Last Call for Alt Summit Winter 2015 Speaker Submissions

Alright folks, we know you are excited for Alt Summit Winter, as are we. If you have a great idea you have been sitting on that would be perfect for Alt Summit, we want to hear it!

We are accepting submissions through this Friday so get those pitches into us ASAP. Check out the guidelines right here. Good luck, we can not wait to hear from you!

Alt Summit Winter Registration Opens Today

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

Mark your calendars, Alt Summit Winter (formerly known as Alt Summit in January) is happening January 21-24, 2015. Our flagship event has a reputation for revitalizing attendees, dazzling the senses, and launching successful collaborations. If you are a blogger, an entrepreneur, or a business creative, Alt Winter is where you want to be this January.

Today is the day you have been anxiously awaiting--the day Alt Summit Winter tickets go on sale. Registration opens today at noon Pacific time.

The block of rooms at the Grand America will open to confirmed attendees later this month. Confirmed attendees will receive an email communication.

Get a Visual Taste of Alt

Wonder what attending Alt Summit is like? Watch a video or two and see for yourself:

Apply to Be a Speaker

Interested in speaking at Alt Summit Winter? Or have a suggestion for an awesome panel? You can find all the details on how to submit your ideas here. Submissions not following the instructions will not be considered. Deadline is August 29.

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 Winter 2015 Call for Speakers

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

Have you ever wanted to speak on a panel, teach a design camp, or lead a roundtable at Alt Summit? Now is your chance! We want to get a sense of what topics you are dying to learn more about. We want to know who inspires you and who you would like to hear speak. We want to hear your ideas for a breakout session or panel. We want to hear it all.

Check out the speaker guidelines for more details on what we are looking for and how to submit. Submissions are due by August 29, 2014.

If you have attended Alt Summit in the past, think about what you did not see and what you would have liked to have learned. We, like you, are interested in fresh topics and innovation. We cannot wait to hear what you have in mind.

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 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.

Best Time To Prepare For Alt? Now!

By Sara Urquhart  Image by: Justin Hackworth

We’re all balancing our typical roles of work, blog, online shop, and/or projects at this time of year plus the emotion and extra work of the holidays. If you have children, they’ll be out of school before you know it, then it’s a brand new year, and suddenly you find yourself on your way to Alt.

Now is the time to think about those things that need to be done to prepare for Alt. Avoid handing out business cards you’re not so proud of or that constant apology for the state of your site by putting those things on your schedule now. Account for design and printing turnaround time for business cards or promotional pieces; think of design and coding time for site updates. If what you’ll wear is important to you, plan to think about outfits with enough time to shop for or order extra pieces you might want.

Now is the time to update your bio, begin thinking about goals for next year, and do a little research about people you might like to connect with at Alt. Think about how you’ll introduce yourself and what you’ll want to be talking about—and listening for. Give yourself a little time to prepare for Alt by thinking now about what needs to happen in order for you to feel calm and prepared about attending. Then put those items on your calendar, and enjoy the preparations!

Alt Connections: Caravan Shoppe

By: Amy Hackworth Image by: Caravan Shoppe

We all agree that the best thing about Alt is the incredible network, so we’re excited about a new series featuring the people, connections and stories that make this such an inspiring and vibrant community.

Graphic designers Alma Loveland and Melanie Burk first met at Alt in 2011, when Alma was on Melanie’s list of people she had to meet at Alt. When Melanie saw Alma in the hall she rushed toward her, calling Alma’s name. While they laugh now about Melanie’s enthusiastic approach, the two have been, in their own words, “joined at the hip ever since.” 

They each work independently as designers—Melanie at Fifth & Hazel and Alma at Ollibird (with her husband, Mike Loveland)—but joined forces to launch a new business in 2012. Their collaboration, Caravan Shoppe, is a brilliant collection of digital downloads for décor, toys, prints, cards, calendars and more.

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