As some of you all know I recently attended a conference called #Summit21LA. This was the first time the conference was held in LA and it certainly did not disappoint. Let’s get right into the recap.
What is #Summit21LA?
#Summit21LA is a one day conference for influencers and creators of color. It started in Atlanta where they continue to do a 2-day conference and it made it’s way to LA for the first time and I was happy to have attended.
Where was it #Summit21LA?
#Summit21LA was held downtown in a super cute venue called the Creative Social House. The venue is right in the fashion district in an area that I actually didn’t even know had been slightly updated. I was able to find 4 hour street parking and was able to make that work all day which was nice.
The venue was perfect for all of the different break outs and breaks that we had. The front side of the venue had an area large enough for 3 food trucks, it’s sectioned off with faux hedge walls which looked really nice and modern. There was a second room that had shopping and vendors, it was called the Marketplace and it was set up with a lot black owned businesses which was nice. There was the main room which was beautifully set up classroom style and then their was the back side which was used for breaks and photo shoots, eating, etc.
Who attends #Summit21LA?
The attendees for #Summit21LA were black and brown girls in the creative, entrepreneur, business, blogger, vlogger space. There really was no limit to what we did. Some of us were still apart of corporate and/or had no desire to leave corporate, some were in grad school, just completed grad school. Lash artists, brow artists, makeup artists, we were just oozing creativity, which is very exciting because our community of creatives is small.
What stood out to me?
About the Venue
The very first thing that stood out to me at #Summit21LA, was the venue and the gorgeous branding upon entry. The step-and-repeats that were branded in a gorgeous lilac/lavender color, the hanging floral arrangements in not 1 but 2 locations really added some extra wow and flare to the space and really made it an experience when we walked in. The open floor plan of the venue made things transition nicely.
My personal favorite thing from #Summit21LA was the chairs. We were blessed to be sitting in ghost chairs and the reason I say blessed is because ghost chairs are a luxury item. It is something that we aren’t used to seeing at our events, so something as small as choosing a nicer chair for us to sit in really stood out to me. They had ghost stools for the high tables outside and it really added to the overall experience.
There is already a limited amount of events for us, by us, so to me it felt as if the choice was a way to remind us that we are worthy of a seat at the table and that the chair should be just as fabulous. It’s also the event planning in me, but that is a different story for a different day.
At #Summit21LA I loved the signage and direction throughout the venue, there was never a point where it felt overly crowded in one space, granted the venue was big enough to have us all spread nicely, but outside of lunch it was really a great flow throughout the event space.
About the Attendees
#Summit21LA was all about embracing black girl magic. I loved that there was a variety of us, a variety of looks and styles and vibes. From dresses to suits, to skirts and boots, we were a good mix through and through of looking like and representing our best selves. I personally love going to events because I usually end up meeting people that I’ve been following forever for the first time and/or I meet new people who are killing it in their own respect and now I have another boss to inspire me.
A lot of ladies were helping each other break out of their shells and try new things including taking pictures which may seem so little while reading this, but a lot of ladies don’t take photos for a number of reasons, so to see a lot of women trying something that is almost foreign to them is great.
About the Food and Drink Options
We were well taken care of as far as breakfast, snack and champagne toast goes. Upon arrival there was an assortment of tea, coffee, juices, fresh fruit, bagels, a good amount of goodies for everyone. I appreciated that the venue was fully staffed (not that it wouldn’t be) but it felt nice to be catered to in that regard. I took a lot of ideas and tips from #Summit21LA for the event that I co-founded. Food is so important even if there is a paid option at some point. We were really well taken care of at the venue and I appreciated that.
For lunch they provided soda, still and sparkling water (just for me) to compliment our food truck options and we continued on through the event, little touches like that are super important and WORTH the cost of the ticket price.
About the Vibe/Energy
The OVERALL vibe was good, please do not misunderstand what I’m about to say. I’m actually going to continue this conversation on my stories, BUT the overall vibe of the event was great. It was empowering, exciting, inspired more creative flow and I really had a good time. It reminded me that one day I will be up there speaking or hosting and/or I can have the venue/space where these type of events can be hosted.
The one thing I noticed though as far as vibe and energy is that in the black community, there is still some sort of underlying issue when it comes to black women being in the same space as one another. You don’t have to connect with a bunch of people, in fact you shouldn’t unless you really want to, however there is just still an underlying something in our community and I don’t know what that THING is, but it’s noticeable.
I personally was sashaying around with confidence through the roof, I don’t know if that rubbed anyone the wrong way and hopefully it didn’t, but I’m with ya’ll. I want you to win just as much as I feel like I’m winning. There was one woman I swear I smiled at like 6 times, genuine too, she looked fly, but she kept cutting her eyes at me; there is a high change it had nothing to do with me at all, but unfortunately it didn’t come off that way.
I just pray and hope that as more things continue to be created for us, that we can let go of any ill feelings toward each other because it really isn’t necessary or helpful.
What was my least favorite thing?
My least favorite thing about the event was the lunch situation, but let me be clear! Having food trucks was a good idea; it’s a good way to have variety. However, the rate at which food trucks cook and/or produce food is definitely to their own discretion so I don’t know what went into selecting them, however, food trucks can take a long time if there a huge crowd at once.
Our options were tacos, soul food and/or creole food. I went with a creole place that I had before only because it was good, it was the longest line and took the longest, but I didn’t really want soul food or tacos. While the creole place is bomb, at least to me, IT TOOK FOREVER to get our food. Most of us waited at least an hour if not more to get our food.
Thankfully the venue host(s) offered to bring our orders in so we could make sure we didn’t miss any of the speakers, I thought that was really nice and helpful and just all around thoughtful.
I would suggest the food truck option again, but I would try to find/pick things that are maybe known for a quicker turn over? I don’t know if that is really possible, but definitely something to consider logistically speaking.
What Did I Learn/Gain?
I learned a lot at #Summit21LA about myself, about others, about what is clear and necessary for black creatives. I also learned that I want to diversify my options/offerings as far as merch and products and that it is very much possible.
I learned and gained a better sense of self. I did not need or feel the need to compete with anyone in the room because I wholeheartedly believe in what I have going on. Sharing the same space as someone doesn’t mean you lose anything; hearing the same information, but choosing to apply it to what you have going on is going to really make a difference. Overall it was a great experience and I look forward to the next one.
Did any of you attend #Summit21LA ? What were your thoughts?
I’ll be dropping a short video later today on Instagram, make sure you’re following along and STAY TUNED!