Thursday, June 27, 2013

I Went to a Blogging Conference

photo by kerri sullivan
So, in order to motivate myself to blog more and blog better, I signed up to go to the Alt conference in New York City at Martha Stewart Living.  Not going to lie - I was quite motivated by the opportunity to see MSLO and maybe Martha herself...(read on!!)

Armed with business cards and a new bag (more on both later), I spent the day with some famous and very lovely bloggers and business owners. 
photo by me
 Everyone had an iphone at alt.  I'm not even kidding.  I made a point to check out people's phones and never saw one non-iphone.  

If you went to alt NYC and did not have an iphone, let me know.  I did not meet you.
photo by me
 Creative business cards are the thing to have at alt.  Here's a wall of them!  I'll be back with some of my favorites.  I'm still sorting!
photo by me

The keynote speaker was Grace Bonney of Design Sponge.  She was a very focused speaker.  You could tell that she has her own podcast because she got in a lot of information in the amount of time she had, but without seeming rushed. 

What I learned from Grace:  Rejection Therapy
RT is asking for what you want so many times to so many people until hearing, "No" does not break your heart anymore.  I went through a similar thing when I attempted to publish a children's book a few years ago. It's my tendency decide for someone else that they will say "No" to my request and I don't even try to ask.  I will definitely be trying rejection therapy.  Yes, Grace, you got a convert!

And thennnnnnnnnnn... Martha Stewart herself waltzed in the door.  She was lovely and gracious and flawless.   

What I learned from Martha:  Age gracefully

photo by meeeeee!!!

photo by justin hackworth
(Me taking a picture of Marth with my phone!)

There were lots of other presenters/speakers/panelists, including Todd Gibson, Liesel from Oliver +  S' husband.  I might have gushed about Liesel's patterns (just a little).

Another pretty fab person was one of the founders of Alt, Gabrielle Blair.  She also founded Design Mom.  She lives in France with her husband and their six children.  I would love to live abroad just for a little bit and give Amelia and Will a taste of a different culture.  Dreams!

The closing keynote speaker was Garance DorĂ©, a famous fashion blogger.  She was from Corsica and had the most lovely accent.  She was also a fabulous speaker, very funny and her presentation was well-thought out.  
photo by justin hackworth

What I learned from Garance:   
1.)"Branch out, but stay on the same tree" and 
2.) Move to Corsica to develop a lovely french accent.
The "Branch out, but stay on the same tree" seemed to be a popular takeaway from Garance's presentation.  That was the goal of going to Alt for me.  I want to kick up the blogging, but not stray away from myself.  Thank you, Garance, for putting that into words!

Thennnnn, after the closing key note, Martha and JCPenney put on a pretty fun party, complete with this candy bar and some pretty delicious brownies. 
photo by me
photo by me

Thennnnnn they opened up the rooftop to us and we got to see the panoramic view of NYC. 
The entire day was pretty amazing- from the gifts, to the crafting, to the food, to the fun, to the learning, to the visual inspiration - everything was executed perfectly.

What I learned from Alt for next time:
  • Go to the sponsor dinners the night before.  That way, you can meet a smaller, core group of people before the conference even begins!
  • A several-day event would be even more fabulous and allow you to meet and form relationships with more people.
  • Smile!
  • Get in front of the photographer.  I'm in exactly two of the hired photographer's (Justin Hackworth) pictures!   (He was sponsored by Atly - an up and coming education website)
  • Bring a suitcase for all the goodies they give you.  There was just that much stuff!


  1. You can officially say you are one of the Cool Kids now. I've never been to a blogging conference so I'm officially one of the Just So So Kids. A theme I'm seeing when people go to blogging conferences is that not all the speeches seem to be about blogging. They're also about life in general? Please enlighten.

    Your dress is lovely!

    I do not have an iphone. Again, one of the JSS Kids.

  2. What a lovely post. Sounds like you had a lovely time! It's kind of sad that they don't have many of these kinds of things in my country but I love hearing about other's experiences. I plan on delving further into the blogging world too.

  3. Hi Keri! Great post! Looks like the conference was a great time! I'm Heather and I was hoping you could answer a quick question about your blog! My email is

  4. Wow, that sounds amazing! I would love to hit a blogging conference one day. I've always wanted to plan a local meet up or some event... and I want to meet you sometime, too. :)

  5. A memorable moment at this place was when my Mom asked the maitre'd if the guest room we had our things in was unlocked b/c she wanted to get her flats. Next thing we know, he is coming to her table with her shoes on a silver platter. WOW.



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