Alt Summer 2015 Registration Now Open

Miss out on Alt Summit Winter 2015? Here is your chance to grab a ticket to our second annual summer flagship event. Act now for early bird pricing and get your ticket at $495 (a savings of $130 off the regular price of $625). Early bird pricing ends Friday, January 30, 2015 so don't wait!

Below are answers to a couple of common questions. 

Read More

Throwing a Stunning Event

By: Sara Urquhart of Alt Summit Top Photo by: Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

Alt is made up of events within events within events. I am often asked about how to throw memorable events. This series will talk about specific events at Alt, letting you know how and why behind-the-scene decisions were made that move us toward great functions.

Photo by: Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

The challenge for the Garden Party held at Alt Summer was to create excitement and an energy that could be felt both by guests and by those viewing photos of the event live on social media and after the event in our Flickr gallery. To do this, we needed to excite but not overwhelm the senses.

Photo by: Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

Kasi Miller of Kasi Miller Designs and I work on many of the Alt parties together. Kasi and I brainstormed ideas and then we worked to execute the details of this event.

Photo by: Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

Pops of Color

An important sense for The Garden Party was sight. We wanted to create an environment that worked in person and translated well to photographs.

Photo by: Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

To accomplish this, I started with color, specifically three bright, vibrant, fun summer colors: Orange, Blue, and Yellow. These colors, used throughout the party, created a unified space and appeared in the décor, the activities and even the food. The colored balloons on the tables created a ceiling for the space, giving the eye a path for traveling up to admire the architecture of the Grand America but then right back down into the party.

Photos by Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

Abundance of Details

When guests are headed to a party there are some things they expect (like food, drink, activities, etc.) We provide all the expected items and then we work to layer on a variety of extra details that we hope make the guests smile.

Photos by: Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

Staying with three colors we added flowers designed by Soil and Stem to the tables. We shared candy, in coordinating colors provided by Maison Confiserie et Boutique. And we provided summer activities like yellow bikes and croquet sets. We also made sure the two patches of grass were unobstructed so people could kick off their shoes to feel summer between their toes.

Photo by: Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit

To heighten the sense of a welcoming space, we hung colored streamers from all the trees around the edges of the courtyard. These streamers created a sense of entering a special event, leaving the hustle and bustle of your every day life behind. The ribbons also defined the space and encouraged guests to congregate within the line of trees rather than on the outside edges of the space.

Photo by: Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

Activities that Get Guests Mingling

At these events mingling is important for both introverts and extroverts to have fun. For The Garden Party, the way we did this was to include activities that reminded guests of childhood summers and would encourage laughter.

Photo by: Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

We provided bicycles with baskets sent by our friends at Hayneedle full of flowers so that guests could ride and relive childhood memories.

Photo by: Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit

On one of the areas of grass, we invited guests to play croquet also provided by Hayneedle. Croquet encouraged guests to mingle and took the pressure off of having to find something to say.

Photos by: Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit

Places for Capturing Memories

Once guests are comfortable, we wanted to provide spaces for recording the moment: photographs that online friends could look back on and remember real life connections and for new friends to build future online relationships upon.

We had two areas for photos. TinyPrints designed and captured group shots throughout the party. Attendees chose from clever summer props that helped them style a personal picture. The second photo area featured mopeds that allowed guests to relax and have fun recording their memories, because what screams summer more than the freedom of mopeds?

Photos by: Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit

When you are planning your own event make sure to think through what will help your event feel unified, we used color to do that at the The Garden Party. Remember to layer your event with unexpected surprises like we did with the flowers, the bikes and the candy. Finally, providing clever spaces where people can capture their night so the feeling can be revisited may be important at your event. It is these kinds of details that make any party or event feel special.

Alt Summit Summer Recaps Part Seven

By: Eden Hensley Photos By: Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

It is a month and a half since our first Alt Summer and the recaps keep coming! 

Did you miss our summer event? Watch the videos of our two keynote speakers, Joy Cho of Oh Joy! Studios and Martha Stewart, to get inspired. 

Get the Latest Alt News

Have you signed up for our newsletter? Typically published every other week, it is one newsletter that you will not want to miss. All breaking news appears there first. In our last newsletter, we mentioned Alt Summit Winter.

To sign up for our newsletter, go to the Alt Summit home page (, scroll down until you see Connect with Us. Enter your email address and click Submit.

Once you start receiving the newsletter be sure to read carefully. We pack a lot of information into our communications and it is easy to miss upcoming deadlines.

Alt Summit Summer Keynote Speeches Available Online

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

Did you miss Alt Summit Summer this past June? Or just need a little boost of inspiration to get you through your seemingly never ending to do list? Either way we have just what you need: the inspiring keynotes from Joy Cho of Oh Joy! Studios, sponsored by Sherwin-Williams, and Martha Stewart, sponsored by Bing.

  • Watch Joy as she talks about her creative journey. 
  • Watch Martha as she shares her road from start up to major brand.

Over the past month, we have rounded up recaps from Alt Summit Summer, covering the business cards, the sessions, the fashion, and more. Miss one? Here you go!

Choosing Which Alt is Right for You

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

Not everyone in the Alt community has the same goals when they attend Alt and that is fine. Some embrace blogging as a hobby and want to learn new things, meet new people, and reconnect with friends. Others want to run a business and want tips on what they need to do before they grow their blog, how to find potential mentors, and how to become irresistible to brands as well as make connections with sponsors. This is why we offer different Alt experiences.

Alt on Topic

If you want a deep dive into a particular subject, our half-day, online Alt on Topic workshops are for you. Past topics have included: Design, Photography, Photo Styling, and the Business of Blogging. In these workshops, you are able to interact directly with your instructors as well as fellow participants from the comfort of your own home.

Alt for Everyone

If you want the experience of a live, in-person conference without having to travel, consider Alt for Everyone, our three day online conference. Conference goers attend a keynote session and a virtual meet and greet, and choose up to seven classes or sessions. Sessions are not concurrent so attendees can structure their learning around practical how tos, inspirational case studies, and more, attending all sessions in a row or throughout the three days. To get an idea of what sessions are offered, check out the schedule for Fall 2014 and schedules from Spring 2014, Fall 2013, and Spring 2013

Alt for Everyone is a cost-effective option for those starting out, for those blogging as a hobby or a lifestyle, and for those looking to find other bloggers with whom to collaborate. 

If you prefer face-to-face networking, join us in Salt Lake City at the Grand America for either Alt Summit Winter or Alt Summit Summer. These conferences kick off with a couple of early bird sessions designed to ease you into the event and small group dinners across the city hosted by our sponsors. Each day of the event, attendees have the opportunity to stop by Ask An Expert tables and get their questions about law, accounting, design, and more answered.

While the structure of the events is similar, the pace and the size are different. Attendees to these events typically connect via social media and a dedicated Facebook group prior to arriving.

Alt Summit Winter

For the past five years, pioneering and rookie bloggers and creatives have been flocking to Salt Lake City each January for Alt Summit Winter. With approximately 700 attendees, this conference is our largest. If you have never been to a blogging conference, our winter event can be overwhelming. Be sure to map out one to two goals you want to accomplish, focus on them, and revisit them throughout the event.

Check out past schedules and speaker line ups for a taste of the event:

Alt Summit Summer

Alt Summit Summer is a smaller, slower paced, more intimate, in person conference than our flagship Alt Summit Winter conference. At our first summer conference, we welcomed approximately 300 attendees, many of whom were attending their first blogging conference. As with our winter conference, there is a lot going on concurrently: sessions, sponsor lounges, and Ask an Expert tables. Because there are fewer attendees than the winter event, attendees are able to have less rushed conversations and make stronger connections.

Check out the Summer 2014 schedule and speaker line up for an idea of sessions and networking opportunities that are available.

Alt Summit Summer Recaps Part Six

By: Eden Hensley Top Photo by: Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

Shortly after registering for Alt Summit and thinking about business cards, attendees turn their attention to what they will wear. There are at least five outfits to consider: one for meeting sponsors over dinner; two for sitting in sessions and networking over lunches; and two for the parties. Depending on how you are arriving in Salt Lake City, your wardrobe selection may be constrained by whether or not you chose to check a bag (or bags) with your airline or fit everything inside one carry on bag.

Many attendees shop their existing wardrobe, while others use the event as a reason to make or purchase something new. 

Bottom Photo by: Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit

The most important advice to take when it comes to dressing for Alt Summit is this: Be yourself. Alt Summit is an opportunity to show your best self and the easiest way to do that is to simply be who you are. If you are comfortable, you will be able to focus on your goals -- the reasons you decided to attend Alt. 

Alt Summit Summer Recaps Part Five

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

No matter how you plan your conference experience, you are going to miss something. During a breakout session, there may be multiple panels you want to attend, or you may be speaking. Many of our speakers from Alt Summit Summer have shared insights and notes from their sessions.

If you spoke at Alt Summit Summer and have shared your presentation or notes, be sure to use the hashtag #AltSummit and tag us @AltSummit. We will pin your recap to our Alt SLC June 2014 board on Pinterest and will include in a future round up or post.

The Art of Exchanging Business Cards

By: Eden Hensley Photos by: Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

Business cards shared by creatives are an art form. Because so much thought and energy goes into these creations, we like to give attendees to our conferences the opportunity to show them off. This year DENY Designs provided magnetic boards for us to display our business cards. 

In previous recaps, we featured business card round ups from Tan of Squirrelly Minds, Courtney of Courtney Khail Watercolors, and Ciera of Ciera Design. Here we share some of the business cards attendees created for our Alt Summit Summer conference as well as business cards round ups from our Alt Summit Winter conference.

The Business Cards of Alt Summit Summer 2014

The Business Cards of Alt Summit Winter 2014

About Those Boards

Attendees at both our Alt Summit Winter and Alt Summit Summer conferences shared their cards on magnetic boards created by DENY Designs. DENY is a modern, think-outside-the-box home furnishings company based in Denver, Colorado. They empower customers to transform dull everyday household accessories into fun and original statement pieces by adding a personal image or selecting artwork from the DENY Art Gallery. With each purchase from the Gallery, their team of talented artists donate part of the proceeds, enabling DENY to support art communities all over the world while also spreading the creative love!

Alt Summit Summer Recaps Part Four

By Eden Hensley Photo By: Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit

No one who comes to Alt Summit has the same experience. While the recaps share key takeaways from keynote speakers the perspectives differ.  This round up of recaps features the perspectives of a sponsor, one of our Alt Summit photographers, a first time speaker, two first time attendees, and a pregnant attendee.

Want more recaps? Visit our ALT SLC June 2014 board on Pinterest.  

Alt Summit Summer Recaps Part Three

By: Eden Hensley Photos by Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit

One of the highlights of our first Alt Summit Summer conference was hearing Martha Stewart speak on design, entrepreneurship, family, and (grand)motherhood. Naturally we were very excited to see Martha's very own Alt Summit recap, I Spoke at The Alt Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on The Martha Blog.

Other recaps that stood out for us, were:

Keep your recaps coming. Remember to tag us when you share them and we may include yours in a future round up.

Alt Summit Summer Recaps Part Two

By: Eden Hensley Photos by: Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

Last week at Alt Summit Summer we made connections, we scribbled down or typed notes furiously. Here is another batch of recaps from attendees and speakers along with a request for ideas on how to foster a welcoming community.

Showcasing Your Business Cards

Let us start with some business card round ups, because after all, who does not want to get ideas for their next business card?

Catching Up on Sessions You Missed

Attending every session is impossible. Depending on your personal goals for coming to Alt, you may have been connecting with sponsors or chatting with one of our three experts at the Ask an Expert tables. Here is a recap from one session that is always incredibly popular--the Pinterest Strategies talk; Alex of A.V.E. Styles shares her top ten Pinterest tips. Other speakers are planning on sharing notes and slides from their sessions and we will round them up in a future recap post.

Creating a Welcoming Environment

One recap that we especially would like to highlight is from Kristen of When At Home. We take pride in creating an environment where connections can happen. Ultimately how welcoming that environment is to first timers, to introverts, and others, depends on you--on all of us.

Not all the interactions or impressions of our Alt community were positive; more than a few experienced demeaning interactions. We know that Alt Summit can be overwhelming and have introduced Alt Reps as well as the early bird How to Succeed at Alt Summit session to help. Got a suggestion for how we can make the environment more inviting? Please share your ideas here or send us a private email. 

Alt Summit Summer Recaps Part One

By: Eden Hensley Photos by: Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

Alt Summit exists as a place to bring together exciting, experimental and expressive thinkers, makers, and entrepreneurs. We hope by creating a space ripe for connections and inspiration that Alt Summit will be a memorable experience--both for those who make the investment to attend in person as well as for those who attend from a far by following on social media.

We thoroughly enjoy seeing your recaps, glowing reviews as well as those with constructive feedback on how we can do better. 

Over the next week or so, we will be sharing your thoughts. Here is the first round up of Alt Summit Summer recap posts:

Have you written a recap of Alt Summit? Be sure to tag (@AltSummit) on Twitter as well as Facebook and include #AltSummit so that we can easily find it. Also, if you attended a past Alt Summit and wrote a write up that was not shared here, stay tuned as we will be updating past event recaps.