Tuesday, January 29, 2013
5 Things That Prepared Me To Rock Alt Summit To The Ground My First Time Out!
Altitude Design Summit 2013 is over, but I am still feeling it! It was amaaaaaazing! I feel like I connected with so many people, and my mind will not stop spinning with ideas. This was my first time at Alt, and in traditional Marigold Style, I went overboard preparing for it. I'm glad I did, because I really feel like I took advantage of every opportunity. I walked away from the Summit feeling like I rocked it. Here are 5 of the things that I think helped me get there:
1. I Researched Sponsors and Developed Personalized Proposals
One of my goals for Alt was to bring in some bigger sponsors to this blog. Bigger sponsors = more revenue = being able to pay for help = more time/energy to produce more quality content for my readers. So I looked at every sponsor who would be coming to Alt and I thought about how I could form meaningful collaborations. It is important to me that any sponsorship deals are with brands that I would gravitate to anyway, and they have products that are useful and relevant to you guys.
Blurb brochures along with info and pictures of past projects from this blog. I also made lots of general brochures to give out to other brands and big name bloggers who were not on the official sponsor list. Did it work? Well, before I even left for Alt, Blurb noticed! They asked to use my brochures in their marketing outreach to bloggers! And I had a very positive response from my target sponsors, who seemed to appreciate that I spent time thinking about specific ways to collaborate with their brands. And for the hundreds of bloggers they met and had 2-minute conversations with, I was able to leave them with a physical reminder of my blog.
But! I didn't just want to connect with brands at Alt, I also wanted to connect with other bloggers. So...
2. I Hashtagged Everything
I re-discovered Twitter and I hashtagged #altsummit on ev-er-y thang. I also followed Alt Twitter groups and the #altsummit tag, so I could be in the loop and connect with other bloggers before the conference. Being active on social media pre-Alt was the single most helpful thing I did to get to know other attendees and jump-start relationships. That's why...
3. I Was Up In Everybody's Threads
Seriously. If there is a Facebook group, get in on it! If there isn't one, start one. Once you're in it, don't be a passive observer. Comment on threads, visit blogs, Like fan pages. Offer your opinions, advice, knowledge, helpful links. More importantly, thank others for sharing theirs. My cheeks hurt every day for a month from the nervous smile I had plastered on my face while "talking" to people on my computer.
But it was worth it because this helped me so, so much with forming connections. People recognized me and I recognized them. Which is incredibly comforting for an introvert in a room full of strangers. Which brings me to...
4. I Looked Like My Profile Picture
So many people said to me, "Oh, yeah! I know you! You look just like your profile picture." This is not something I pre-planned, but it worked. In contrast, someone I "met" before Alt told me to look for her at the conference. Her profile picture was literally a picture of her side profile...with her iPhone covering half of her face! So I was looking for a blonde with an iPhone. Hmmm. But, guess what? She found me! Which leads me to...
5. I Planned At Least One Distinctive Piece of Clothing/Accessory For Every Event
For all the fashion talk before Alt, it was really not that big of a deal. Pretty much if your clothes are clean and you throw on some earrings and lipstick, you're good! However, almost every pre-Alt post about how to make friends and connections at Alt says to break the ice by complimenting a stranger on something she is wearing. So make sure you have on something to compliment! If it is something you made, even better!
I wore my Faux-y Lady scarf to the Clue Party and a bunch of people wanted to talk to me about it and take pictures of it. One of those people ended up being a really important connection. She snapped that picture above, and we ended up having a long conversation about big things. I'll announce that later ;)
And that's it! I feel like I have so much more to share. Some really exciting, amazing, OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE IT moments happened. And I also want to share how my class went, talk about who I met, what I learned, and share some pictures.
I can't wait to go back next year! But for now, I'll leave you with a pic of the one thing I don't miss from Salt Lake City: