Tips for Enjoying Your Conference

By: Eden Hensley Photos by: Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit

In just one day, registration will open for our first Alt Summit Summer. Some attendees are furiously crafting final touches for their business cards. Others are trying to get all of their outfits into their suitcase. Speakers are checking their notes, practicing, and running through their sessions in their heads. Whatever you are doing right now, take a few minutes to remember why are attending Alt, to set three goals that support your why, and to practice your hello.

Remember Your Why

Whether you have finished all of your preparation and already arrived in Salt Lake City or you are just starting to think of packing, pause and think about why you decided to attend Alt. Was it to learn more about blogging? To meet other bloggers with whom you can to collaborate on projects? To talk to brands about sponsoring content on your blog?

Your why is probably not the clothes or the business cards. If this is your first Alt Summit, you may be worried that Alt is all about what people are wearing or how fancy one's business card is. Read confessions of a stylist by Hilary of Dean Street Society and a confession from Lisa of Lisli: The Journal to put your mind at rest, you will feel better after you do. 

As long as you remember your why, you will be able to enjoy the conference. When we forget our personal reason for attending, we can get caught in the comparison trap. Are you already making comparisons? As you see the stream of photos everyone shares as they prepare that can happen. Starlet of S.S. Heart shares her struggle with comparison and how she starts thinking encouraging thoughts instead.

Set Three Goals

Your why is important because no matter what your plan, you will not be able to do everything. With the exception of the Early Bird Sessions late Tuesday afternoon and the Keynote Sessions, there will be at least three sessions, at least one hallway desk, and the sponsor lounge running concurrently. You are going to be missing out on something; your why keeps you grounded and confident in your choices.

How do you choose what to do? Set three goals. Your goals will be unique to who you are. For example:

  • If you are just starting to blog, you may want to focus on the quality of your content and the mechanics of running a blog (Amber Housley's Automating Business Tasks and Processes roundtable may be of interest) or creating content (Hilary Walker's All About Podcasting or Melissa Esplin's What's Your Landing Page? roundtables may be of interest). 
  • Maybe you are considering making the switch from blogging as a lifestyle to blogging as a business. Susan Peterson's Entrepreneurship session on Wednesday at 11:00AM and MBAs Turned Bloggers & the Business of Blogging panel on Wednesday at 2:00PM may be of interest. You may want to learn ways you can earn revenue (Alicia DiRago's A Second Look at Affiliate Networks or Mindy Cone's The Real Scoop on Publishing a Book roundtable).
  • Maybe you are looking to increase your audience, the Growing Your Community panel on Wednesday at 2:00PM and the Media You're Not Using, But Should Be: TV, Radio, and Google+ panel on Thursday at 3:00PM may be of interest.

You can view the entire schedule of panels, sessions, roundtables, and design camps here.

At the end of each day or through out each day, revisit your why and evaluate how you are doing on making it happen. You can change your choices if you have met or have not yet met your needs.

Practice Your Hello

Nerves are natural. Unsure how to approach other bloggers or sponsors? Warm up by walking up to people you see sitting or standing by themselves. Square your shoulders, stride over to them confidently, ask if you can join them, reach out your hand, and introduce yourself