3 Ways to Prepare and Survive Alt SummitApr 19, 2019
You’ve probably heard of the rainbow-colored, Instagramable, design and fashionista symposium that takes place in the desert pop-up city of Palm Springs called Alt Summit. If you haven’t it's the brainchild of the blogger mama, Gabriella Blair aka Design Mom, and to give you a quick idea of the type of apocalyptic sunshine for creatives that she and her sister have been bringing together the past nine years take a scan at some of the imagery that pops up when you search the tag #AltSummit2019 below.
I tell you, I’ve been to blogging conferences before and I’ve never felt like I felt prior to attending Alt. Glance again at these images above and tell me...
Do you glow with confidence? You know when you walk in the room you are going to rock it and easily create a connection with others that will sway them to gravitate to you & your work?
Do you see yourself as FUN? You’re the type of woman who can jump in front of every piece of desert artwork and take a perfectly modeled selfie and look like she just won herself a trip to Disneyland all while somehow not have double chins?
Are you someone who would describe yourself as “fresh” and “focused”? You’re never one to be pessimistic about anything or even bad talk yourself or others, always seeing the silver lining of things?
Ummm, “who are you & are you for real?” That’s the question I would have asked you before attending Alt Summit. I am none of these things; yet deep down, somewhere, I am all of these things. I had forgotten her really, maybe felt guilt about being a little bit of her too. However, before Alt Summit you couldn’t convince me that any of it was the real me and you wouldn’t get me to believe that buying the ticket to attend Alt Summit on a whim wasn’t the worst investment I’d made for my business.
The really scary part of it all, it looked, real!?! Which you know, if it looks real in today’s social media coliseum, you know it’s not real at all. It’s a mirage, a trap, a “great there goes another $1000 in being a hobby entrepreneur” down the tubes type of realness.
What keeps you going, when said “fear of real” hits you, is when you have a friend, colleague, and all in one mentor who’s speaking at said “apocalyptic sunshine for creatives” and you chalk it up to supporting a sister. You tell yourself you need the vitamin D after the long Pennsylvania winter, so you hop on a plane to Hollywood. Your hope is she has the survival gear or at least lives close enough to an Anthropology, just in case the buyer's guilt or comparison complex needs a shopping trip before the journey to Palm Springs.
Here’s why I believe if you feel any of the above as a creative entrepreneur these are the tools you will need in your “Seasonal Millennial Survival Arsenal” before you purchase tickets to attend Alt Summit:
Be prepared to have Alt Summit push you to FIND your identity, not be lost in the identity of others.
As much as I was worried that I wasn’t worthy of the caliber of those who seem from the outside looked to attend, I found myself sitting next to other entrepreneurs (and listening to them lead workshops) who by all means did great but truly weren’t out of my league! It was the perfect blend of “just enough” that those I was sitting next to in a talk felt like my peers and those speaking felt like touchable network connections. It was so oddly real that it inspired me to think about just being me as a creative and not worry about needing to be someone I’m not. Prepare yourself to just BE YOURSELF and you’ll find what you were looking for by attending.
Do some BOUNDARY PreWork. Alt Summit will teach you your limits. What MATTERS and what really doesn’t MATTER.
As I dug into the Alt Summit app, which provides you the schedule for all the workshops and talks, I realized I had chosen things to attend that were not very close to each other in venues. Since Alt Summit happens at four different hotels (or more) in the Palm Springs area if one workshop was at one hotel and a talk I wanted to attend next was at another… Well, let’s just say I don’t own stock in Uber but should have if I didn’t want to stop and really decide if a talk or workshop was something I’d use or not. FOMO needed to be thrown out the Uber window. You might feel a little overwhelmed, or slighted at first because even with shuttles being offered, making the workshops on time won’t always happen. You need to say no to some things and decide what really is the most FUN and FOCUSED for you and your goals, no one else. Before you make your Alt Agenda, make a short word list of what you want to get out of Alt then search the app for that word. This helped me so much to find speakers, workshops, and roundtables that mattered to me & my wants as a creative and then I was able to narrow down by location so I didn’t feel FOMO but also didn’t need to spend a ton time or funds on transport either.
Alt Summit is definitely not for the Solopurneur going it SOLO. Have a BUDDY!
One of the biggest survival tools to Alt Summit you can have is a co-pilot. A pal who can be your support and you hers. A no holds bars tell you that your hair is not working down to giving you an opportunity to vent about how much you wish you had it together like that girl you sat next to in the last workshop. Better yet, someone who’s easy going, willing to arrive early to the “Gifting Party” with you, and will help you practice how to feel confident to introduce yourself. Oh and if she lives in LA, will drive you there, and was just as unsure it was real and then when you both realized it was real and you liked it laughs with you about how #AltSummit you both are, that’s TOPS!
Surviving Alt Summit is definitely something I recommend every seasonally creative entrepreneur, blogger, or thought leader takes a few moments to check out to discover where it could push them to rethink what they think about themselves. I won’t lie, you might fee at first, like I did, of not being fun, confident, or extra fresh enough for Altitude Summit as the seasonally, creative entrepreneur who dabbles in sunshine and rainbows only after a good dose of anxiety, but… I promise you, you too can survive Alt Summit by making sure you have these three pieces of Alt Summit survival top of mind. If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself thriving in the weeks after remember the woman and entrepreneur who is fun, confident, and oh so fresh enough to level it up in this next season!
Have you ever been in a place where you said you would go to something because deep inside you knew it was for you, but until you went and participated were determined you were nothing like the people going?
Tell me about it in the comments, this experience opened my mind to a way we can remind ourselves to trust our seasons and ourselves.