1. The designer/illustrator speakers
Since I am a graphic designer, there were a few speakers that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time, because I could relate to them on a design-business-inspiration level. Listening to the wisdom from these inspirational ladies (and one guy), alone, made the entire conference worth it. It was so nice to hear that these ladies, who seem so accomplished and put together, really are just normal peers looking to find their way in this big world. But the fact that they shared their trials and triumphs with us was really rewarding.
2. Feeling spoiled
During the entire conference we were surrounded by beautiful floral arrangements, decadent snacks, Victorian decor, and extravagant 4-course meals. Like, the entire time. I think that's what it feels like to be famous. I know that may sound silly, but it felt really wonderful to be spoiled for a few days by luxurious tidbits the entire event. The Grand America did an incredible time hosting the conference, and all the other vendors made the event even more spectacular, which brings me to my next point:
3. Amazing Companies
I had the chance to speak to some incredible companies during the conference, some that I may have never had the chance to speak to otherwise. All of their "booths" were mind-numbingly put together, in all the best ways. I didn't expect to walk into a room and see the place decorated like a full-on kitchen (there were two of them!) plus, every corner of the booths literally looked like we had sliced into an actual home with full on couches, chairs, wall-hangings, knick-knacks, frames, etc. I could go on, but let it suffice that the sponsors did an unbelievable time making the event look stunning. Although that was a really great part of having the companies there, I also loved chatting with each brand to figure out what they were at Alt for, some were reasons that I could see potential relationships with in the future. Which, again, leads me to my next point:
4. The Turning Point
Alt, for me, was a huge turning point for my future, because it opened my eyes to possibilities. Possibilities (like working with brands in the future) which I never would have seen otherwise as a true option for my career. I've only honestly seen myself as a graphic designer, but after listening to the other speakers at Alt, it opened my eyes to new avenues that I could try (at the right time). I'm a planner, but you can't really make a 5-year plan unless you've considered all the options. So who knows where my future lies, but we could say in 10 years that maybe Alt was that turning point for me.
5. Lastly, the Relationships
I never would have imagined to make such strong bonds with the girls at Alt. Somehow, it seemed like fate pulled a group of us together, and before we knew it, we were saving seats for each other, talking about meaningful life goals, about huge secrets, sharing notes with each other, and lifting each other up. Before we knew it, it was time to go home, and we had to scramble to share phone numbers with each other. One girl said "It feels like we are leaving girls camp and we have to just shrug and say 'See you next summer?!'" Thankfully, we have better technology than we did back in "those days" so we can keep in touch lots of ways via Instagram, our blogs, phone calls, and email.
Thank you, Alt!