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So finally, today, a week after the end of Alt Summit and a few days after I returned from my post-Alt mini vacation in Utah, I’m happy to report that my blogger’s block seems to be gone and I’m ready to write again. I don’t think I can possibly put all of my takeaways from the summit in one post so today I’m just focusing on the overall experience.
I cannot stress enough what a great experience Alt Summit was for me. I learned so much, met truly lovely and insanely talented people, and had such a amazing time. So, in other words,
I had a kick-ass roomie, Miss Jennifer from Rambling Renovators, and whether it was mingling at the parties or having deep discussions about blogging, we had a total blast. The added benefit of having Jenn around was that she knows everything. I’m not kidding…she knew who people were, what blogs they were from, which people were on which panels, where we were to eat breakfast…everything. This fuzzy photobooth picture depicts the essence of Jenn and I at ALT….Jenn doing it right while I have no idea what is going on.
(via photo booth sponsored by Epiphanie Camera Bags)
I attended many sessions sessions including the business of blogging, how to grow a readership, building a personal brand and a roundtable discussion on how to quit your day job. Some of the best design bloggers out there were sitting on the panels, and let me tell you, these men and women truly know what they are doing. There were some amazing keynote speakers including Ben Silbermann, founder of Pinterest and Gretchen Rubin, author of the Happiness Project. And to top it all of there were crafty courses on the Saturday – everything from calligraphy to photography.
Clockwise from top right: Jenn and I just before we met Ben from Pinterest (via Jenn’s camera), swag from the party (via me), Ben Silbermann doing his keynote (via b.a.d. photography), Alt shoes (via Justin Hackworth), Panelists Jordan (Oh Happy Day), Kelly (Design Crush), Nicole (Making it Lovely) and Maggie (Mighty Girl) (via me), helpful graphs (via me), Gretchen Rubin closing keynote (via b.a.d. photography), my textile design course (via b.a.d. photography), the crowd during a session (apparently I thought something was hilarious here) (via Justin Hackworth), the lovely Miss Emily Henderson of Secrets of a Stylist speaking during a session (via me).
After the first day I had an overall feeling of, holy sh*t, I am doing everything wrong! And I heard similar sentiments from many other bloggers. But I came away with so many tools to improve my blog that it was hard to feel anything but inspired the whole time I was there.
Oh, and have I mentioned the amazing parties ….namely the “dinner en blanc” on Friday and the mini parties on the Saturday. Super fun and beautifully decorated…..
Clockwise from top right: Jenn and I in the Method “Smilebooth” with props, Dinner en Blanc (via Justin Hackworth), Jenn and I and some new/old friends Kathleen, Jason, and Cole (via Jenn’s camera), Chinese New Year mini party decor (via b.a.d. photography), the Girls with Glasses Parisian mini-party decor (via moss and issac), Jenn and I at the dinner en blanc (via Jenn’s camera), decor at the Wilson Art mini party (via me).
I was one of about 400 to 500 women (and 10 to 15 men) at the summit so one can imagine that it could get competitive or catty, but it was so welcoming and supportive. The ideas of collaboration and community came up in one form or another in all the sessions I attended. I have always been amazed about the community and support given by the smaller group of Canadian design bloggers but I’m happy to say it is present even in the broader blogger community. I feel very lucky to be a part of it.
In subsequent posts I’ll talk about some of the specific things that i took away from the Summit, but for now, I have to go figure out what to wear to the Canadian Design Bloggers Meet-up tonight at Brassai. Can’t wait to see some of you there!