Blogpaws 2014 Las Vegas was for me the highlight light of the year so far. I didn’t get to Blogpaws last year and I was certainly not going to miss it this year especially since it was in my neighborhood. After signing up I made a point of reading every email, tweet and Facebook post that Blogpaws deployed to the attendees to make sure I was fully prepared. I knew about the elements of the conference. With any conference that you’re attending it’s important to prepare well ahead of time. You don’t want to miss out on anything and an efficient use of your time.
My husband, niece, and I all attended the conference and between the three of us we knew we could hit up as many of the sessions as possible. Upon arriving to Blogpaws registration was super easy, all you had to do was follow the cute footprints leading down to the conference area. The staff was super friendly and very organized and supplied us with the program of events, swag bag, and drinks tickets. Let’s not forget the drinks tickets they’re really important.
My plan was to meet with every single vendor in the exhibit hall, get as many photographs taken with the them, and gather as much product and information as possible. All of these elements are important to me as a blogger but also as a radio show host wanting to keep on top of the latest trends, newest products new research, and potential sponsors and guests. As you can imagine I was in heaven.
I enjoyed all of the sessions and I loved the fact that you could take your pets with you. When they stated pets could attend it wasn’t restricted to dogs and cats there were capybaras and little critters.
The social side of Blogpaws is fun. You get to meet people you already know, people you’ve known as social media for a long time, and make new friends. One of those people who I’ve known for five years through social media is Carol Byant from the blog A Fidose of Reality and PR Guru for Blogpaws. Our meeting was five years in the works! It felt like we’d met before and it was such a thrill to meet Carol, Darlene, and the handsome Dexter.
I’ve been to many conferences but I’ve never been to a conference quite like this. The energy was positive, the atmosphere fun, people were happy, pets were beyond cute, and it just felt like a big giant party…no it really was a big party.
Every time I turned around there was food, whether it was Starbucks coffee, cupcakes, or snacks and the breakfast, lunches, and dinners were exceptional. The planned food was so helpful because you didn’t have to worry about finding alternative places to eat. You got to eat in the same area, at the same time as everyone else…perfect for networking. I saw many a deep conversation happen during those meal times.
One of the events that I was happy to witness was the pet runway show. It was hysterical and adorable all at the same time. The prizes were incredible with one of my friend’s dogs winning a Bissell carpet cleaner. Gizmo dressed as a fantastical 1980’s inspiration of Olivia Newton John’s Let’s Get Physical song. He represented well for the 80’s. About ten of my Vegas animal advocate friends were present and we all wanted to know if the Bissell carpet cleaner was going to be a communal one.
Yappy Hour was just that…everyone yapping and that included the dogs. It was held outside by the dog park area managed by a local pet sitting company. I thought this was a wonderful touch. It gave your dog, cat, or capybara to stretch out and socialize after taking all those session notes. Plus you could be hands free to enjoy a cocktail…remember those drinks tickets I told you about?
Now let’s talk about swag bags and the exhibit hall. Wow! That’s what I’m going to say…wow. The swag bags were chock-a-block full with fabulous items and who knows what the value of that bag was? I truly liked the exhibit hall because the vendors wanted you to take their product and put it in your hands without hesitation. Vendors and sponsors alike are eager for you to touch, feel, try, review and write about their products. It’s not awkward at all they’re simply happy to make a connection with you.
Now what I was looking forward to was the red carpet and Nose to Nose Awards. As many of you know I love my fashion. So our Vegas ladies pulled out all the stops, donned the finest clothing, and took to the red carpet. There were drinks available and we all got to chat before heading into the ballroom for what was a beautiful and delicious dinner.
The awards were presented in a supportive atmosphere. Some of the awards were for best blog, best blog with a cause, and best blog design. To top this conference special awards given to local organizations. Noah’s Animal House walked away with a $2,000 cheque, pet oxygen masks donated to Henderson Fire, and Metro Police received K9 Armour. It was a special moment for all of our Vegas ladies in attendance being familiar with these organizations.
Blogpaws rocked Vegas and I think I’ve finally got over the Blogpaws hangover. It was a good hangover though where my head was full of information, connections, and fun memories….oh yeah I lost my voice too from laughing.
I’ve had my blog for a few years now and so has my friend Megan who owns Live Pant Play and due to attending Blogpaws two of our friends have already started their own blogs. Cheryl Prater created Cheryl’s Shouts and Amy Rouse started Furever Friends Las Vegas. Collectively we’re growing our voice for animal welfare in Las Vegas and you can’t beat that.
I’m lucky once again in that Blogpaws 2015 is heading to Nashville and it’s the city I lived in for five years. So this is a wonderful opportunity to go back and see friends, and once again enjoy Blogpaws…who knows I may win an award or two..wink wink! At the very least have a cocktail or two.
Sam ~ The Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll Dogs
Listen live Saturdays 10am PST http://vegasallnetradio.com/Shows/Vegas-Rock-Dog-Radio