In the early stages of Pop and Banter, before the site was even live, Tiffany sent me a link to a conference called Altitude Summit. I had never heard of it, but she was clear – we had to go, as this is where we’d find our tribe. The first line of their website is “Alt is a place to connect,” and it is true. It is a conference for creative entrepreneurs, from bloggers to designers to DIYers to photographers to writers. It is an environment that inspires conversations, friendships, and collaborations. In August,we signed up, hoping to meet other creative women and learn different ways to handle some of the challenges we’ve come across in the last year of the blog. Here are our key learnings from the conference that can apply to anyone.
- Just say hello. And if you cannot muster a hello, make eye contact and smile. Some of the best conversations we had over the weekend started in just this way. We were open to connecting, and not just focused on getting to the next meeting or task or to-do item. The success we had in meeting others is a good reminder for when we are back at home to slow down and smell the roses.
- Be focused on your goals but open to how they are accomplished. We were exposed to different approaches to tasks that we are also trying to tackle, and some approaches were definitely more efficient than how we were handling them. We learned so much from those around us by asking how they did it. It really never hurts to ask.
- You have to be willing to experiment. There are some new things we are going to put in place (like a much more elaborate editorial calendar), but if it doesn’t work, we’ll edit and try again. The important thing is just to keep trying.
- Try to make the best of any situation. As I’m sure you’ve all heard, the east coast got hit with a massive snowstorm which grounded all flights for days, including ours. Our flight was initially for Saturday, which then became Sunday, and finally we got home on Tuesday at 2am! We missed our families, but we didn’t let that stop us from trying to have fun in Salt Lake City! We saw a movie at Sundance. We treated ourselves to a dinner out, as well as room service once or twice. When in Rome, right?
- It’s important to find your “tribe.” We went into Alt Summit so excited to learn from the sessions, but a huge bonus was being surrounded by a bunch of people who were interested in some of the same things that we are. Not only were they interested in some of the same things, it was 99% women which ended up being another really cool thing. Some of our “tribe” was highly educated women with kids who wanted to work on (or continue to improve upon) whatever creative thing they were passionate about. This was also a very supportive group which was amazing and totally in line with our philosophies as well.
- Each person has their own weird quirks and that’s GOOD. In many of the sessions we were in, there was a focus on finding what your thing is. One example was someone who loved cotton candy and ended up making artisanal cotton candy. The point is, think about what makes you different than other people and focus on those things instead of trying to copy others or fit into some mold of what you’re expected to be.
- Do the thing that you MUST do. I’m sure we’ll talk more about this as it is so much more than this recap post, but this comes from the lovely Elle Luna who was our final keynote speaker. Guys, she is AMAZING. Since you missed it live in person, may we recommend you check out this video?
- Step away and play. There was a lot of focus on taking a break to make some space in your life. It’s important for creativity for you to step away and play. The best ideas come from taking a break and recharging yourself.
All in all, we are both SO glad that we made the leap to go to Alt Summit. We learned so much and were so grateful to come out energized to tackle some new things. Next year is in Palm Springs and we’re already dreaming of next January in sunny weather!
All photos by Alt Summit unless otherwise noted.