If you follow along on Instagram, you probably figured out that I recently attended Alt Summit. I can’t believe I neglected to mention on the blog that I was going!
This was my fourth Alt Summit conference, my third time in Salt Lake City, and my second time as a speaker. Besides hosting a roundtable on rebranding your blog, I went to Alt to learn more tips and tricks about blogging and to make introductions. A huge part of Alt Summit is networking, or introducing yourself to other bloggers and to brands with whom you’d like to partner.
One of my goals of this particular Alt Summit was to hone my skills as “Connector,” one of three personality types described by Malcolm Gladwell in his bestseller, The Tipping Point. (The other two? Maven and Salesman.)
I’m not sure I’d consider myself a full-fledged Connector. Although I know a relatively large number of people (I scored a 40 on Gladwell’s test!), I wouldn’t necessarily say I have a “knack for making friends” — partly because I often feel very shy in social situations. And I’d never call myself an expert in cultivating connections!
However, in the spirit of being generous (my word for 2015), I made a conscious decision to make as many introductions as I could among the bloggers and brands I knew in attendance.
How to make an introduction (according to Emily Post)
According to Emily Post, there are a few rules to remember when making introductions, but here’s the most important one: When introducing two people, you want to speak to the person you wish to honor first. That includes anyone older than you, anyone senior in rank to you, the guest of honor at an event, or a woman.
Yes, when it comes to the etiquette of introductions, women rank higher than men. Sorry, guys.
Put into practice, a proper introduction might sound something like:
… “Mom, I’d like you to meet my roommate, Stephanie.”
… “Ms. Boss Lady, I’d like to introduce you to my husband, Jordan.”
… “Rachel, this is my friend, Ross Geller.”
How to make an introduction (according to Bridget Jones)
When making introductions at a party, though, I think it’s OK to be more informal. So while introducing blogging friends at Alt Summit, I sort of disregarded Emily Post’s rules and instead focused on including some thoughtful details about each person.
I thought I had read about that technique in an etiquette book or an article about networking, but now I’m pretty sure I lifted it straight out of Bridget Jones’s Diary:
Ah. Introduce people with thoughtful details. Perpetua, this is Mark Darcy. Mark is a prematurely middle-aged prick with a cruel raced ex-wife. Perpetua is a fat-ass old bag who spends her time bossing me around.
In case you aren’t familiar with the book (or the movie, which is one of my favorites) that was actually Bridget’s inner monologue. What she really said out loud was:
Ah, Perpetua. This is Mark Darcy. Mark is a top barrister. Comes from Grafton Underwood. Perpetua is one of my work colleagues.
I’d like you to meet…
Instead of a formal recap of what I learned at Alt, I thought I’d introduce you to a few of the amazing women I met there — with some thoughtful details, of course. Some of them I was meeting for the first time, and some for the first time in person. (As a blogger, I virtually “know” a lot of people.)
Tiffany Han is a business coach for the highly-creative woman who basically radiates positive energy. She also hosts an awesome podcast where she interviews the creative people who inspire her the most. (I’ve previously mentioned “Raise Your Hand Say Yes” in my post about podcasts.)
Megan Tsang is a talented photographer who recently relocated from San Francisco to Alabama. She made kick-ass business cards out of Instax photos, and if she’s ever in the New York City area, I hope we can collaborate!
Gilit Cooper was one of my roommates at The Grand America. She writes a blog called Shoes Off Please, runs a business called The Bannerie, and basically rocks my world. If you’re a boss babe in need of a glitter banner, Gilit is your girl.
My other roommate was Kaylynn Young of Among the Young. With her gorgeous smile and love for everything sequins, the girl literally sparkles. Kaylynn also reps Agnes & Dora, makers of the softest, stretchiest leggings in the world.
Oakley and I met the first night at the Munchkin dinner. Her son, Welles, has Down Syndrome, and she writes about their experiences on Nothing Down About It. I got to meet Welles at the conference, and I can confirm that he’s just as adorable in person as he is on Oakley’s blog!
It’d be impossible to mention all of the talented bloggers, creatives, movers and shakers I met at Alt Summit in one blog post, so be on the look out for more shout-outs in the weeks ahead!
(Photos by Justin Hackworth or Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit)