10 Reasons to Attend Alt Summit -- My Alt Oasis 2019 Experience
I have have been hearing about Alt Summit for years and I always wanted to go, but the decision for this year to be the year I take the leap was a last minute decision. I went back and forth in my head trying to figure out if I could afford to drop everything and head across the country for a creative business conference. Choosing to take the trip was one of the best decisions I have made for my business this year!
Attending Alt Summit this year was such an amazing experience and I couldn't wait to share all the details of my week. There was so much to say about this trip, that I decided to break it down into 10 of my top reasons why Alt Summit's Alt Oasis 2019 Conference was amazing, and why going was such an amazing decision for me and my business.
A Change of Scenery
I live in Michigan and even though It's Spring on the calendar it is still cold and cloudy most days during this time of the year. Being in Palm Springs was such a magical experience, it was like experiencing a little piece of paradise in the middle of the desert. Having the mountains as the backdrop for the whole conference was amazing. I have never been to California or anywhere on the western side of the States, so this was definitely all new and exciting for me.
I decided to fly into Vegas for 3 reasons: I would have a car which gave me a bit more freedom to go where I pleased, the price of the flight and the car was a lot cheaper than tickets to PSP or LAX, and lastly it was a straight flight, no layovers. So I drove from Vegas to Palm Springs and the views were simply amazing. The drive was supposed to be about 3.5-4 hours but it ended up taking me a lot longer because traffic was a bit crazy, we were either flowing at 85 mph or going about 10 mph. It was a bit stressful at times but that was the only downfall. On my drive back to Vegas I did get a chance to stop at the Seven Magic Mountains, which were pretty magical indeed and made the whole drive worth it.
Make Friends for life
While I traveled to Palm Springs alone there wasn't a moment that went by where I felt lonely, it was actually the complete opposite. I ended up booking a room at one of the conference hotels, The Ace Hotel and Swim Club, which was absolutely wonderful. Soon after I booked the room, with the help of Alt Summit Facebook groups I had 3 amazing roommates that were as excited as I was to get to Palm Springs. We met through Facebook, chatted a bit through Messenger and stalked each others Instagram pages. We managed to all click pretty instantly once we met in person! I think the 4 of us turned out to be a perfect match. Experiencing Alt together, I'm sure will keep us connected for years to come. Not only did we become instant friends we became friends with each others friends.
Alt was also a place that I could finally say I met people I've followed on Instagram for ages in real life. The connections made with people who instantly understand your journey as a creative entrepreneur is so valuable. So if you are an adult and you are an introvert and you are wondering how to make new friends. Go to Alt Summit the experience will not disappoint.
So many Creative and Motivated Women
If you ever feel the need to be around some amazingly talented creative boss girls Alt Summit is the conference for you. I've never been the person to just walk up to people and introduce myself or to sit at a table of strangers and have lunch (except for my freshman year of collage when my roommate turned best friend forced me too lol) but at Alt Summit this was very easy to do.
Everyone I met was so open, accepting and willing to share so much good info that it was definitely a breath of fresh air. I loved being able to sit and talk to women and hear about how they are fiercely chasing/living their dreams. I was also able to talk about my passions and what trials I am facing with people who were able to relate. It's great to just sit and talk about SEO and algorithms with people who don't look at you weirdly for obsessing over these things.
You would also think being around your business girl crush would be a little nerve wrecking but it was the total opposite, it was inspiring and motivating. The energy you encounter during the conference is priceless.
Speaking of Motivation, you will definitely get all the motivation you need to continue forward in building your business. From participating in Round Table sessions, to Keynote speeches, to creative workshops you will be busting from the seems with ideas and information that you will want to put into action before you even leave Palm Springs. Even the setting of being in a little piece of Paradise in the middle of the desert was motivation to keep growing as a person and in your business so that you are able to live your best life and create the freedom that allows you to visit places like this more often.
Topics you have been dreaming of learning about
If there is something you want to learn and implement into your business, Alt Summit is guaranteed to have a round table or workshop about that specific topic. Instagram, Pinterest, Podcast, YouTube, Photography, SEO, Creating Content, Hiring Employees, Licensing, Speaking in Public, the list literally goes on and on. This year they even had a Makers Space which was one of my favorite places to be. You could sit and learn new crafts, which for me is very relaxing, and continue to network with other super creative business owners.
It's so easy to get a bit overwhelmed with all the classes and there may be a bit of frustration at first by not being able to be at all the places at the same time. I found that by the second day I felt as if it had already been 5 days, but then realized that it was okay to miss a class because the topic was likely to be repeated on another day. Also, sometimes just sitting and talking to a few other conference participants was just as informative as being in a workshop.
As an artist I have exhibited at trade shows where the main mission is selling, licensing and collaborating with business who need amazing art for their products. Going to Alt Summit was just as beneficial if not more beneficial than exhibiting at New York trade shows. There is the opportunity to meet amazing business that need exactly what you have to offer. You get to have conversations with the people who makes the business decisions and create meaningful connections.
This year Alt had the brilliant idea of creating an app that allows you to connect with other attendees. You can see what each person does and connect with them instantly through the app. This app played a crucial part in allowing businesses that were looking to connect with me to see my work and set up meetings while we were there in Palm Springs.
I'm so grateful for the connections I made and the collaborations that have come from this experience, and I am excited for the future collaborations that will come from being connected to this awesome community.
So the majority of my Sundays have been spent binge watching Fixer Upper on HGTV. I just adore the Gains and the work that they do. So when I found out that Joanna Gains was this years opening Keynote Speaker, I was beyond excited. It was so amazing to hear her story in real life and see her authenticity that you feel from watching her on tv shine through on stage.
If you really know me then you know how much I love home and family, and that creating a beautiful space is something I just love to do. So being able to hear first hand how she was able to build her business and the Magnolia brand was so special for me.
Now Joanna Gains Keynote may have been specific to this years conference but believe me there is always someone special that will grace the Alt Summit stage and you will not be disappointed. All the Keynote speakers were simply amazing!
Alt Summit has some amazing sponsors that go all out for attendees. A few nights through the week there are private parties and dinners given by the sponsors. I had the honor of being invited to a Poolside Cocktail party given by the Novogratz and Amazon Home. Being hand picked to be apart of their event was truly an amazing experience. I was able to mingle with other artist and designers and get a first hand look at the Novogratz new line of outdoor furniture. I didn't have the guts to approach the Novogratz and spark up conversation, but they were present and mingling throughout the evening.
Other attendees I spoke with also had great experiences at these sponsored dinners and events. For those who didn't get an invite to a sponsored party, there were plenty of other parties and meetups going on every night of the week. Also just having dinner by the pool with a few friends was just as fun and fulfilling!
If you know anything about me then you know I'm all about Mexican Food Authentic or Tex-Mex I like it all. On this particular trip it seems that I needed to try all the nachos everywhere I went! It may have been because I decided to not restrict myself to a Keto diet during this trip. So the first night a few of us decided to do Mexican and I'm always up for that so while driving around we found the cutest place, JJ's Mexican Restaurant. Of course I ordered nachos and I was not disappointed.
A couple nights later my roommates and I decided to actually sit by the pool and eat at our hotel, once again I decided to order nachos lol. This time it didn't come with meat and I'm all like, "Who eats nachos without meat?" so I added steak to mine. Let me tell you, the nachos were huge definitely sharing size and they were really good. I didn't eat the steak though, it wasn't so good and a side of steak isn't the same as steak nachos.
Then one of my roommate and her best friend had been telling me how obsessed they were with the nachos at the restaurant in the Saguaro Hotel, so of course I had to give them a try. I must say they definitely did not disappoint. The nachos were amazing and they give you a sharing size, but you are not going to want to share at all.
Palm Springs Is a very beautiful city and you can definitely find some places to take some amazingly Instagramable photos. Just pair that with Alt Summit and you can have enough content to share for ages. Not only do you have the beautiful hotels, but Alt Summit teams up with some amazing sponsors who put so much time and creativity into their displays that you can't help but take pictures.
One of my favorite displays was the Joann display which was at the Makers Space created by Amber of Damask Love (yes I fan girl’d over her). I also loved the the relaxing space that was created by the Wordpress team. You also don't have to worry if you are by yourself and don't have anyone to take a picture of you. Just ask anyone, 90% of the women at the conference know how to take a great pic with a cellphone because hey as entrepreneurs we sometimes have to be our own photographers. You will also find Alt Summit's amazing photographers pretty much everywhere, and they are happy to snap photos of you enjoying the moment.
I could really just go on and on about my first Alt experience but I tried to make this post as brief as possible. If you have been to Alt Summit I would love to know what your favorite thing about Alt is! Go ahead and comment below! If you have never been let me know in the comments what,s holding you back?