Charming Party, Jordan Ferney from Oh Happy Day, & Victoria Hudgins from The City Cradle. Jordan Ferney has been a long-time blog read so it was amazing to meet her and Ashley Meaders, well, I'm sure you know who she is. Some of the points that were made in this session if you're wanting to take your party to the next level are to make sure your invitations shine, pick a theme, pick an element of surprise and size does matter. Here is what Ashley Meaders told us on how she gets inspired: dare to go beyond your industry: fashion/wedding/etc. Use your hands and get away from your computer and collaborate with other creatives.
By the end of the day, my head was spinning with info and my mouth hurt from smiling. So I headed back to the room, got on Melanie's laptop and relaxed while my roommates went off to dinner. I was bummed to miss out on the socializing, but I needed rest.
Friday was a crazy-fun day. During lunch, I got a text from my wedding photographer that our photos were done. So I got anxious about that as well as getting ready for our panel on "The Best in Up & Coming Blogs". I was super fortunate to be on a panel with Amy Turn Sharp from doobleh-vay, Joslyn Taylor from Simple Lovely, Liz Stanley from Say Yes to Hoboken, & Melanie Blodgett from You are my Fave. See our list of up and coming blogs here at Amy's blog.
The closing keynote was presented by Tina Eisenberg from Swiss Miss. Wow. The panels were amazing but I think this was the highlight for me. Tina was so so so inspiring. She presented a totally kick-butt key note and it was an wonderful end to the conference. I really want to share some of her key points with you. She discussed how her blog became her business and noted that with a big audience comes great responsibility. Here are some of the rules she blogs by: 01) Always credit your sources 02) Respect your reader 03) Keep it light 04) Blog with the right intentions: If your motives are in it to make money, your motives for blogging are not right. I would just say quit blogging if your main goal is to make money. 05) Images images images 06) Find your place and own it: What makes you different from other blogs? Find your niche. Don't be just another blog with the same voice and copy other blogs. 07) There is such a think as blogging to much. 08) BE personal and approachable: personality is key on your blog. 09) Know what not to blog about. 10) Think beyond the blog.
Later that night, we attended a bunch of parties but the highlight had to be the Kate Spade/Girls with Glasses Party. Here are some shots:
Having way too much photo booth fun with new friends.
(photo booth from getpicturethis.com)
So that was it. It was so much fun and I left on a high, being so inspired. I wrote down a huge list of things I want to do in 2011 on my way home. I definitely would recommend going next year. Maybe start saving up some money now? Put a dollar and ten cents aside for the next 363 days and you'll have enough by next year to go.
Alt follow up posts from other friends:
+ Amy from Old Sweet Song has a must read, hilarious post up at her blog:
+ Twig & Thistle, Kathleen's Recap Post
+ Design Crush, Kelly's Hangover/Recap Post
+ You are my fave, Melanie's Realization post