If you follow me via social media, you know I recently spent a whirlwind three days in New York City for the 2nd annual Alt Summit NYC, hosted by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. I’ve always dreamed of attending an Alt Design Summit, practically from the moment I started this blog. I couldn’t wait to network with some of my favorite bloggers and make connections with top brands. Luckily this past spring I was able to score a ticket to the event (no small feat – just ask anyone!). After a lot of prep and planning, I headed to NYC last Wednesday, freshly minted business cards in hand. The event schedule was really packed, featuring great content and ample time for networking! Here are some highlights:
- Attended a delicious dinner at Tia Pol sponsored by Atly. Met some really great ladies that I palled around with during the conference.
- Martha Stewart dropped by and announced she was gifting attendees her recent book, Favorite Crafts for Kids. Yay!
- Spent the morning of the conference doing crafts with the Martha Stewart Living craft team! Can you think of a better way to start the day?!
- Bing, who sponsored the event, featured TWO of my crafts in their event display – my cork ball and succulent/monogrammed mug planter. (pictures below)
- Received some pretty awesome swag, including my new favorite bag – the Clyde iPad Satchel. It’s the same color blue as the gallery wall in my apartment.
- Sipped Prosecco on Martha’s rooftop terrace overlooking the NYC skyline.
There were a number of crafting opportunities at Alt. I spent time making friendship bracelets like I did when I was little. 🙂
My new favorite bag, thanks to Atly and Clyde. I can’t wait to start taking it to the office!
Exchanging business cards is an experience unto itself at Alt – everyone competes to have the most beautiful or innovative card. Many attendees also create cute little giveaways, like the adorable garland given to me by Haeley (Design Improvised) to display some of my favorite business cards.
I’m still shocked (and honored) that Bing chose two of my crafts to feature in their conference display! In addition to being a sponsor, Bing announced the launch of an exciting new search feature – Bing Boards. Now when you conduct a search in Bing, content from your favorite lifestyle bloggers will be highlighted in the search results!
The conference boasted some pretty spectacular keynote speakers, including Grace Bonney from Design*Sponge and Garance Dore. Here are a few takeaways from the speakers and panel participants.
- Invest in yourself, not things. Grace Bonney did this by selling her shoe collection to help pay for her site redesign. Now that’s dedication!
- Find inspiration outside your usual sources – read or engage in activities outside your niche. A great reminder considering many lifestyle bloggers tend to gravitate to the same things, inspiration.
- Try not to live your life as if it’s only for developing content for your blog. I can be guilty of this from time to time!
- It’s less about what you do on social media and more about compelling others to share your content. Great tip to remember when you’re Instagramming the 100th picture of your lunch.
- Don’t force yourself and business into a certain operational mold. Create your ideal work environment. Something to consider as my blog grows.
- Stay in touch with trends – don’t jump on the bandwagon. Observe, not react first. When you do participate, go big! With the next “big thing” popping up every second, it’s important to be thoughtful when adopting new things.
- You can’t do it all on your own. Amen to that!
- The successes of others make your dreams more attainable.To me, this point was the most profound. If it wasn’t for the success of Martha Stewart, Grace Bonney, or any of the other 300+ bloggers/makers who attended the conference, there wouldn’t be a thriving lifestyle industry and blog community. It’s incredibly inspiring what we all can achieve together!
All in all, the event was fantastic and I made a lot of really great connections. Now that I’m back, I can’t wait to build rapport with some of the lovely ladies I met.