We all know what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas – BUT when you to go to Las Vegas for a BlogPaws conference, you can’t wait to get home and tell everyone what you saw, who you met and what pet celebs were there. I traveled to BlogPaws 2014 alone, leaving my furbaby at home. I knew there would be other furry friends there but I didn’t quite see how it could be an effective learning and networking environment with me worrying about where and when his next potty break was. Boy was I wrong! BlogPaws thought of everything – outdoor doggie daycare, grassy areas, a venue that was attached to the hotel and plenty of breaks for walks and meet-ups.
The three reasons to go to BlogPaws are to finally put a face on that fabulous dog blogger you follow; to meet brands just as concerned with the welfare of our furbabies as we are; and to travel to a wonderful place, fully immersing yourself into the pet blog world.
First, the people. The people were amazing. Never have I been to a conference where so many like-minded individuals were in one place. I never felt unwelcome or out-of-place - Everyone was accepting and eager to learn, as well as willing to share their knowledge. From products to rescues to the techy part of the biz, everyone was a joy to talk with.
Meeting Sugar the Golden Retriever and Emma from My GBGV Life were tops on my list. I am a regular visitor to their blogs and meeting these adorable pups in person made my day. I also had the privilege of talking with Melanie from the ROUS foundation. She is very passionate about capybara education and time flew by as I learned about this extra large, extra adorable, rodent.
Samantha Ratcliffe from Vegas Rock Dog, was a wonderful source of information on the struggles the Vegas rescue community has with the animal population as well as how the shelter operates. Bryce and Jennifer Henderson of Go Vegas Dog told me about their vision for a no-kill Las Vegas and how they are working with the numerous rescue organizations to make that dream a reality. And Cheryl Prater explained how she has affected the movement by becoming a voice within the community. Together, these three were a trifecta of information on local dogs, rescues and “their” Las Vegas.
There were so many others who welcomed me to my first BlogPaws conference and I could honestly go on and on about who was there and what impact they had on my understanding of this wonderful group. It was a pleasure meeting each of you!
Next, the one-on-one time with brands. BlogPaws offered a great opportunity to see what new things were happening in the pet world and even offered opportunities to connect with up-and-coming brands, getting in with them on the ground level. I met with pawTree and learned about their innovative approach to pet food. With custom food blends and a variety of other pet care products, their in-home sales approach is one that has never been tried in the pet market and it will be exciting to see how they evolve as a premier pet company.
And finally, the venue. The hotel, The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa, was absolutely gorg! It has plenty of areas outside for relaxing or chatting with other blogger friends. The terrace had lovely fireplaces and fountains. Two pools, a lake for dog swimming and plenty of water activities made it hard to know what to do next. It was perfect.
All in all, if you have yet to attend a BlogPaws conference, I strongly encourage it. Don't be worried if you travel alone - you will find new friends quickly. You never know who you will meet...