BlogPaws 2017: Networking, Knowledge, Giving, Fun

blogpaws 2017

Last week, I attended BlogPaws 2017, held in Myrtle Beach SC.  People have asked what BlogPaws is, and it’s always a hard question to answer.  This conference is like no other, due in large part to the various animals you encounter.

I don’t know of any other conference where you can meet therapy rats, bearded dragons, ferrets, and dogs and cats in various garb.  If you aren’t an animal lover when you arrive, you’ll be hard pressed not to be one by the time you leave!

blogpaws
Oliver the Therapy Rat

BlogPaws 2017 Networking

blogpaws 2017
I won’t be quitting my day job to become a painter!

Since the BlogPaws community is online, it’s easy to build relationships with fellow pet bloggers.  The conference provides the opportunity to strengthen those bonds by meeting online friends face-to-face.  As many of us said during the conference, it’s great to be with others that “get” the love for pets.

Networking at this conference isn’t solely the business card passing variety (although cards are exchanged for follow-up later).  While there, I attended a Paint & Sip event (thank you to Red Roof Inn for sponsoring this, it was fun!), and a kitty birthday party (more on both of these later)!  Networking, yes, but the fun, relaxed kind!

There were opportunities to meet pet product company representatives. This is a chance to learn more about brand products, get samples to try, and begin building relationships.

BlogPaws 2017 Knowledge

blogpaws 2017
Kathleen Gage

Where do I begin?  This year, I learned a lot about the legalities of blogging (contracts, negotiations, privacy policies) and was amazed at what I didn’t know!

Sales funnels was a term I hadn’t heard before, until this BlogPaws.  For those of us striving to earn money blogging, sales are essential. This is another gap I learned needs to be filled on my site.  I came to realize sales isn’t a “sleazy” thing, but if done correctly, can be a big benefit to my audience.

When it comes to branding, there are many elements to be considered: images used, color, fonts to name a few.  I learned the importance of choosing images carefully and consistently.  This helps communicate your brand to others more effectively.

This was also a time for figuring out what holds me back, to not be afraid of failure or rejection.  I learned I have a voice that can be valuable in helping others.  It’s important to take action rather than simply complain.  That’s how change begins.

BlogPaws 2017 Giving

blogpaws 2017

How many business conferences do we attend where giving back is a major objective?  This is an aspect of BlogPaws that makes it special.

Several rescues/shelter groups were awarded donations by BlogPaws.  In addition, one keynote presenter, Kathleen Gage, does many charitable events to help various animal rescue groups around the country.

We also saw several videos from Hope For Paws, a non-profit organization that travels around the world to rescue pets in need.

Bayer Animal Health spoke about their efforts to spread the word about the PAWS initiative, to help abused women and pets.

Merrick spoke about their work with K9S For Warriors, to help pair veterans suffering from PTSD with assistance dogs.

BlogPaws strives each year to be a zero waste event.  Myrtle Beach, SC, location of this year’s conference, does not currently have a sustainability program.  Our conference introduced sustainability to Myrtle Beach!  A great way to give back!

BlogPaws 2017 Fun

blogpaws 2017
Sophie at her birthday party

When a group of pets and bloggers get together, it’s always fun!  This year, I and many others had a great time at a Paint and Sip event sponsored by Red Roof Inn.  As evidenced by my painting, I won’t be quitting my day job anytime soon!

I also attended a birthday part for Sophie the Cat from Kitty Kat Chronicles.  She got many gifts and it was fun hanging out with her and many of her friends to celebrate.

As a longtime cat lover, I was so excited to have the Cat Lounge to visit!  The Lounge was better than ever, with the latest, greatest and coolest in cat themed products for felines and their people.

Conclusion

BlogPaws 2017 was a great opportunity to meet so many fellow pet bloggers in person!  The knowledge I received is spurring so many changes in my business (stay tuned for news on this in the days and weeks to come!).

These are the highlights, I could go on and on about all the great people I met and everything I learned.

Next year, BlogPaws will be coming here in Kansas City.  If you’d like to learn more about BlogPaws, go to BlogPaws.com

 

Written by Karen

Karen

Karen is Publisher of Fully Feline. She also owns a pet care business in Overland Park, KS called Joy of Living.

24 Responses to "BlogPaws 2017: Networking, Knowledge, Giving, Fun"

  1. I like reading the recaps of the conference because I like to see what people focus on. For me, it’s impossible to do a recap of the entire conference because so much goes on. It’s nice to see everyone else’s perspectives.

    Reply
    1. Yes, was hard to pick out a few aspects to write about because there is so much! Different points for each of us, but one common thread is we all see it as a positive experience!

      Reply
  2. My daddy thought blogpaws was amazing too, especially the unconditional love from humans to animals! I didn’t get to go b/c he was worried I wouldn’t be nice to the cats, but I’m going to try to go next year!

    Reply
  3. Sorry we didn’t get to connect at BlogPaws this year. The network does so much for raising awareness for different animal rescues in addition to supporting us as pet bloggers. Looking forward to meeting you in Kansas City next year!

    Reply
  4. Thanks for sharing your experience at the Blog Paws conference. I’m a newbie blogger and I didn’t get to attend this year, but plan on next year. Blog paws is a great place for learning from others and training.

    Reply
    1. I am in Kansas, conference is going to be in KC, MO. We’re very close to the KS/MO state line, so 1/2 hour drive and I’ll be at the hotel. There’s actually a State Line road, one side is MO, the other KS.

      Reply
    1. Yes, this year kind of hit me hard expense wise, but this is my “big event” for the year so I plan for it. Next year will be great for me, it’s here in my home city, so expenses will be MUCH less, thankfully! Hope you can make it next year. One event that’s worth the time and money to attend

      Reply
  5. This is a great summary post. Like you, I always have a hard time explaining what BlogPaws is, but you did a great job here hitting on everything that is BlogPaws. It was so great to meet you in person too, and I look forward to seeing you next year! Oh, and I look forward to implementing the many things we learned, together as accountability partners!

    Reply
  6. What a great round-up of BlogPaws. I love the fact that we get to meet like-minded people and brands, give back and make a difference and learn. I too came away inspired to grow my business and had so much fun. It’s even fun reliving it and I am reminded of my to do list.

    Reply
  7. It was so nice to meet you at BlogPaws! I was really impressed by the generosity and commitment of so many of the sponsors. They are doing some amazing things.

    Reply

Post Comment