Happy weekend! As I continue to process everything from the Alt Summit this past week, I am realizing the biggest factor to having success at a blogging conference is to know why you are there. This year marked my third year attending and speaking at the conference, and it was by far the best year yet. Not that it was necessarily the most fun year, or the year I learned the most, but what I did get out of the conference was unregrettably amazing!
The first year I attended I was way in over my head, star struck, and speaking on a panel only months after taking on blogging as more than a hobby. It was amazing! The relationships I made that year prompted a passion for blogging that eventually turned into my carrer. Sitting down and having a drink with others lead to the creation of Styled. and projects that I would have only dreamt of before that trip. One of the best things I did that year was to connect with three bloggers I wanted to meet beforehand and ask them for a bit of time. Those relationships and the advice they gave were major catalysts for both the growth of myself and this site.
At my second year at the Alt conference I felt as if I had more experience under my belt. I planned a big Friday night party and had a chance to really put myself out there. One distinct advantage to feeling more confident that year was that I found myself sticking my hand out and saying HELLO to whoever was near me. I sat down at a lunch table where I didn’t know anyone with no fear, and through those advances got the opportunity to be in Better Homes and Gardens last year, to become the editorial director for Alt, and to further build relationships with bloggers new and old.
Year three (this year) I went into the conference as an experienced blogger. This wasn’t a year where I anticipated spending a lot of time listening to panels, although I adore the keynotes Alt brings in who always give us a wider angle on the design community as a whole. What I did do this year was set up meetings! I had four days packed solid with amazing, change-my-life meetings! My encounters last year were amazing, and my confidence allowed me to take advantage of the unexpected. But this year, I finally felt like I had a great handle on the brand, this site, and exactly where I want to take it. Before the conference I connected personally with everyone and anyone who I felt could help me to get A Subtle Revelry where I imagine it can be. I had coffees, drinks, lunches… I was up until 1am most nights, and up again before 7am. It was by and far the most exhausting 4 days I have had in a long time (and I have twins!) but it was so worth it.
One thing that surprised me was how kind everyone was and how willing they were to sit, chat, and lend a hand. It was fun in a way, being nervous all over again at the conference, but also exhilarating. I don’t know what the end of it all will be, but I can tell you for sure – there are big things in store for us this year, and I am so happy you are here to be a part of it.
Wherever you are in the blogging spectrum, attending a conference and being willing to go after it while you are there, will move you forward in amazingly awesome ways!
Photos from the Alt stream by Brooke Dennis.