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.

 

We’re Going to BarkWorld 2013!

barkworld 2013

We’re headed to BarkWorld 2013 in Atlanta!  Ohhhh yeah!

Well technically only I am going and not the Singing Dogs.  Sorry Cody and Sierra but it is a bit stressful to bring you guys to a pet blogging conference.  Although we would like to hear their singing they will be at the BarkWorld 2013 in spirit.

Originally I thought we were not going to be able to attend since we didn’t win the BarkWorld Blogging Challenge.  Even though I thought my “9 Reasons I Need to Attend BarkWorld” post was pretty amazing, Rebecca and Garth Riley won the ticket.  I was happy someone else was going but upset we didn’t get the ticket.

Fortunately The World According to Garth Riley ran a contest for another BarkWorld ticket.  I thought I would at least give it a shot since hey, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take right?  I followed the rules and shared the post and left a comment.  Well… to my surprise we actually won the ticket.

While the ticket does not included airfare and a hotel, it only includes admission to BarkWorld 2013, we still feel lucky.  I was looking for a BarkWorld Sponsor but I wasn’t able to find any company that wanted to sponsor us.  Not cool!

We are excited to be going as this is our first time attending BarkWorld.  Also we will get to meet people from the pet blogosphere which we didn’t have time to meet-up with at BlogPaws.  Some people who didn’t go to BlogPaws we also will be happy to see.

If you are going to BarkWorld 2013 and would like to talk, please send me an email – adam AT singingdogs.net – and let me know.  You can also Tweet us @DogsSing or my handle @AdamYamada to let us know that you are going.  I’d love to meet people in person we haven’t gotten to meet up with.

If you wished you could be going to BarkWorld but couldn’t due to time or money restrictions we hope to be able to sponsor other pet bloggers and pet rescues next year.   That is if Cody and Sierra become huge pet superstars from a deal we make at BarkWorld 2013 and we can all retired in Hawaii.  🙂

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.

Checkout the Singing Dogs new Business Cards

I thought I would show everyone the Singing Dogs’ newest Business Cards.  Even if I can’t hand one out to you I thought it would be nice to see the design online.

business cards

Since Cody and Sierra are such big stars it seemed appropriate that they have their own business cards.  I also got them made for going to BlogPaws 2013.  Having business cards is a must for conferences and I have found them to be really useful for handing out in general when people ask about our dogs.  (Yes, I usually start talking about their many TV appearances and their musical talents to anyone that will listen.  Who wouldn’t?)

I honestly couldn’t be happier with the design and how the business cards came out.  Like a lot of people nowadays I used a microgig service to get the design made.  For $10 bucks it was totally worth it as I couldn’t have designed anything that would have looked as good as this card.  However, there are a ton of great design elements that I asked for.

Instead of ordering business cards online I decided to use a locally based printing company, Indigo Ink, this time.  In the past when I’ve ordered business cards online they always come out weird or something is usually wrong with the cards.  I have had issues where the colors were off, the cut was bad, and paper quality was pretty iffy.

Matt Richardson, the owner of Indigo Ink, was easy to work with and answered all my questions about getting the business cards printed.   I am not totally familiar with all the printing jargon but he was pretty helpful and understanding in explaining the terminology.  When I went to pick these cards up they were printed how I wanted with vibrant colors, a durable finish, and a nice paper quality and weight.  In addition the price was not that much different than ordering online and Indigo Ink got them done in 1-day.  I was impressed especially since my order was small by comparison to other printing jobs they get.

I’d recommend Indigo Ink for any small or large printing jobs if you are in the Baltimore-Washington Metro area.   I will definitely be using them in the future for any of my printing needs. It is nice not having to deal with mistakes that big online printing companies make and supporting a local business too.

Keep in mind a lot of people at BlogPaws were professional pet bloggers who had graphic designed do their business card design and quality of the cards was top notch.  I would say our business cards were on par or even better quality than some cards people were handing out.  Having the good quality cards along with a nice design makes a big difference to the person who didn’t put in the effort and time.

Bottom line I am definitely pleased with how these business cards came out.  Have an opinion about them?  Leave a comment below and let us know.

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.