To start off I’ll tell you something you didn’t already know, Alt Design Summit is/was amazing.
After two prior years of flying in at the crack of dawn, I smartened up this January and took a (direct!) afternoon flight into Salt Lake City. Let me tell you, totally worth the extra $30. I’d somehow managed to cram five days of necessities and a queen-sized air mattress into my carry-on and personal item and was ready to roll when my Alt-sponsored ride swung up curbside and took me to the Grand America.
I settled in at the hotel for a luxurious thirty minutes or so, then it was off to Dinner With at J.Wong’s Asian Bistro. That’s me in the very back!
After a few hours of chatting, spring rolls, chicken lo mein, and a few ginger mojitoes it was off to Christophers for a cocktail party for the speakers. I love these limited edition, hand numbered coasters that were waiting for us on the tables. (PS: I do!) The wine was flowing and it was so loud with hellos and old friends, so much fun!
Thursday morning started with room service (Irish oatmeal!) and signing in at the registration desk, where I was presented with my name tag as well as a sizable and seriously heavy box of swag. I didn’t say no.
The day was full of some of the best panels I’ve sat down to in three years of the conference. I learned a bunch and I promise to share it with you all, in detail, later in the week.
Lunch was sponsored by Cargoh, and all 500 of us sat down to a gorgeously packaged surprise at our place setting. I later learned that each one had been hand wrapped and stamped! The keynote that followed was by Ben Silberman of Pinterest fame, and was easily one of the best talks I’ve ever been privy to. I think everyone walked out of that dining room with a little bit of a crush.
Thursday evening was the much talked about Winter Wonderland Party where everyone was asked to wear white. And did they ever. Outfits ranged from prom dress-worthy to simple tunics.
I wore a 60s-inspired sleeveless number that I’d picked up this past summer. Carina wore awesome.
Friday my panel – Growing Your Readership – was up and the room was packed!
As in standing/sitting room only.
It was a pleasure to speak with ladies I have the utmost respect for! After a few more panels, a fantastic lunch keynote by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, Deborah Needleman, and Pilar Guzman, and an ending keynote from The Happiness Project‘s Gretchen Rubin IT WAS TIME TO PARTY. Again.
The ceilings and lighting were my favorite parts. As were the swag bags my roomies and I conquered like Wal-Mart the day after Thanksgiving. *blush*
Aaand just a small sampling of the photobooth whorage that took place. (NOTE: No, I did not chop my hair off. It’s just pulled back.)
Saturday was my only free-ish day. I went to a sponsored brunch and took a calligraphy class before having a completely relaxing dinner with three friends. Sunday brought about a morning flight home and my body catching up to the meager hours of sleep I’d had.
I’ll be back later this week with specifics that I learned as well as my favorite business cards!