Recently, I attended Alt Summit, a conference for creative entrepreneurs. Alt Summit used to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, a logical setting for a conference organized by members of the Church of Latter Day Saints. I've attended twice in that location. But this year, founder Gabrielle Blair moved the whole shebang to Palm Springs, California, and the new setting made a big difference for some interesting reasons.
Iconic Desert Modern Style Made Us Swoon
Palm Springs is a mecca of modern architectural design, and we couldn't stroll for a cup of coffee without tripping over midcentury masterpieces. Rumor has it that Alt Summit's overall social engagement was 60% higher this year, which can only be good news for the organizers.
People We Admire Got Up and Told the Truth
Bloggers are so secretive about their numbers and it drives me crazy. Everything is sunshine and roses until it's not. For once, many of the speakers shared honest information about the ups and downs of their careers. And in a striking break from tradition, politics came up. Perhaps leaving Utah was more than a venue change. Maybe founder Gabrielle Blair felt more free to discuss issues close to her heart. Overall, the keynote speeches were a refreshing change from the follow-your-dreams drivel that usually prevails at conferences like this.
Best Part of the Conference? My Gang.
We four found each other last year at Alt and it was what I call a Bridges of Madison County thing where within three days, we just knew. Our bond was for real.
And if last year was the courtship, this year was the honeymoon in Tahiti. We roomed together and Oh Em Gee, what colossal fun! Also, we learned this scientific fact: despite being older than the rest of the attendees, when we four are together, our collective age decreases exponentially with each passing minute. Very strange.
Since Alt, we regularly connect via video conference calls where the one unspoken rule is "no make-up" and that includes Chapstick. We keep each other on track and give honest feedback.
I thought I'd share some of their takeaways from Alt Summit.
Brooke Hatfield, a designer, is one half of Designers Collective based in Vancouver. She said, "Things don't have to be perfect before you start something. You can keep redefining your goals and business as you go. Just try something and if it doesn't work, don't take it personally. Learn from it and try again."
Paige Lewin, a designer and blogger at Tess and Ted, said, "You meet certain successful bloggers and you realize that they are just as questioning and unsure as we are. No matter what your level, you have to deal with self-doubt."
Tina Dhillon (next to me in blue) is an architect and the other half of Designers Collective. She said, "We like being with the younger people. We like their energy. And they like us. They like our confidence."
And I say, "At Alt this year, my mind could absorb more information because I could relax in the knowledge that the room contained friends. Forget a business plan. Find your tribe."
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