How to Alt when you are an introvert

Need some wardrobe planning help? Go here. How to manage the schedule? Here you go. Need some GREAT tips on how to maximize your Alt experience? Go over here. You KNOW what you want to get out of Alt Summit, right?

But what about the OTHER side of Alt? You know, when you are huddling at the side of the room wondering what to do next. Leaning, REALLY leaning up against that wall during a miniparty. Okay, maybe that ISN'T you, but it was a bit "me" last year, the first time I attended Alt.

I'd rush around and network and talk to people (remember I know NO ONE before I went). And then I'd retreat, almost hyperventilating while I recovered before my next foray.

We're all pretty good behind the computer screen but MAYBE a little rusty when we're back out in the real world. At least I was.

Being the typical extroverted introvert blogger, the one who LOVES her tribe and her people but also needs to hide out to recharge from interacting with all those same people, here's what I'll be doing next week. And what you should do too. Trust me.

Pace yourself

If you include the Wednesday night dinner, it's a four day Alt-fest of mingling and chatting and networking and listening and learning. And talking, talking, talking. And writing, writing, writing. (Writing by hand for me - I like putting pen to paper rather than a tablet or a laptop). Phew! 

You've already studied the schedule inside and out, right? You know which sessions you'll be going to each day, which bloggers that you want to hear. Which ones you want to meet. Which sponsors to pitch.

I'm here to give you 200% permission to, I'd better whisper now, "skip out once in a while". Shhh...don't tell anyone.

Listen to yourself, your body and your lovely creative, designy brain. Feeling overwhelmed? Take a break. Run up to your room. Sit in the lobby by yourself for a half hour. Step into the courtyard and breathe in some fresh air.

It'll ALL be there when you return.

Stay hydrated

I SOOO often forget to do this. Like at any conference there'll be pitchers of water at the back of each room. Take advantage of it and drink, drink, drink. You are going to get dehydrated from all the talking and perhaps having a few more drinks than usual each evening at dinner or at the parties. Hydrate well during the day and you'll stave off any headaches and minimize your tiredness.

Get enough rest

I KNOW. It's not so exciting to be heading up to your room when the party is still going on. What if you miss something? 

Here's the deal - even if you stay downstairs 24/7 you STILL will miss lots of things. You can't be part of every conversation, every session or every workshop. It isn't possible.

Get enough rest, even if it's a half hour cat nap during the day. You'll be your charming BEST for everyone you meet.

And throw on some extra concealer.

Give yourself a pep talk

You will meet some of the most amazing bloggers and designers and makers that you have ever met. You will be hearing some of THE most amazing ideas and tips that you have heard in a while. You will SEE some of THE most amazing outfits as well. 

So when you have those moments of feeling overwhelmed (and you will). When you are feeling like you don't measure up, like you'll never CATCH up, like you'll never implement ALL those.amazing.ideas you have scribbled into your notebook, do not worry.

Do.not.worry.

Go off to the side and remember where you started and how much you have achieved til now. You deserve to be at Alt. You ARE at Alt! Woo hoo!

Have your elevator gab ready

You are going to Alt to meet some new people, right? Maybe it's to meet your fave bloggers. Or try your hand at pitching a sponsor. Maybe you don't know a soul (again, that was ME last January) and every time you sit down at a table at a session or a meal or a workshop, you don't recognize ANYONE.

You KNOW people are going to ask about your blog so have your elevator gab ready. Two lines, just two little lines.

"My name is "x" and I blog at design-yblog.com about polkadot fashion/local diners/decorating with antlers."

Trust me, it'll get you over the hump of that awkward deer in the headlights moment. No looking down and away while shuffling your feet in your stylish new shoes. Oh, was that only me?

So there you go - some "soft" advice for surviving (and not only surviving - flourishing!) Alt. You'll thank me later. And if you are going to Alt, I'll be hosting a roundtable with Jen Cooper of Classic Play on Friday morning called "Making Better Makers - Finetuning Your Creative Process for Success." I'd love to meet you!

So extroverted introverts, any other suggestions for handling a conference?