There is already a ton of information out there about ALT Summit and how to prepare so I thought I'd round up all the resources that I have seen so far. It's all great advice and there are so many different ways to approach a conference, there should be something here for everyone. However, I have my own advice to give first...
Don't let all this advice freak you out.
ALT is overwhelming. In a good way, but still overwhelming. I'm already feeling overwhelmed and I'm not even there yet! The jeans and t-shirt people freak out about the fashion, the artists freak out about having to talk business, the introverts freak out about having to talk to real people. If you are an introverted artist who wears jeans and t-shirts, whoa! Just, WHOA. Whoever you are, I'm sure you are freaking out about something. But please, DON'T FREAK OUT. It's all going to be ok. You'll see. On Sunday you will be thinking, "Why was I freaking out so much, that was awesome!" And then you will need a really long nap.
The truth is that there is so much going on all the time that you will mostly likely miss half of it, you will probably have a completely different experience than someone else, and when you are looking at the pictures later you will wonder if you were at a different conference than the photographer because you are not in any of the pictures and you totally don't remember people break dancing in the hallway. (How did I miss THAT last year? Also, I unabashedly ASKED a photographer to take my picture, just to make sure I was in at least ONE.) It's all going to be ok.
You are going to have the experience of a lifetime NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS. You could sit in a corner all day and talk to just two people and it will still be amazing if those two people inspire you or want to work with you. You don't have to do all the things. You will probably stare into space at some point. You will forget people's names. You might not like the food. You might catch a cold. (I did and it totally sucked) But listen, IT WILL BE AWESOME no matter what because number one, you are going to be there, number two, you have business cards and number three, you are amazing. The rest is gravy. Those things you want so bad? They WILL happen and if they don't happen while you are at ALT, then make them happen AFTER.
Just remember to take a deep breath and enjoy the moment. Listen to your body, leave the scene when you have to, and try to RELAX. Of course, do your absolute best to prepare and make sure you are putting your best foot forward but then just try to let things flow and happen naturally. That's when amazing things happen. Trust me.
So, without further ado, here are ALL THE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ALT:
- Mega "Who's Coming" Link List (You will want to be added to this list!)
- A TON of Recaps from Last Year
- Networking at Alt Summit (NEW!)
- What Poppy House is Packing (NEW!)
So, read up on all of that, and then STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER. Take a deep breath and keep your eyes on your own work. Meaning, absorb what you need, process it in your brain and then do your own thing. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing, just focus on doing what you do best. It's all going to be MORE THAN ok.
I can't wait to see you at ALT! Please say hi. If you are nervous, I give hugs and I want to trade business cards. (Also - if I've missed anything, please let me know and I'll add the link!)