This year Altitude Design Summit or 'Alt Summit' is being held in Palm Springs, at the colorful Saguaro Hotel — and if you haven't been to a creative conference like this one, or Create & Cultivate, before, here's a little guide to help you prepare, feel confident, and get the most out of your experience.
Even in our digital age business cards are still used widely at conferences, and if you don't bring enough you'll definitely be at a disadvantage. If you want business cards that look a million bucks (whether you have design skills or not) I always recommend Moo Cards. You can choose from their designs or upload your own, and they have the ability to print multiple designs in a single pack.
What to Wear
There's no denying that fashion plays a big role in more creative conferences, like this one, and expressing your personality through what you wear is a big part of it. With the Alt Summit taking place in Palm Springs this year it's the perfect opportunity to wear some of those brighter, bolder pieces that may not fit in as well in a bigger, stuffier city. Think loud colors, '50s and '60s inspired pieces, and tropical patterns. Being 7.5 months pregnant my fashion choices are a little more limited than they would be otherwise, but I'm going to do my best. ;)
Definitely leave the high heels at home and either stick to cute flats, or wedges to make sure you're not cringing and limping by the end of the day!
Not only am I taking this opportunity to wear ALL the bright colors I love, but I'll also be painting my nails to match and showing a little of my personality in the way I accessorize.
I also have a collection of enamel pins that will quickly let new people know a little about me. That I'm an artist, that I love bright colors, fashion illustration, flamingos, am an introvert, and love photography.
Social Media Clean Up
Chances are you'll meet a lot of lovely new people and exchange social media details. Make sure your accounts are up to scratch and looking their best, and that your bio is clear, relevant and has a strong call-to-action. Check out my free Instagram Clean-Up guide here.
You want your last nine photos to accurately paint the picture of your brand. New visitors to your account take a split second to decide whether to actually follow you or not, so make sure your content is as strong as it can be. If you're feeling stuck for ideas check out my free guide 21 Social Media Prompts for Artists (and other Creatives).
And last but not least I really recommend using Twitter and Instagram to search the conference hashtag (for example #AltSummit) ahead of time and start connecting with other people that will be there. Not using Twitter? It is brilliant at conferences, people share links and more information on keynote topics, making for a much richer experience. Here's why you should be on Twitter if you're not already.
Scroll down in the widget below to see who's talking about Alt Summit on Twitter already.
I've also started a Twitter list so you can easily follow other Alt Summit attendees and see what they're all Tweeting about, in one place.
A charging case for your phone is a must, and it doesn't hurt to bring an external battery as well. You'll find yourself snapping pics and video, posting to social media, looking things up and generally using your phone A LOT during conference days, and you generally can't rely on finding a wall outlet — at least not one you'd want to be tethered to for any length of time. My favorite go-to for charging is the Apple iPhone battery case, and a Mophie Juice pack as a backup.
Sometimes I'll bring along my iPad in a keyboard case to take faster notes or make tweeting easier, but generally I'll leave my laptop at the hotel and just use it for backups and blogging in the evenings.
If you're a paper and pen junky like me, make sure you bring a pretty notebook (I recommend hard-backed or spiral-bound to make it easier to write on your lap) and why not bring some fun stickers to highlight relevant points or things you hear that you want to explore in more depth later.
These sorts of events are highly photographed, so it never hurts to include a hair brush and lipstick in your bag to freshen up towards the end of the day.
Leave me a comment and let me know if you're going to Alt Summit this year, or have been before!