Friday, April 10, 2015

Tips for a Successful BlogPaws Conference Experience

   

   If you follow my blog then you know I am one of four BlogPaws Conference Ambassadors.  It is a big honor and a bigger responsibility.  I am in charge of the “Newbies” Group on the BlogPaws community.  If you have any questions about what to pack or bring, that’s the place to ask.  Those of you who are veterans are welcome to add any tips that you wish you’d known your first time.  
   Last year was my first BlogPaws conference and I knew immediately that I’d be at every future event.  It was that incredible.  We met our friends Emma, Bailie, and their mom, Joy entering the hotel.  Emma is Bentley’s girlfriend, so they were definitely on my ‘to-meet’ list.  This year, Bentley and Emma will meet in the fur.  It should be exciting and I’m sure there will be many photos.  *Tip: Bring a camera 


   That is just one of the awesome things about attending the BlogPaws Conference.  You will meet all of your cyber friends and favorite bloggers over the three days.  I found that most people were exactly the way I had pictured them in my mind.  Personalities are the same as the personality of their blogs.  Everyone was there to learn and have a good time.  I am serious about the ‘to-meet’ list.  The schedule keeps you busy and if you want to meet someone in particular, you might want to exchange cell numbers before you arrive.  The Wednesday night “Dessert in the Courtyard” for early arrivers is a terrific chance to meet and mingle before things get moving.  *Tip: Make a ‘Want to meet” list


   Whether you arrive on Wednesday night or Thursday, once you get your room, you’ll go to the registration tables.  Don’t worry, there will be someone available to guide you, or just follow the pet people.  At registration, you will receive a name tag/lanyard and your ‘Swag Bag’.  I cannot begin to describe all of the incredible things that are included in these bags.  You’ll probably want to Instagram or Facebook it!  *Tip: Share your experience on social media 

 If you arrive on Thursday, you can leave registration and visit the Sponsor Exhibit Area and Cat Style Lounge by Hauspanther.  This is where you are able to meet and talk with the brands that have helped sponsor our conference.  Be prepared for more samples than you can imagine.  Seriously, we brought an empty suitcase and still had to turn down some really tempting treats.  This year, we are driving and Bentley says, “Bring on the goodies!”  *Tip: Make sure you leave room to bring home your swag and samples



   Wear comfortable shoes.  I can’t stress this enough.  You can sit down in the sessions, but you also do a lot of walking and standing.  There were a lot of tennis shoes and walking shoes.  People dress comfortably in jeans or casual pants.  Most of the day is spent attending different learning sessions.  If you are cold natured, you might want to pack a light sweater or long-sleeved shirt.  You can slip it on if you get cold or happen to sit under the air conditioning vent in one of the classrooms.  *Tip: Dress for comfort and first impressions.
   
   Don’t forget to bring writing materials.  I will be packing my laptop, tablet, and spiral notebook.  I used my laptop to write and publish my blog each night.  I kept notes in a spiral notebook and handouts in a folder.  My tablet is new, so it will come in handy for notes and photos.  No matter how many electronic devices that I have, I still like to jot notes down on paper.  There were charging stations available, but it’s a good idea to keep a spare device charged.  Don’t forget pens/pencils.  *Tip: You will take notes…a lot of notes!

   
   There are so many choices to make!  I found the hardest part of the BlogPaws Conference was deciding which session to attend.  The best recommendation that I can give you is to decide which one will be most beneficial to you.  As I look over this year’s program, it’s the same problem.  Each session has something to offer that will make me a better blogger.  A great idea is to find a fellow blogger that is interested in the same sessions and each of you attend one then exchange notes.  I did last year and it worked out perfectly.  BlogPaws is all about bloggers helping bloggers.  If you are still undecided about which sessions to attend, watch the Cares to Share Google+ Hangouts or enjoy them on YouTube.  Many of the speakers and topics are featured and you can begin learning with each thirty-minute segment.  Tip: Select your sessions in advance
   
   If you have not ordered business cards, that needs to be done a.s.a.p.  When you visit the various sponsors/brands in the Exhibit Area, you will want to be able to hand them a business card to remember you.  I have worked with many of the brands that I connected with last year.  I also printed up a media kit to give to the companies that I felt would be a great fit with my blog.  Be sure to check back next Wednesday for a “how-to” for business cards and media kits.  *Tip: Business cards…never leave home without them.
  
  Have you reserved your BlogPaws Conference ticket yet?  I know that it is a big decision.  I was exactly where you were last year.  Can I afford it?  Do I really need to attend?  It’s not often that we spend money on ourselves.  I am being completely honest with you when I say those three days in Las Vegas changed my life and not the way Las Vegas changes some people’s lives!  I learned such an incredible amount of information in those few days that I still can’t believe it.  I have been able to make the cost of the entire trip back several times over.  When I said at the beginning of this post that I knew immediately I would never miss a BlogPaws Conference, I meant it.  Join me this year and I promise, you’ll be saying the same thing!  Tip: Use my Ambassador code and save 10% BP15-Amb-Melissa-10

   I will have a new post each week to help you prepare for the conference. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  Of course, if your pet is attending the conference with you let them cruise with Bentley and friends! 

   Who is BlogPaws Conference Cruising with Bentley?  It is only 50 days until we cruise into #Nashville for the best #socialmedia and blogging conference ever!  Since it is pet-friendly, we are picking up the pets that are joining their humans at the 3-day event!  According to the billboard, we can make a rest stop soon!  Jax from Groovy Goldendoodles always rides safely on Bentley's lap and his sweetie Emma (a finalist for Best Dog Blog) is cuddled up next to him. We are so excited to have Lulu from Life With Beagle as our 23rd rider! 
   The crew enjoying the Hound Dog Hot Tub include DOGthusiast: for dog enthusiasts Mort, Dog Mom Days - Wynston AKC Chihuahua Rocco from To Dog With Love Denise Gruzensky's Shasta, Dolly the Doxie Oz the Terrier Luna from Beagles and Bargains Oh My Shih Tzu 's Riley, and Mort's brother Tig. 
   It looks like Atka and Mauja of It's Dog or Nothing fame have decided to help with the Upper Deck Chillin' and Grillin' today! As always Jax's brother Harley is having fun talking with Fidose of Reality's Dexter.  Our two cool cats Stunning Keisha's Plush CK and Coco the Couture Cat are meowing it up with Sugar from Golden Woofs.  My Dog Likes Golden Friends Charlie and Harley are hanging out with Chuy from Irresistible Pets 
  Get your ticket and join us May 28th at the Sheraton Music City Hotel
*Click to enlarge photo
  

You can read more pre-conference blog posts by clicking on any of the link below.

Today is the Pet Parade Blog Hop!  We have grown from just a few blogs parading with us to a May Day sized parade each week!  Join the fun with Rascal and RoccoBionic Basil’s BlogJan’s Funny FarmLove is being owned by a Husky, and me to celebrate.  Grab our badge and hop along!





21 comments :

  1. I bet ya'llz is looking forward to ya'llz blogging conference.

    sumskersandearlskers13.blogspot.com

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  2. It always sounds like a great event with so much to do. Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

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  3. SOunds like a great place to be, have funs
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

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  4. We are so excited and can't hardly wait! I already have started a pile of my stuff to pack so I don't forget!

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  5. Sounds fantastic.....*sigh* I have been really going nuts trying to to manage me being able to go, it's not looking good :(
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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  6. Great post and helpful tips! Can't wait to hear all about it!

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  7. You all are going to have so much fun.

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  8. These are great tips! Chuy is loving the hot tub! Can't wait to see yall!

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  9. Mom is so jealous. She better save her pennies for next year
    Snorts
    Lily & Edward

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  10. Hi Y'all!

    I do so wish that my Humans plans to go had worked out, but business takes priority, so we will have to wait for another year. I so wanted to meet all my Blogville friends and their peeps.

    Y'all come on by,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

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  11. Reading this is making me so excited!! I'm already taking notes.... :) I have a "to do" list going, and will be starting a "to bring" list as well (bookmarking this page for reference when I do that).
    Gosh, I can't believe how fast it's coming too....!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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  12. The Conference DOES sound like an incredibly exciting & informative event! I really don't think I'll be able to attend this year. Major bummer.

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  13. BlogPaws really is a great experience. Last year was my first time attending the conference. It didn't turn out to be nearly as scary as I thought it might be! There was a lot of help for getting around and making the right choices. I hope that I will be able to get the money together to come again this year.
    -Purrs from your friends at www.PlayfulKitty.net

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  14. A want to meet list is a great idea!!

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  15. Having been to 2 BlogPaws now, these are really good tips!

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  16. The first tip we need is to get there! We're jelly!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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  17. You really are getting prepared. Happy Pet Parade.

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  18. Paw waves! I will see you at BlogPaws again this year!
    Hugs & yaps,
    Pepper

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  19. Great post with great ideas! This will be my 1st BlogPaws Conference and I'm so excited! Can't wait to meet you and all the other pet bloggers :)

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  20. What a terrific post! These are all such important tips. Last year was my first conference, I was a brand new blogger, and it changed everything for me. I had such a hard time selecting the sessions I wanted to attend; if only I could be in two places at one time & attend them all! Thanks for being a great Ambassador, I look forward to next week's conference tips!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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  21. Great post. Thanks for the info. Starting my to-meet list now! Looking forward to future posts.

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