Thursday, May 10, 2012

• What I Wish I Knew Before BlogPaws

I register at BlogPaws / Photo B Smith
I'm so excited about BlogPaws 2012! BlogPaws is a pet blogging and social media conference. Are you coming? Last year was my first time, and afterward, there were a few things I wish I'd done differently.

• I wish I had researched presenters and sessions. Sure, on the schedule I circled what I thought I should do, but sometimes I went to a session and found it wasn't a good fit for me. This year I'm taking advantage of background information from BlogPaws, such as interviews with BlogPaws 2012 speakers. You can get information about the conference at the sites below:
BlogPaws 2012 Conference
BlogPaws Community
—BlogPaws Twitter
—BlogPaws Facebook

Contents of my "swag bag"
• I wish I had known how much great stuff BlogPaws gives you. To start, there's a "swag bag." In addition, exhibitors/sponsors ply you with pet foods, toys, clothes, calendars, books—you name it. I'm taking my biggest suitcase to Salt Lake City, with only one-third allocated for clothes . . . because I love the stuff!

• This year, unlike last year, I'll note sponsors that will be at BlogPaws beforehand. For example, as a pet sitter, I want to know the latest tools for finding lost pets, so I'll be sure to talk to Found Animals. I'll chat with all sponsors/exhibitors and get their cards because when I make a contact at a company, it's as good as gold. Contacts can tell me about upcoming giveaways, specials, events—all useful for my presence on Twitter and Facebook.

Flat Pet Workshop / Photo B Smith 
• I wish I had known how friendly BogPaws people are. We've all been to events where the "inner circle" wants to keep the circle closed. BlogPaws isn't like that. People were happy! Everyone was curious about everyone else. It was easy to greet the many pets and start conversations with their owners. (If you're shy, as I am, see tips for how an introvert can enjoy BlogPaws.)

• I wish I knew they took the hot breakfast away early. Sure, yummy hot food was available for a respectable 90 minutes. But I'm a late riser and a buffet grazer: I get two or three small plates. The first morning plate #1 lasted through the a.m. speaker. But at the break, when I was ready for plate #2—no bacon! (I speak, of course, tongue-in-bacon-less-cheek. At mealtimes and breaks, tables groaned with an embarrassment of riches. At other times BlogPaws provided coffee, sodas, and snacks. You will not go hungry—and now you know the Bacon Secret.)

"Flat Maggie," my hamster, and moi / Photo B Smith
• I wish I'd known BlogPaws had a professional photographer. I get to know people from their online photos, so I include photos of myself in social media—and Brad Smith said we could use his photos! Brad was cute as a bug, sweet to boot, and took great photos of BlogPaws 2011, including flattering ones of me in my turquoise Emmy the Pet Sitter T-shirt. Because I'm vain and "somewhat not svelte," this year I'll probably wear black.

One thing I got right was that I wore comfortable shoes. Between the pricey sneakers and Thor-Lo socks, my feet were reasonably not sore. The other good news is that I brought enough business cards. Unfortunately, I customized them and have several hundred "We met at BlogPaws 2011" left over.

Now it's your turn! Do you have advice for BlogPaws newbies? Funny stories? I'd love to hear from you. And I can't wait to meet you!

1 comment:

  1. Great tips! We were amazed at BlogPaws 2011, and are so excited about going to Salt Lake City! Looking forward to meeting you there!