If it’s your first time at Alt Summit, you might be nervous. I was. I’m an extrovert who will talk to ANYONE, and I wasn’t that nervous before I arrived, but was nearly paralyzed with nerves for half of the first day. It’s overwhelming! There are so many new faces. Beautiful faces you KNOW , but can’t quite recall their actual names. (You can call them by their Twitter handles…but it’s a little awkward.) At any rate, I want you to know that it’s best to get your bearings, and just sit down next to anyone that you meet and strike up a chat. We are ALL there to meet new friends and connect. Have your cards at the ready, and just dive in. I made SO many wonderful friends last year and I almost can’t believe that I was so nervous at first. I didn’t have a single negative experience with anyone. Even some of the famous bloggers that I was nervous to chat with were just so warm and friendly.

The efficient traveler says:

a. Sit next to a new group of people at every class and at every meal. Even if you came with friends, do not sit with them! 🙂 Break out and go meet new folks and you’ll get so much more out of the event.

b. Unless you REALLY need to type your notes and live-blog your panels, I’d say forgo bringing the laptop to the panels. I ended up traveling light during the day and taking notes on paper most of the time. Bring your smartphone and take photos, but mostly — just try to be present. Don’t spend your whole time on a screen. You can always break away in the afternoon to go blog or type up some notes in the afternoon.

c. Bring a clip or rubberband to collect your business cards. This is a really big deal at Alt and you want to be sure you don’t lose track of your collection. Each evening, I made sure to follow my new friends on Twitter & add them to my Feedly under “Alt Summit” friends.