What follows is Part 1 of our BlogPaws adventures. This whole week will be a post a day about the sessions we went to, the people we met, the wonderful and inspiring feelings we took back with us from this conference. If you didn’t know, BlogPaws was a conference held in Columbus, Ohio this past weekend that brought together pet bloggers and animal advocates from all over the world. It was truly a life-changing conference.
Our adventure begins in the wee hours of the morning on Friday, with an annoying alarm clock after two hours of fitful sleeping and twenty-two animals demanding their breakfast. Ash and I stumbled around doing last minute packing and cleaning, and trying to get everything done in time. Our plane took off promptly at 9:45am, took two breaks – one in Houston, one in Chicago – and then we landed safe and sound in Columbus Ohio.
Welcome to BlogPaws! Image by Brad Smith Photgraphy
As soon as we entered the doors of the beautiful Westin Hotel, I knew it was going to be an amazing event. People were so friendly and helpful, and I instantly felt like we were among friends. Ash and I wandered for awhile before finally finding Caroline and, in turn, Yvonne, two of the three founders of the whole event. They, along with Tom the other founder, had done everything in their power to get us to BlogPaws and we couldn’t be more thankful. Because of them, Pedigree Pet Foods
chose us (along with a few others) to send to the conference. We love Pedigree’s Adoption Drive so this was so exciting for us to be able to get their word out. So we met up with Mark, the PR dude for Pedigree, and got all of our goodies and cards to hand out, and then headed upstairs for the night’s event.
Tom started the night off by thanking all the people involved in the event and talked about some of the earlier beginnings of the site. Yvonne added to this with some background of how BlogPaws was started – she and Caroline had met at a BlogHer conference and wondered to themselves what a conference for pet lovers would take to set up. “If we knew what would be involved, we wouldn’t have done it,” Caroline said laughing. Fortunately for all those in attendence, she didn’t, because this first annual BlogPaws conference was beyond a mere success – it was a triumph, a victory, an inspiration.
More speakers came up. First was Susan Resnicoff, Director of Pet Food Marketing at Del Monte Foods, the number one sponsor of the conference. She talked about how we are not owners of our animals, we are Pet Parents and that the biggest thing we can do is nurture the relationship we have with our furry children. She says, “Pet Bloggers are vitally important to the industry,” and in this day, I don’t think she could be more right. She goes on to introduce Charlotte Reed, the pet expert who has been on The View and written dozens of articles/books on “petiquette.” She talked about her influence and why she does what she does. Her advice to BlogPaws-goers: “Listen, learn, and ask questions.” But the biggest thing: “Help each other!”
Nikki, Molly, & Ash. Image from AmazonCARES
The night wasn’t over yet. When we had first sat down, we had introduced ourselves to our fellow tablemates. Turns out, we knew some of them on Twitter. Molly of Amazon CARES
was seated next to us, and Jo of Enlightened Ferret
was there as well. It was so much fun to finally put faces to names and meeting people we had known online. We chatted between speakers and then Caroline got up and started talking about the Sponsors and Yvonne came out to start the first night’s raffle.
The raffle… well let’s just say we may not have gotten anything personally, but in a way, we won big time. But I’m going to leave that for another post. *winks* You’ll just have to wait.
After the speakers were done, a lot of mingling happened. Ash and I went around and introduced ourselves and handed out business cards. We met some awesome new friends that night; 1eyes27toes, PetsBlogRoll (and her cool dad), LNS Consulting, Petfinder, Furminator, grouchypuppy, BZTAT, and Curlz and Swirlz, just to name a few. Throughout the whole conference, this was probably my favorite part. I loved just going around and talking to people – there was an interesting person to talk to whichever way you turned. It was extremely refreshing to talk to people who completely understand where you are coming from when you talk about your love for animals.
Great Artwork from BZTat! Image from Brad Smith Photography
Ash and I stayed up for a long time talking to our new friends and tweeting about the on goings of the conference. We didn’t go to bed well after 2 in the morning, but it was worth it. BlogPaws was just beginning.
Filed under: BlogPaws, Causes, Events, News, Website Related on April 12th, 2010 | 2 Comments »