Well, I just had a amazing past couple days in Atlanta attending BarkWorld 2013. I met a with a lot bloggers, social media influencers, pet brands, and many other pet lovers all of stripes. A lot of these people I have communicated with via email, Twitter, or other social media platforms but never met in person. Since it would take me too long to list everyone I was happy to meet I will just say it was great meeting everyone at BarkWorld. 🙂
BarkWorld 2013 was a lot of fun but like a lot of conferences quite tiring. Meeting with new people, talking, trading ideas, working with new brands, takes a lot of energy out of you. In addition the financial cost of going to a conference can really drain a wallet. Luckily I was able to win a ticket thanks to Garth and Rebbecca Riley and I didn't need to get a hotel room since I stayed with a relative. My only cost for the show was buying airline tickets via SouthWest. I guess I really lucked out attending BarkWorld this year.
Since most people are probably wondering what this pet conference is like and is all about, here are my thoughts about it;
What I liked about BarkWorld
Everyone is an animal person, well mostly dog person, at BarkWorld. Additionally everyone is friendly and pretty chill (unlike other conferences I have attended.) Everyone is open to helping each other with different things and trading ideas about how to improve one's online presence.
Obviously the great thing about attending any pet conference is meeting with other animal lovers that share your passion for pets. I met all sorts of new dog lovers who thought Cody and Sierra are “singing” was hilarious. We also met people that already knew about our awesome band.
Most of the food was healthy and pretty tasty for buffet meals which I appreciated. The first day they had an assortment of Fajitas with rice and some vegetarian dishes. The second day the lunch consisted of sandwich wraps which included chicken, turkey, and a vegetarian option. I personally hate going to large events and not being able to eat the food. I have a hard time with fast food and it seems most people at BarkWorld also prefer healthy food too.
The Westin Buckhead, where the conference is held, was quite nice to for a place that allows dogs and other pets. (Well I thought the hotel that BlogPaws was pretty nice too.) StarWood hotels are very pet friendly to my understanding.
Something to keep in mind is the show mainly caters to dogs and those with dogs. Makes sense as it is the blog and social media conference is called called BarkWorld.
What I didn't like about BarkWorld
A lot of information felt a little basic to me. I've kind of learned that is the way most conferences are for me personally. My knowledge and skills are just above what most people are looking to learn at a conference. I usually need help or have a question about a really specific issue.
I was hoping for a little more information on what other brands and sites are doing in the SEO space nowadays. However, like the tagline suggests “Social Media Unleashed” describes what is on everyone's minds. Clearly most people don't think much about SEO or want to in these crowadsd nowadays.
I would have preferred more information regarding SEO (search engine optimization) at BarkWorld but the focus was on social media mostly. To be far the tagline of the conference is “Social Media Unleashed.”
Also I thought it wasn't clear how the space was setup entirely. Seems odd since they hold the conference in the same place every year.
All in all I had a great time at BarkWorld 2013 and was happy hanging with all these pet people. I don't think I would come back though as I would rather attend BlogPaws.
I didn't know this before I came but apparently “Women in the Pet Industry” had a show in Seattle the same time of BarkWorld. The organizers of that didn't think it was going to conflict but honestly it did. A lot of women pet bloggers (well that is the majority of the attendees.)
Hopefully next year will be better.