Attending Conferences 101: There Isn't A Checklist

By Sara Urquhart  Photo by: Justin Hackworth

This series focuses on lessons I’ve learned about attending conferences over the years of organizing Alt. Read about how more isn’t always better here and how relaxing will make for a better conference experience here.

When you hear a blogger share her stories of success, great projects, and interesting collaborations, it’s tempting to think that there might be a checklist that will lead you to the same outcome. If she did X and it led her to Y, doesn’t it follow that if you also do X it will lead to you to Y? Well…in theory. Follow her lead in terms of hard work, drive, and especially innovation, but use your own judgment and especially your own creativity to create projects and ideas that will lead to your own success.

Speakers have valuable experience that can make your path easier. They can help you avoid mistakes they might have made, and give you great ideas about navigating this world of social media. But the people we admire shine because they’ve been innovative and taken risks; they’ve done something new, clever, creative, and original. By definition, it’s impossible to do exactly what someone else has done and still maintain a claim on innovation and originality. So find your path, and inspire the Alt community with your great ideas. Come up with your own new project, your own new concepts.

One of my favorite things about this community is that we’re seeing year after year how completely possible it is for hardworking risk takers to inspire us. You can do it. And we can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

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Eden Hensley

Marketing creative, community engagement specialist, technophile, photographer, food and wine enthusiast, and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Road to The Good Life, a lifestyle blog about appreciating and enhancing your life by being grateful for the "haves" instead of lingering on the "wants." There you will find personal stories about my life and family weaved in with real-life, achievable entertaining tips, recipes for hearty home cooked meals, and DIY projects for capturing and sharing memories. I believe the best place to swap stories is over a shared meal, preferably a Thai-meal served family style, and teach an online introduction class to Thai Flavors and host the Family Dinners at The Station supper club in San Francisco.