How to Make Friends at Alt Summit
[Friends at the Friday Night Parties last year. I didn't know any of those girls before I got to Salt Lake. Photo by Brooke Dennis.]
Alt Summit 2012 was my first large-scale blogger meet-up and I was a little starstruck. I remember seeing Gabrielle Blair walking down the hallway and I just stood there, staring. Seriously. If I were a cartoon, my eyes would have gone star-shaped.
The next day, Emily Henderson was sitting in front of me at a panel session. I was staring at the back of her head like a gobsmacked fool until I overheard her whisper about needing the password for the wireless internet. I jumped in, over-eager, to say something like, “I HAVE THE PASSWORD, EM-A-LEE ILOVEYOU!”
By the time I met Jordan Ferney, I was old hat. “Hi, I’m Helena. I studied in Paris so I love reading about your family’s adventures in France on your blog!” Complete, relevant sentences. Pro.
My skills are easily learned. You, too, can be a cool cucumber and meet your bloggy idols.
Do! Say Hello. To everyone. Have some people you really want to meet? Go meet them! But don’t pass up the opportunity to meet all the other attendees.
Do! Join the conversation. See a group of cool cats chatting? Jump on in! I knew no one when I went to Alt in 2012. I just jumped into any conversation that looked interesting and I didn’t get iced out once. While I’m awesome, I’m not that awesome, so I can all but guarantee you similar results.
Don’t! Read too much into reactions. So, you just met your blog-idol and didn’t get the over-the-moon response for which you were hoping? Brush your shoulders off, babe, and don’t dig into it. Perhaps you caught her on her way to the bathroom. Perhaps she misses her kiddo at home. Perhaps (stay with me here) she’s just shy. Yes, someone with a gregarious online personality can be shy in real life. It happens. It doesn’t mean they didn’t enjoy meeting you.
Go forth and take on Alt!