Alt Summit is Ridiculously Awesome

roommates at Alt summitIf you saw my post from yesterday you know that Alt Summit did BIG things for me.  The outcome was totally different from I thought it would be during my conference planning but I love the way it turned out.  But the other part of Alt that is SO necessary is the social aspect and the pure awesomeness that is everywhere.  Alt Summit is ridiculously awesome.  I think Alt was such a great experience for me because the majority of the people there are all design oriented in some way.  We are like-minded, creative and driven.  That isn’t to say a “mom blogger” wouldn’t get anything out of it, but it really is geared more toward creative bloggers.  Not much traditional business or the back-end of blogging is discussed but mostly how to collaborate or get guest post spots for diys, etc.  The content was perfect for me at the stage that I am at.  Next year, I might get something totally different out of it.  Yes, I’m already planning on going next year.

The people who I met really made this trip extra special for me.  Some of them I knew online, some I had never heard of before.  Forming relationships in real life is so important for your support system as these are the gals that you can confide in, ask advice from and just laugh about blogging stuff with.  I shared a room with 4 other girls.  Yes, 5 women in one room.  I had a fair amount of anxiety about it before hand.  I’m super high maintenance so the idea that I would have to get up at 4 am everyday just to get a shower made me sweat.  But it turned out to be awesome.  I finally got to meet my online BFF Jenny (top photo).  I think angels sang.  She is just as lovely in person as she is online.  Lauren (bottom left photo) was who I get along really well with who was also an Alt first timer.  I got to meet Cyd (bottom right photo standing right next to me) who I instantly bonded with and wish I could make move to California if for no other reason than to listen to rap with.  And I met Jenn (bottom right photo standing next to Cyd and she is wearing a cape!  LOVE her) who is insanely talented with such a fresh outlook and is passionate about life.  There were so many great conversations in that room.  I learned a ton from them and I feel honored to be able to call them friends.

Wednesday night brand dinners at AltCyd and Jenny were speakers on panels at Alt.  My roommates were pretty much rock stars.  Not sure how I ended up with that group but so glad I did.  Jenny was also responsible for decorating 2(!) of the Wednesday night brand dinners (the Windows party on the left and Bing party on the right).  We ran around town helping her set them up.  I loved seeing her creativity in person and it was also really cool to check out a few restaurants around Salt Lake City since we didn’t have much time to actually see the city during our trip.

dinner with whimseybox at altThen Lauren and I headed off to dinner hosted by WhimseyBox.  It was a really fun experience hanging with the WhimseyBox gals and hearing the story of the company.  We met some great new friends like Laura and Maggie.  These dinners are a great way to ease in to not only talking to brands, but also meeting new people in a much less overwhelming way than the actual conference.

weather in slcIt was a great night until we learned that because the entire town was crazy busy with conferences the taxis were next to impossible to come by.  The restaurant suggested we walk across the street to the mall valet where we might have better luck.  So we did.  And just about froze to death.  I’m not sure I have ever been that cold.  We didn’t think we were ever going to get home.  We huddled up in the Cheesecake Factory and remembered that the hotel had a car service.  They came and got us and we were finally able to thaw out.  Have you heard?  I’m from California.  I don’t really own socks and the cold pretty much just laughed at my jacket.  Side note, how cute is Lauren’s phone case?

hank and hunt speaking at altDay one of the panels was amazing.  Jenny spoke about shooting great DIYs along with Chelsea Costa (who is just darling!!)  There are tons of Alt recaps floating around with actual tips taken from the panels so look around for those if you are looking for  content from the speakers.  I just want to share the overall experience (again with the iphone photos you must be thinking.  But I seriously can’t take pictures indoors.  I need a class on that!).  The panels were made up of a great mix of bloggers or brand reps and covered all sides of a topic.  They opened the floor up for Q&A and I never once got bored (and I have a very short attention span).

you are my fave speaking at altMelanie also spoke.  This panel talked about blog collaborations and how to get those contributor spots.  SO good!  The panels were pretty much back to back and I am so bummed that I didn’t make time to get to all the brand lounges.  I totally spaced and figured they would all be there the next day too but they weren’t!  I’m making a note of that for next year.

lunch at alt summitThis is what lunch time looks like at a table of bloggers.  I promise they were not rude and we actually did have a great time.

clue party sponsored by joss and main and la cremaAnd then it was time to party.  Night one is one big hosted party.  This year Joss and Main teamed with La Crema and Dash and Albert to put on a Clue themed party.  Everyone dressed up in a color theme that represented the names of the characters.  The furniture from Joss and Main and the rugs from Dash and Albert totally transformed the ballroom.  It was amazing.  I got to hang out with another fabulous lady, Lexy.  If there was a prom queen crowned for the conference I’m pretty sure she would be it.  I wish we would have gotten more time to spend together.  We got to hang out with Kelly and Alexandra too.  Excited to be spending time at the Crafting with Bloggers event with Kelly next weekend.  She’s local so I think I’ll be seeing more of her.  And I wanted to bring Alexandra home with me so we could hang out all the time.  I love her!  As usual, Lauren and I hung out and sampled the wines.  The team from La Crema was super fun and I’m glad I got to meet them during the party, they even used a photo of mine on their Facebook page (do you “like” them?)

Lauren and monkey I had such an awesome time with Lauren at the conference.  We have grown close over the last year or so and she and I travel really well together.  She also does my hair.  Which is cool.  And she is always willing to take silly pictures with me.  I heart you Lauren.

land of nod lounge at alt summitDay 2 I made sure to visit all the lounges.  I had seen some Pin boards by Land of Nod prior to the conference for a Marie Antoinette style tea party and was excited by what I saw.  They BROUGHT it!  The room was decked out in a gorgeous and fun way! Why yes that is a boat shaped like a swan.  Which now I have to have.  Consider it on every one of my wish lists for the rest of my life.

mini parties at alt summitNight 2 brought a bunch of mini parties.  This is such a fun idea and I kind of want to do this for my next kid’s party.  Each room is so different and it is another chance to hang out with all your new friends and the brands who are hosting.

emily henderson and orlando soria at alt summitThe Girls with Glasses and Method put on the most amazing dance party.  We spent a LOT of time in here.  Go Mighty teamed up with Red Envelope to put on an awesome party where you could make someone you admire a valentine.  And then I hung out with HGTV celebs Orlando (Or-lawn-do) Soria and Emily Henderson.  For real, they were SO gracious and willing to take pictures with everyone.  It must have been super overwhelming for them.  Emily is to bloggers as moths are to flame (boom SAT worthy right there).  I probably wouldn’t have asked them for a picture because they had just walked in and I didn’t want to spook them but one of my friends was dying to meet Emily and we knew this was her chance.  I was instructed to not let them go anywhere (in a non-threatening way) so that someone could go grab my friend.  So we took a picture.  Orlando is super cool and has his own blog.  And you can read his Alt recap right here.

smilebooth photos from alt 1And there was a Smilebooth.  SO fun.  I have a ridiculous amount of photos so I’ve only picked a few to share.  They make me smile.  Jenny, Alexandra, me and Lauren.

smilebooth photos from alt summit 2Lauren, me, one of my favorite people of ALL time Melanie and Corey (who incidentally I didn’t actually meet although we photoboothed together – so Corey, nice to kind of meet you!)

smilebooth photos from alt summit 3Danae, Jenn, Me, Cyd and Lauren.  Danae is a new friend who recently moved to LA.  She came to our Kismet PR class and I’m so glad she was at Alt.  I would have loved more time with her but I loved seeing her around!

smilebooth image for alt summit 4But if I had gotten nothing else out of Alt, finally meeting my boo, Jenny in person would have been enough.  She is a constant source of advice, support, laughs, and immense inspiration for me.  Alt was a total blast and I can’t wait for next year!

Oh yeah!  Here is one big thing I took away from my travels to Alt.  It is cheaper to take two bags rather than one extra large, heavy bag.  At least on Delta anyway.   I had to pay $115.  EACH WAY!  Yikes.

For sure go back and look at my instagram at more fun pictures from the conference.  And you can search instagram and twitter for #altsummit to see what everyone else is posting.  If you are looking for hard facts and tips from the sessions, go to the Alt blog for round up links.

Comments

  1. Why are you so good to me? I’m so happy you liked Alt so much! I had fun hanging out with you.

  2. What a fun recap! I’m pretty jealous of that pic with Emily and Orlando. I’m such a wuss. I was right behind them as they took some photos on the Flipboard “red carpet,” and instead of just asking if I could take a pic with them, I took about 10 stalker photos. Maybe next time…

    • Sharon Garofalow says:

      Ha! They were seriously the nicest. I think they expected it and they were so down to earth. But I did think the hashtag #whenbloggersattack should have been added to every photo they were in. Emily Henderson makes bloggers overly excited. :)

  3. okay ummmm can i come with you next year?

    • Sharon Garofalow says:

      Jackie! It would be really good for you! They are doing a one day in San Fran in the summer…save up!

  4. MY GOODNESS. This looks like so much fun.

  5. I love all of your photobooth shots!
    So glad I ended up at that California table at the Wednesday night dinner.
    I didn’t know about your blog before, but I’m very intrigued (from your post or two ago) to see what you’re going to do with it!

    • Sharon Garofalow says:

      Thanks Maggie! I feel like I have the clarity to know what brands are a good fit for me and the type of content that is totally me but people will want to read. I’ve been searching for a long time and just about slapped me in the face. Finally! Thank goodness. :)

  6. SHA-RON. I cannot tell you how much I loved finally meeting you. Seriously. You are star-status. I mean that. Loved hanging out and chatting a bit. I’m going to come to Cali and stalk you!!! Love you mucho!

    Lexy

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  1. […] in 2008!  But then I started seeing them pinning some pretty cool party inspiration for their Alt Summit party.  I was excited to see what they were about.  And when I went to said party, I was blown […]

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