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 2017 Networking
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
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
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
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.
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
Blog paws was great as usual. I love doing the Sip and Paint!
It’s super close to you next year! I was hoping it would be in our region next year but alas. It sounds like you had a lot of fun!
Yep, it’s about 1/2 an hour from me. Really excited! Yep, had tons of fun this year!
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.
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!
Networking is so important. Back in my old country, everything in life depended on what people you knew. I hope one of these days I’ll make it to blogpaws too.
Networking is so important in general in life, and conferences are a great way to do it, unfortunately due to work I could not be at this one but who knows maybe next year.
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!
Yes, Mishu, come here to KC. Would love to meet you!
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!
Yes, we’ll connect next year. Really excited the conference will be here!
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.
Sounds like the conference was worthwhile for you! You’re in Kansas, but I thought next year’s conference was in Kansas City, MO! I hope we get it straight by next year! Love Dolly
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.
This was my 3rd BlogPaws Conference and they keep getting better and better. I wish I could clone myself so I could attend all of the events. I was exhausted when I got home.
I have yet to make it to one. As a Canadian they are always just that tad out of reach financially and timing always seems off in terms of my ability to take time off work to go. BUT I do hope to make it one year.
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
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!
Yes! I’ve had trouble catching up and getting back on track. Time to board the accountability train once again!
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.
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.
Same here, great meeting you and Alice! Coming here to KC for next year’s conference?
Hey I recognize that painting. (But mine has only one cat). Great time in Myrtle Beach!
I have wanted to go to blogpaws for so long! I’ll make it one year!