Alt Summit | Friday Sessions

Friday started with a series of roundtable discussions. There were so many to choose from and at least three that I would have been thrilled to take. I ended up selecting “Re-naming Your Brand, Re-inventing Yourself.” Led by Becca Gorski, of Cake, we had a lively discussion of how to rework websites and blogs to better suit our intended audience. I was truly grateful that she provided a handout that I could study later. If Alt is anything, it’s information overload of the best kind.

After the roundtable discussions, we had a 30 minute break to have a snack and network. I discovered that the lounge was transformed by Cottonelle.

The colors were bright and there were exclusive Jonathan Adler toilet tissue covers for us to take home. Too cool!

Maxwell from Apartment Therapy was conducting interviews for Cottonelle that were going to be uploaded to Facebook and voted on by readers. The subject of the winning video wins a chance to interview Jonathan Adler in NYC! Cool!

Up next was a panel on Growing a Readership. The main theme of Alt was reiterated in this session: 1. Original content; 2. Consistency of posts 3. Professional, clean & polished design. The panel was hugely engaging and I took tons of notes. I am hoping to employ some of the tips on my blog and am excited to get the ball rolling!

Lunch was up next. We were excited to hear the keynote speaker, Ben Silberman, the founder of Pinterest. But first, we were served an amazing smokey red pepper soup, chef’s salad, and strawberry shortcake.

Ben was an engaging speaker. He talked about how he quit his dream job to pursue the development of Pinterest. He was funny, self-deprecating, and completely engaging. He also had one of the best PowerPoint presentations I’ve ever seen.

After lunch, I popped by the HP Pavilion to say hello to Anya from Project Runway. They had computers set up where we could create a look for her next collection.

In the afternoon, I took one session called “Building a Personal Brand” where I was introduced to the photography powerhouse, Jasmine Star. Her portion of the presentation was so passionate everyone in the room left feeling like a superhero.

For an afternoon pick-me-up, the Cottonelle lounge had an amazing spread of lovely cupcakes. There were so many amazing flavors and colors to choose from.

After the final session of the day, there was a closing keynote by Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project. I was so exhausted (and knew we had a long evening of partying ahead!) that I only stayed for the first fifteen minutes. I headed back to the hotel for an hour of downtime before it was time to get sparkled up and make our way to the third floor for the “Suite Parties.” Holy moly. Each suite was decked out in a specific theme complete with inspired decor and food.

In true Stella fashion, I only have pictures of food and decor, none of people. I definitely need to get better at that.

This lovely table of desserts was courtesy of Wilson Art and HGTV’s Design on a Dime.

They had this amazing 50s vibe going on complete with a photobooth using one of their original ad campaigns. All the ladies hostessing the event had the cutest vintage aprons and throwback hairstyles. It was adorable.

Next up was Blurb and A Subtle Revelry’s suite party. They had a chocolate and wine tasting along with a wall that we could graffiti with whatever we wanted to write or draw.

The Rue La La party had sort of a futuristic theme with cool table centerpieces and amazing ceramic travel coffee cups.


Girls with Glasses and Pinhole Press planned a night in Paris complete with a mini Eiffel Tower, Macarons, and black & white umbrellas. It was tres chic.

The Handmade by You party had an ice cream sundae bar with vanilla and chocolate ice cream along with tons of toppings. They also had a cool “make your own beaded necklace” station.


Each of the parties had amazing food, personalizable photobooths and incredible giveaways. It was shocking that some of the parties were so hyped up that there was a line to get into the suites! Around every corner was a new surprise. There were plenty of adult beverages flowing and great opportunity for chatting up a new friend or blog collaborator. After we circulated, we decided to have a drink and do some people watching in the Grand America lounge. It was a great way to end the night.


Also in this series:
Alt Design Summit: Day 1- Wednesday
Alt Design Summit: Day 2- Thursday

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2 Comments on Alt Summit | Friday Sessions

  1. Karynjewels
    January 31, 2012 at 5:15 am (5 years ago)

    Great post and you take such GREAT food pics! I am now hungry for cupcakes and that strawberry dessert:)


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