What is BlogPaws? Well, that’s a good question. If you’re not a pet blogger, you may not have heard about BlogPaws. If you are a pet blogger and don’t know about BlogPaws, where have you been?! 😉 BlogPaws is a community of dedicated pet bloggers and influencers that serve as a community focal point to help educate, promote and encourage fellow pet bloggers.
Regardless if you are a new blogger, longtime blogger, social media influencer or a pet parent thinking of starting pet blog or social media account, you need to sign up to be part of the Social Learning Community. Here, you will learn everything from how to start a blog to advanced SEO and so on. This community will be one of your best resources for those moments when you want to do something but don’t exactly know how to do it.
Once you’ve learned about BlogPaws and all the free services they offer to pet parents, you need to check out their annual BlogPaws Conference! This annual conference is held in a different city each year and of course, it is completely pet friendly! Believe it or not there are pet conferences out there that will not allow your pets to attend the conference with you! Not only does BlogPaws host their conference in a pet-friendly hotel, but they choose their city based on pet friendly laws. For instance, a BlogPaws conference will never be held in California due to California’s ban on ferrets at pets. I must admit that when I first heard this, I was disappointed as I love traveling to California, but then after a second thought, I admired BlogPaws’ stance on the matter. Ferret pet parents should have the ability to bring their ferret just as much as I want the ability to bring Bruce Wayne. So, while I might not ever go to a BlogPaws Conference in California, it’s still a great way to travel and see the country.
Last year, we traveled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for our first BlogPaws Conference. This coming April, we will be traveling to Kansas City, Missouri for our second BlogPaws Conference. I had not been to Myrtle Beach and this will be my first time visiting Kansas City. I can’t think of a better way to visit different cities than that of the BlogPaws Conference!
Why You Should Attend?!
If traveling with your pet doesn’t sway you, hopefully Bruce Wayne and “The Others” will! 😉 That’s right, I will be attending with the full pack in tow. We will also be at the ViaGen Pets booth for a meet and greet. Be sure to come by their booth to not only meet Bruce Wayne’s cloned mini me’s, but there will also be a Viagen Pets rep attending to answer any questions you may have about preserving your dog’s DNA and/or cloning.
Speaking of booths …. In my opinion, the exhibit hall of vendors is worth the price of admission alone. Here, you will get to meet various brands face to face. Many attendees leave BlogPaws with campaign opportunities and lots of free products to try.
While meeting Bruce Wayne and various brands is enticing and fun, the real value of the BlogPaws Conference lies within the educational sessions offered. The BlogPaws Conference sessions include everything from social media tips to legal help with contracts. The hardest decision you will make is deciding which session to attend, as their are sometimes multiple sessions going on at the same time.
I’m happy to say that I will be speaking at the BlogPaws Conference with an amazing panel of women to help fellow pet parents learn, understand and use Instagram stories! Please join myself, Tori of Wag Wear Repeat, Hannah of Maggie Loves Orbit and Marika of Incredibull Stella on Thursday, April 19th at 3:45 p.m. for our “How to Use Instagram Stories to Boost Engagement + Connect With Your Pack” panel session. (And, if you haven’t registered for the BlogPaws Conference yet, I am happy to share this discount code BP18-Speaker-10off for 10% off your registration fee!)
One of the most valuable “things” you will leave a BlogPaws Conference with is the relationships you make during the conference with fellow pet bloggers and influencers. I was lucky enough to meet and speak with Heather of Bridle & Bone at the 2017 conference. Once I got back home and took a look at her blog, I saw that she sells holistic pet products through her website. Not once at the conference did she try to “sell” me any of her products, but when I saw them on her site, I knew I wanted to support her brand and ordered some products for Bruce Wayne. So, for all you etsy shops or small business influencers, the BlogPaws Conference is another outlet for gaining new customers.
As for businesses, attending the BlogPaws Conference can be huge for your brand and your brand’s reputation. Not only do you get to meet pet bloggers and influencers face to face, but you get to make connections that pet parents will not forget. As an actual pet blogger/influencer that attended, I can 100% vouch for that! For instance, about 2 years ago, I had attempted to order some raw food for Bruce Wayne from Darwin’s Pet. Long story short, I didn’t have the best experience and my order wasn’t actually received (due to technical glitches). I had mentioned it on social media and Aimee of Darwin’s and The Lazy Dog Feeder reached out to me and promised to make it right. I had the pleasure of meeting Aimee and the owner of Darwin’s Pet at the 2017 BlogPaws Conference. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed meeting and talking with Aimee. She was such a pleasure to meet that when I decided it was time to switch Bruce Wayne and the puppies to traditional raw, Darwin’s was my first choice based solely on the experience I shared with Aimee at the BlogPaws Conference.
What to Expect?!
That was my first question as well. I’m not big of surprises and like to know what to expect whenever I travel or attend a conference. Have no fear, BlogPaws keeps you informed 100% of the way. The only “surprise” you’ll get is the swag bag, which I will get into later in this post.
Once you sign up to be a member of the free BlogPaws Social Learning Community, you will have the opportunity to enroll in the BlogPaws Conference course: How to Prepare for the BlogPaws Conference. This introduction course will help prepare you what to expect, what you need to bring and links for other helpful information.
In addition, each week leading up to the conference on the BlogPaws Facebook page, you can watch live video of the actual conference speakers that will be speaking at the conference. These live videos are short introductions to the speakers and allows attendees to learn what each topic is about so that you can decide if you would like to attend that speakers session. A full schedule/agenda can also be found on the BlogPaws website.
What to Bring?!
This might one of the most important things you need to pay attention to when preparing to attend a BlogPaws Conference. Again, this is where the BlogPaws courses will come in handy, as they detail everything you should bring with you to the Conference. I will highlight what I believe were the most important items for me last year at my first conference.
- Business Cards – This is a must! Even if you do not have “professional” business cards, you can easily have some printed through companies like Vistaprint, Shutterfly, or even Walgreens Photo Centers. You will want to have these on hand as you walk through the exhibit hall of vendors. This is the easiest way to pass your information along to brands for future campaigns. Make sure you have your name, social media links and blog website listed on the front or back of your cards.
- Extra Suitcase – If you are flying Southwest, you can check up to 2 bags free. If you are flying another airline that charges you per bag, consider packing a slightly smaller suitcase within your larger suitcase so that you only have to pay for 2 bags going home. Your swag bag from the Conference alone will take up a lot of suitcase space, but you will more than likely also receive products from the various vendors on site that you will want to take home. Last year, I chose to ship my goodies home through the onsite UPS shipping pop-up at the BlogPaws Conference, however, this method was costly. I received so many goodies that it cost me about $75.00 to ship everything home. If you can bring an extra suitcase, I highly recommend it!
- Laptop/Notebook – Each conference session will be jammed packed with helpful tips and tricks that you will want to write down. Just as any conference you attend, you will want to be prepared to take notes. While some panels may provide their session slides to the attendees, not everything is always on the slides.
These are my must have items. Of course there are optional items that you may want to bring such as a DSLR camera, extra SD cards, etc. If you do plan to attend the BlogPaws Awards Ceremony and Dinner, you may want to consider bringing a “fancier” outfit. While the conference itself if pretty relaxed regarding clothing attire, the awards dinner attire is usually spruced up a bit. This is especially true if you happen to have been honored with a BlogPaws Award nomination, as each nominee walks down a red carpet and has their photograph taken with their pet.
Granted, I am speaking at this year’s BlogPaws Conference, but otherwise, I am not being paid to endorse the conference in any way. I truly enjoyed my experience last year and met the most amazing pet bloggers that I literally signed up for this year’s conference before I even left Myrtle Beach last year! Pro Tip: Next year’s 2019 BlogPaws Conference badges will be available to buy at the end of this year’s Kansas City conference. It might not be broadcasted, but be sure to google it, as you will save drastically if you purchase your ticket at this time.
If you are planning on attending the BlogPaws Conference in Kansas City, please let me know! I love meeting fellow pet bloggers and influencers! If you are on the fence about going, I promise you that you will not regret attending. And don’t forget, if you haven’t purchased your BlogPaws Conference badge yet, be sure to use discount code: BP18-Speaker-10off for 10% off! See you in Kansas City! 🙂