BarkWorld 2013 Recap

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

 

9 Reasons I Need to Attend BarkWorld 2013

barkworld 2013

If you are a pet blogger than I am sure you have heard of BarkWorld, a blog and social media conference.  BarkWorld is now going strong in it’s fourth year and BarkWorld 2013 is just around the corner in August.  I would really like to attend BarkWorld 2013… but unfortunately I find myself a bit light on cash at the moment.

Thankfully Pruven, 3M’s pet division, is going to sponsor one lucky pet blogger’s trip to BarkWorld 2013.  This pet blogger doesn’t want to go but needs to go BarkWorld.

10 Reasons I Need to Attend BarkWorld 2013

  1. Improve Social Media Skills:  Honestly my social media skills are not that impressive.  I understand Twitter and I am a TweetDeck user.  However, I can’t seem to crack how to get a lot of followers and could use some.  Having recently attended BlogPaws 2013 I felt a came up a bit short talking with the so-called “Social Media Gurus.”  I found they offered no advice I hadn’t heard before and didn’t give me clear answers to many of my questions.  If I attend BarkWorld I know I will pick-up some better skills from speakers and other bloggers there.
  2. New People and New Connections:  For anyone that has attended a blog conference before you know all the great people you meet and connections you make.  Making friends in the real world translates to good friends online which can really help catapult a blog.  I’d love to meet make connections with pet companies, brand, rescue groups, and other bloggers so that the Singing Dogs are more well known.
  3. Take Blogging to the Next Level:  I already feel like my blogging and writing skills are pretty good.  You should never stop learning and gaining new skills especially if you are competing online.  Attending blog conferences, such as BarkWorld 2013, will really up my blogging game and take it to the next level.  I need to be successful online since I really don’t want to get a real job.  You know, since real jobs kinda suck.
  4. Help Rescue Groups:  Every since I discovered Sierra and Cody’s singing talents I have hoped that I could use it to raise money for animal groups and shelters.  In addition I have hoped that I could use it to raise awareness about animal abuse.  I haven’t quite figured out how to do this and I know attending BarkWorld 2013 I could talk with rescue groups and organizations about any ideas.  (Sierra and Cody are divas when performing live and we can’t use pop songs due to copyright issues.)  I’d love to help animals in need since that is why Singing Dogs was started.
  5. I can Teach: Having attended other blog conferences I know I can teach other bloggers a lot.  I truly believe the value you get out of these events is not only learning but giving back to others who need help.  It pleases me when I show people resources or tools they have never heard of before.  Having bloggers willing to teach others makes the a blog conference better in my opinion.
  6. My Session Summaries:  My BlogPaws 2013 Pro Session summary was as detailed and comprehensive as you can get.  (If anyone can find a more detailed summary of the talks shoot me an email.)  If I attended BarkWorld I would write a similar summary of my various thoughts about the talks and sessions.  This not only helps other bloggers and potential attendees asses how useful BarkWorld is but would also make future BarkWorld conferences even better.
  7. I am a Dude:  There seems to be a lot more female pet bloggers out there than guys.  Therefore a lot more women will be attending BarkWorld than guys, which is not necessarily a bad thing.  I need to go to BarkWorld to make sure that everyone is aware that guys also love animals too even if we don’t show it quite as much by starting a blog about it.  Of course I did.
  8. Visit Atlanta:  I think Atlanta is a great city and would love to visit again.  Quite honestly it is much cleaner than Baltimore and I don’t mind not having to worry about crime all the time.  It is also dog friendly.
  9. Cody and Sierra Assume I am Going: My dogs already think I am heading to BarkWorld.  Would you want to disappoint them?  🙂

Hopefully the generous, smart, and attractive (I can only assume) people from Pruven will agree with all my points here.   I know there are a lot of people vying for the BarkWorld free trip but I truly hope I am at least considered with this blog post.

BarkWorld 2013 is set for August 22-24th in Atlanta, Georgia.  Tickets are $129 if you purchase before July 31st and at-the-door tickets are $169.  (There are additional fees too.)  That is reasonable pricing for a blog conference since most are $500+ for a weekend not including hotel and airlines expenses.

Even though BarkWorld 2013 is a reasonably priced I could use help in getting my way paid.  Hopefully we will but I will be ok if we don’t win too.

Sweet BlogPaws Swag: Bissell Spotbot!

At BlogPaws 2013 we got a ton of free goodies and swag.  However, probably the best thing we got is the Bissell SpotBot.  We won the Bissell SpotBot in the BlogPaws Raffle which is really impressive since I never win raffles, small lotteries, odds and numbers games, etc.  When my name was called I couldn’t really believe we had won.

To tell you the truth Chloe Divita, who was choosing business cards from a gigantic fishbowl, picked about 5 or 6 other names before my name was called for the Bissell SpotBot.  Since none of those people were around to claim the prize it was there loss and Chloe kept drawing different names.  Luckily I was there when my name was called and we happily claimed the Bissell SpotBot to take home.

At first we thought the Bissell SpotBot was a vacuum but it is not.  It actually is for cleaning up Ummmm how should I say ‘doggie messes’ that happen on carpets.  Cody and Sierra fortunately don’t have many indoor accidents.  I guess there is a good enough market for the SpotBot if Bissell decided to put it into production and market the thing.

bissell spobot

One cool thing about the Bissell SpotBot is the dog they featured on it.  Her name is Rainbow Diamond and she is a dachshund that was rescued from a puppy mill.  April from Dachshund Delights came up to us after we had won and told us, “I know that dog.”  I was a bit confused for a second as I thought she meant she had seen Cody or Sierra on TV.  She then explained that Rainbow Diamond was found in bathtub with a broken back and she had puppies she was nursing when she was found.  Apparently she was bred like that which is just terrible to think about.  April told us that a wonderful foster family that knew how to deal with special need dogs nursed her back to health and now Bissell features her on products.

Rainbow Diamond’s story was heartening to hear and I wouldn’t have read the description on the Bissell SpotBot box since the font was way too small.  It’s great Bissell features dogs like Rainbow Diamond on their products.  I just hope her current owner doesn’t need to use the SpotBot too much on their carpets.

Thanks to April for telling us the story about Rainbow Diamond and taking the picture of all of us after we won the Bissell SpotBot.

BlogPaws 2013 an Amazing Experience

blogpaws 2013

The Singing Dogs spent the last couple of days at BlogPaws 2013 in Tysons Corner, Virginia.  The crazy filled 3 days of BlogPaws was a lot of fun (but tiring) for all of us.  We met new pet people, made great connections with other bloggers and writers, and got to learn a lot.

If you were to ask me what I learned most at BlogPaws it would be just how big the pet blogging industry is.  I mean… Wow!  There were over 500+ people that came to BlogPaws 2013 and the organizers oversold.  It was quite a spectacle seeing all the people and pets that came out to this blog and social media conference.  Some people traveled quite far to attend and god only knows that traveling with pets can be a real pain even with so many products out on the market.  (A lot of those products were on display at BlogPaws.)  The majority came without pets though as lets be honest that made attending the conference sessions a lot easier.

What surprised me at the conferences was that even some of the pro sessions seemed like they were geared toward people just getting started with blogging and running their own websites. I taught and told people about some cool sites and resouces they didn’t know about which felt great.  I realized the main value from these conferences is not learning but growing your connections and network.  I got a lot more out of BlogPaws 2013 from meeting new people rather than learning new skills.   That’s fine with me though as taking away knowledge and giving it away is what it is all about.

I will be blogging more about BlogPaws over the next few days sharing experiences, tips, and my general thoughts about the whole event.  Kudos to the entire BlogPaws and Pet360 Media team that helped make the conference a success for everyone that attended.

Next year’s BlogPaws will be in Las Vegas and I will definitely try to go.  Flights out there are inexpensive since Casinos subsidize the flights to get people out there to gamble your money away.  Hopefully next year I will be meeting new people and seeing others I connected with this past BlogPaws.  Without losing all my money of course.

 

We’re heading to BlogPaws 2013!

blogpaws 2013

Just to let all of our friends, fans, and followers know, Cody, Sierra, and I are heading to BlogPaws 2013.  (If you don’t know what BlogPaws it is a pet blogging and social media conference.)  We are very excited to be attending this year since this is the first time we are going to go to BlogPaws or have gotten a chance to go to any sort of pet conferences or events.

Since BlogPaws 2013 taking place in Tysons Corner, VA (just outside Washington DC) and we live in Baltimore attending means we will not have to travel far.  We are going to be driving back and forth to the  hotel where the conference is taking place which will be a bit of a pain but people drive into DC all the time for work.  I figure I can do it a couple days if people do it 5 days a week.

We hope to get a lot out of BlogPaws networking with other dog lovers, pet brands, bloggers, writers, social media gurus, SEO gurus, and generally anyone who loves pets as much as we do.  We also hope to meet some of the Singing Dogs fans at BlogPaws 2013 as I know there are a lot of our followers out there that want to meet us and are attending this year.  We are just as excited to meet you in person too by the way!

I will be in attendance all 3 days but we are still unsure about bringing Cody and Sierra for all of BlogPaws 2013.  We think it would better to bring them 1 day and then to get more out of the conference leave them home so we can takes notes from speakers and talk with people more.  Sierra can be a bit whiny in the car since she is a “Dog Diva’ and Cody is usually good but will probably get bored if we are just sitting around doing “boring” people stuff most of the day.  (He’d rather be playing Chuckit!)  If you have any thoughts or advice about bringing pets to BlogPaws I would appreciate it if you left a comment and let us know your experiences.

Anyway, we have new slick business cards to give out, gave the dogs a bath and are preparing ourselves for BlogPaws 2013.  I hope to see you there and please let us know if you are going and if we should keep an eye out for you at BlogPaws.

 

BARCStoberfest and 5K Run – October 20th

barcstoberfest

The Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) is holding it’s annual BARCStoberFest and 5K Run this Saturday (October 20th) at Patterson Park.  The event will help benefit and fund BARCS which helps over 12,000 homeless animals each year.  BARCStoberFest will feature:

* Good food, live music, and special guests
* Adoptable cats and dogs from BARCS and other rescue groups
* Pet costume contests, fun games, and demonstrations
* Animal health and wellness experts
* Local artists and food vendors

In addition there will be a silent auction and raffle, pet micro-chipping, and other area animal rescue groups will be in attendance too.

BARCStober Fest, in partnership with Charm City Run, will be featuring the first “Ready…Set…Sniff 5-K Run OR Walk” with your special pets around Baltimore’s famous Patterson Park.  The Run/Walk will ends at the start of BARCStoberfest so people can enjoy a human and family fun filled day together. It’s $25 to preregister and $30 to register on race day.  If you are interested in registering for the 5K Run/Walk, please click here.  You can also setup an account and group to help raise money for the BARCStoberfest 5K Walk/Run by visiting this page.

What: 6th Annual BARCStoberfest

When: Saturday, October 20th, 2012 from 11 am – 4pm

Where: Baltimore’s Patterson Park

For more info on BARCStoberfest please visit the website: http://baltimoreanimalshelter.org/#BARCStober