5 Things Alt Newbies Should Know

I'm sorry if you are tired of hearing about Alt Summit, but I'm really so excited about getting to attend AGAIN (thanks to Collectively)!  I thought it might be helpful to share a few things that I wish I would have known before attending Alt for the first time last year.

Oh my, what an intimidating experience.  I "knew" no one!  Maybe I knew their blog or stocked their twitter, but I had never, ever met any of the fabulous ladies that were attending.  This year is a totally different story, I'm so excited to see all my like-minded, online friends (many of which I met at Alt last year).  My roomies Sarah of Sarah Hearts and Haeley of Design Improvised are amazing bloggers that I met last year.  I'm so excited to get to connect with them and bounce ideas of each other.

So here's what I would have loved to have known as a newbie:

1. SNACKS - I should have brought more.  A power bar or two could have really come in handy.  Yes, your meals are provided and there are snacks from time to time.  But, I found that I just didn't eat enough during the meal times to keep me going mentally and physically on those really long days.  I found that I was so busy talking and trying to connect with others, that eating got over looked.  At night, when I got back to my room, I was STARVING!

2. SUITCASE - Ok, I'm usually a carry on girl.  And last year I did just take a carry on bag, but the way back was a totally different story.  There's SWAG friends, and I struggled to get it all in my little bag.  I know there is the fear of losing you bag and all your fabulous outfits and business cards, so I suggest taking an extra carry on (empty) or just check a big old suitcase.

3. BUSINESS CARDS - I'm sure you've heard rumor about how fabulous everyones cards are.  It's true, there is a lot of pressure.  But, from my experience, think outside the box (or card).  This is an event for some super creative people, they pay attention for details.  Something different, 3D, or quirky will do the trick.  Last year, I had a great idea.  I made Lavender Sachet Business Cards.  They were super time consuming to make, but they definitely got noticed.  Some semi famous folks even tweeted and instagramed them.  This year, my idea is not as good, but I'm pretty pleased with the bakers twine business cards I made.  I'm only bringing about 70 of these, so I have to be choosey about who gets one, but I have beautiful Minted ones for everyone else.

4. FRIENDS - Ok, you are a newbie, but find, make or connect with another bloggy friend before you go. I found Alix of A Ruffled Life on twitter.  I knew it was her first time as well, so we made arrangements to meet and sit together for the first session.  It was a huge relief to know that someone was looking for YOU and that you didn't have to be the one awkward person in the room without anyone to talk to. You will make LOTS of friends at Alt, but that first day can be tough if you don't have anyone to connect with from time to time.

5. CONNECT - You will make lots of connections with bloggers and companies (if you put yourself out there).  But, be intentional about finding like-minded friends. Connect with bloggers that are similar to you. When you have similar niche blogs or similar audiences, there is so much to be learned from each other. There will be BIG bloggers there, that you are huge fans of. Be a fan, but know that they really aren't that interest in you (this is my experience). There are exceptions, but for the most part, big bloggers like to be with other big bloggers.  If you are small time blogger like myself, make friends with someone that you can grow together with.

I hope this is helpful to someone.  And if you'd like to know more about Collectively, tweet me (@oleanderandpalm) and we can chat or I can even help to set you up with the Collectively team, they'll have "office hours" during Alt.


  1. great tips Jeran! I hope to go next year (ha, I said that this year. but seriously..) I like your bakers twine cards! have a wonderful time!

  2. saw this on pinterest and I just had to say I totally do not agree with #5. It's a bold thing to state that big bloggers are not interested in any one but other bloggers in the same caliber. I have a lot of friends that you might consider "big bloggers" who are super kind and always happy to make new connections, even with smaller blogs. I know if they were to read this it would disappoint them greatly, especially if you were still hoping to connect with these same bloggers you speak of. In my experience sometimes in a setting like ALT, those bloggers don't have time to sit one on one with the hundreds of newbies trying to grab their attention. you'll be singing a different tune once you've benefitted from having your one on one time with a BIG blogger.

    1. I did say there are exceptions!!! But, from my own experience, I think there is really beneficial to connect with bloggers who a living similar blogging experiences. I know they are busy and I'm so grateful for my blog friends that have the time to email me and talk about my ideas and struggles. I hope you can hear where I'm coming from, It's no offense to bigger blogger, I just think its great to find folks that can relate to your current situation. Man, I have a lot to learn from BIG bloggers and I'm grateful they come and share their knowledge at conferences like this.

  3. These are so helpful! I'm hoping to have enough growth this year to make Alt a possibility for next year--pinning these tips! :)


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