(Good morning, readers! If you’ve signed up to read this blog by email, you should be receiving this post in your inbox after a brief hiatus! Hello! This month The Curtis Casa got a brand new look and with it, new servers. That means I had to do a little updating to get this email service working again. It should be back to normal now. Thank you so much for reading! And if you haven’t seen the new look, hop over to the blog and take a look! Today I’m sharing a bit about my experience at Alt Summit 2013.)
I went to Alt Summit for the first time last year. (Here’s 10 things I learned and 3 times I cried.) I had a really special, incredible experience that I’m not sure I’ll be able to top this year. I tried to go into the conference confident, into what I thought would be an intimidating atmosphere. And it was a little bit, but it was mostly incredibly encouraging and uplifting. The “you can do it” attitude of seemingly everyone there was really what got to me. Here are a few tips (from personal experience!) to help you get the most out of your time at Alt. If you’re a newbie this year, I hope these are helpful!
1. Drink lots of water. I’m flying into Utah from Georgia so the altitude sickness thing is no joke. I drink water all the time so I thought I’d be fine. I was not! I started feeling terrible during the sponsor and felt so nauseous, I had to the excuse myself a few times to catch my breath. I ended up apologizing and asking if I could step out early because I felt so bad. The hosts were lovely and totally understood but I felt so, so bad. Don’t do what I did!
2. Which sponsors do you most want to talk to? Go talk to them FIRST! I got lucky and accidentally did this last year. My one goal for the whole conference was to talk to Better Homes & Gardens. It was the first morning of the conference and I was full of excitement. Definitely a little shaky in my shoes (cute shoes!) but confident. I walked up to Kaelin and the BHG booth, introduced myself and said I wanted to write for their garden blog. The result was my garden column. It was a perfect match and the timing was right. We didn’t figure out details that day, we just started a great relationship. I know that talking to them first thing helped me set a confident tone for the rest of my time at the conference.
3. Have a buddy. You probably already know this and have one, but you need a buddy! You need someone you don’t feel awkward around to come back and spill all the details of your day to. You need someone to trek to Starbucks with in the am. You need someone to order room service with before mini parties. Get a buddy. My friends Chelsey and Moorea call each other their conference wife. Ha!
4. Take breaks. You already know your socializing limitations and where you get your energy. If you need to take a break and be alone for a little while to recharge, do it. You will come back to the action the best version of yourself if you take care of yourself!
5. Have fun! Sit back and have fun. They put on this whole conference for us! Take a moment every day to step to the back of the crowd and be thankful. You’re in a room full of incredible, inspiring women. I was overcome with gratitude, and tears, more than once last year. Just let it sink in.
Photos by Justin Hackworth and team on the Alt Summit Flickr feed