Alt Summit Summer 2014!
Oh, man. I keep writing and erasing stuff here. I don’t want to write a boring, long-winded re-cap of Alt Summit Summer 2014. But I have to say, it was a really great conference. This was my third Alt. My fourth, actually, if you count the online Alt for Everyone. And while I enjoyed myself at the conference this January, and I learned a few new tricks at Alt for Everyone, this summer session was probably as inspiring as my first Alt Summit in January 2013. The sessions were wonderfully meaty. I spent the plane ride home reviewing my notes and writing down all of the ideas exploding from my brain. It was the smallest Alt I have been to, with only 300-ish attendees (The January Alt had about 700 bloggers, the one in 2013 had 500-ish). I really liked this smaller size. I made fewer connections, but the ones I made were more meaningful and memorable. January was so much fun, but I found it a bit overwhelming, and I would find myself running away in search of a quiet spot and sticking to my friends as much as possible. This time it all seemed really chill.
Here’s me spreading out and staking my claim over three spots. Space hog!
Everything was way more casual. Food trucks, garden party, break dancing. I felt less pressure to dress up and stand out, and generally felt more like myself. Except for the stupid heels.
I was also really stoked to see Best Friend Robbi Behr and Matthew Swanson speak on Collaboration. I told these two Idiots to apply to speak for the January session, but they were asked to speak for this session instead. Which, you can imagine, was a big pain in the ass for me. I told them that I already went to Alt this year, but they would send me daily Facebook messages harassing me to come to this one. I finally gave in and won a ticket, and I’m glad I did! I’ve known them for about a decade, but this is the first time we’ve met in person. Robbi went to grad school with my husband, Steve, but she was a year ahead of him so we never crossed paths. Well, that’s not entirely true. One day in the Kroger, he spotted her across the store and pointed her out to me (I had seen of her work and loved it). I fell in love with her immediately and declared that we were now Best Friends Forever, which was funny, but then turned kind of creepy as we kind of followed her around a little bit. Steve was going to introduce us, but I was kind of chicken, so it escalated to a semi-stalking situation, and then she checked out and that was that. Ten years later, we met in Salt Lake City.
Where they killed it talking about Collaboration. It was funny and informative and inspirational and actionable, and everyone adored them. People were coming up to me afterwards and thanking ME for telling them to speak. I, of course, took full credit. You can catch some of what they talked about in their TedX talk on Collaboration. And then you should probably sign your kids up for Bobbledy Books. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
And then, there was this:
I can’t really tell you what she said, because I was so freaking starstruck. I’m not exaggerating at all, either. And it was double stupid because I got there so late that I had to sit all the way in the back corner of the room. But I got all shaky and I almost cried and all I could think was, “Pull yourself together, Crazy. You can barely even see her!” I’m sure she said plenty of inspiring stuff, but my main takeaway was that Martha is a Queen.
I hope that was not too boring and long-winded! Since there seems to be a running theme of me being nuts-o between stalking Robbi and practically losing it over being in a room with Martha Stewart, I think I should leave you with a funny picture of me giving someone the Crazy Eyes: