Recap: Alt Summit 2012

Big Cartel spent last weekend rubbing elbows with some of the blogging elite at Alt Summit.

It was our first time at the conference, and we learned a lot! As we reflect back on the three days of information and fun, two words continually pop up: collaboration and community. It seems the blogging world is demanding these two things, and well, we’re listening. We’ve reached out to our Alt community, and we’re collaborating with three awesome women we met at Alt Summit to help recap the event from their unique perspectives.

Like us, these ladies were all first-timers at Alt Summit, and here they share a bit about what the conference meant to them.

A few photos from our recap brunch with a handful of new Alt friends.

Shelley Smith:

Mom, lifestyle blogger, and vinyl crafter.

As a newcomer to Alt this year, I have to say that I had some pretty high expectations. I had been told by fellow Alt attendees from past years that Alt was quite the event and to be prepared for greatness. Now that I’ve experienced this fabulously-fashion-forward conference for myself, I must admit, Alt turned out to be even more then I had hoped for. I was so impressed by the sponsorship interaction, the attention to detail and the vast amount of wisdom and insight shared from the speakers. I left Alt feeling inspired, more connected and, probably most of all, yearning for a far more trend-setting fashionable wardrobe…preferably one that includes some thick black framed glasses.

All around it was an amazing conference with pretty people, parties and priceless information. I will definitely be heading back next year.

Angie Anderson

Soon to be mom, an entrepreneur, and a designer extraordinaire

Now that I’ve experienced Alt for the first time, I feel like I can offer some key pieces of advice for those thinking about attending in 2013:

  1. Make a list of the people you’d like to see/meet while you’re there. Read up on their blogs. Learn more about their careers, families, and personal preferences. That way, when you find yourself next to Pilar Guzmán while in line for the toilet, you can say, “Hey, how did that bathroom remodel turn out?” rather than, “Holy cow! My bladder is SO FULL. I love your pants.”

  2. Think about the cutest outfit you’re planning to bring. Now make it cuter. Now CUTER. Okay, now you’re ready.

  3. When it comes to business cards, dream big. Paper is passé. Rectangles are lame. Think about the Christmas gift you loved most from your childhood and then buy 250 of those to hand out to the people you meet.

  4. If you are male, you’ll want to practice some immersion therapy leading up to the event. Does your local YWCA have a prenatal yoga class you can audit? How about a Nicholas Sparks book club? What you want here is sheer quantity of ladies.

  5. Consider bringing a rolling suitcase, fun vintage red wagon, or sherpa to help carry your swag. Nothing says “Alt Rookie” like a back injury.

Alison Faulkner

Mom, star of The Alison Show, and a crafter.

I was so hesitant to treat myself to Alt Summit, but a treat is exactly what it was! It was fantastic connecting with bloggers and shop owners in the flesh, but, more than anything, it gave me time to reflect on what I really want from blogging. We can live our online lives in a vacuum, and it was so beneficial to pop up for air. My two biggest takeaways were:

  1. Only you can be you. The only way to be both successful and happy is to be yourself, and to bet on yourself. Odds are you’re a good bet. Those little gems are mine, but a lot of inspiring speakers helped remind me of those facts!

  2. It’s not a party without balloons. My sister has quoted my balloon philosophy back to me many times, usually mockingly. But in the case of the Alt. Summit mini parties…the proof is in the pictures.

Check out the entire collection of amazing #AltSummit photos on the Alt Flickr page.