Alt summit 2019: what it is and why I went

Sorry fellas, this one’s for the ladies!

Are you a boss gal looking to grow your concept, blog, business, sponsorships, network etc? Alt summit is a great place for alllll that and more. Alt is a women focused, 5 day entrepreneurial summit with a variety of things to experience. From keynote speakers [we’re talking JOANNA GAINES here people!!], workshops, craft areas to brand meet ups – Alt truly was a one of a kind experience.

This year I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Palm Springs, California where the summit was held for the second year in a row. This was Alt’s tenth year running and prior to this was a single location event. They decided to switch things up a bit this year though, offering 4 different hotel experiences with a variety of workshops and brand pop ups at each location. They even created their very own app to help you navigate through it all!

LOCATION

Before I dive into my experiences, let’s talk a little bit about where the conference is held. Palm Springs is straight up desert y’all! Ok, not like middle of nowhere desert since there is a cute town/community built there but we’re talking cactus, dry sand/heat – allll dat. The mountain view’s are to die for and pretty much everywhere you turn is an epic photo op [i.e Instagram bliss!]. It’s really no surprise why the ever so clever Gabrielle Blair of @designmom [CEO and Alt founder] chose this place for Alt.

As if natural beauty wasn’t enough, the hotels were also a dream to be at! The four locations this year were: The Riviera, The Saguaro, The Ace and The Parker. My fave hands down was the Parker though – I mean just look for yourself!

WHAT TO EXPECT

The 5 Day summit is comprised of 1 day of opening registration/mingling and 4 days of jam packed events. There’s everything from workshops, meet ups, key note speakers, hands on DIY crafts, photography sessions and one on one time with sponsors and brands. The idea is for you to essentially create your own schedule and attend what you resonante with most.

When I say there’s a lot to choose from, I MEAN it! There’s something scheduled every 30 minutes and within that time slot there’s anywhere from 5-10 things to choose from. It’s virtually impossible to do everything and the app allows for you to see your options in advance to help you better plan your day. Here’s a screenshot of what I mean:

To get to and from the different locations, Alt provided attendees with free shuttles that circle around the four properties. We were also given lunch tickets for each day with small bites, water and La croix waters available throughout the venues.

WORKSHOPS/SESSIONS

The attendees here come from a variety of backgrounds and niches but the great thing about the information is that it can generally be applied to anything. Some of this year’s workshops included helpful tips and insight on:

  • SEO
  • Landing brand deals & sponsorships
  • Photography tips
  • Social media building
  • Balancing work and life
  • PR insights
  • Growing your newsletter

And so much more! In addition to the business information there were also opportunities to get creative and let loose. Morning yoga, customized name plates, photo installations, meditation cabanas – it was far from boring folks!

Oh, and let’s not forget that Joanna Gaines herself kicked off the conference with a super down to earth talk on how she got started and why remaining true to yourself is important. Such a gem of a woman!

BRANDS/SPONSORS

Alt landed some seriously great sponsors and the perk for attendees? We got to chat with each of them! Some of the sponsors included Alaska Airlines, WordPress, Amazon Home, The Novogratz of HGTV and more.

The sponsors mentioned above also created pop ups that allowed us to interact and lounge with them at the Parker hotel.

Amazon and the Novogratz had an adorably furnished area ft their new collection where guests had the opportunity to build their own floral bouquet. Alaska Air had the cutest shimmer coats for super fun photo ops in the breathtaking Gene Autry home and WordPress created a zen cabana lounge equipped with noise cancelling headphones and meditation music.

Can we say epic?!

OVERALL THOUGHTS/FEEDBACK

With any event as large as this one there were of course things that could be improved upon. Because there were so many workshops scheduled so closely together and we were reliant on the shuttles for transport, it made getting to the ones I wanted to enjoy a challenge. I think scaling down the classes to really absorb the information would be great. I also wish there were more plant-based options available for those of us who are dairy/egg/ meat free and the app also had a few glitches but truthfully there was SO much more good than not.

Beyond the activities and info, the best part was that I left with so many new boss babe FRIENDS. A place where women embraced one another, welcomed each other to sit and talk, celebrated each other’s successes and exchanged encouragement. It was something unlike anything I’ve experienced before and I highly recommend you go for yourself and see what I mean.

I hope this served as a great insight to any of you looking to build your brand and I am definitely looking forward to next year. The tickets certainly aren’t cheap but I know they’ll be opening up pre-sale for next year at a significantly lower price within the next few days so get on it!

Also, if you want to find out the top tips I’ve learned about networking at conferences stay tuned for my upcoming blog post by subscribing!

Til next time,

~ Chantel

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