This past weekend, I packed my bags, tried to fit my German shepherd into a suitcase (didn't work, he stayed home with dad), and headed off to Columbus, Ohio for the first (of many) BlogPaws conference. More than 250 pet bloggers, industry peeps, retailers, and just all-around pet fanatics gathered together for a day and a half of great speakers, panel discussions, learnin' time, networking, eating and partying (or pawty-ing if you will). It was a wonderful opportunity to meet with our online community of friends, resources and pet lovers. I made many new friends, had great conversations and...drumroll please...learned a lot!
BlogPaws 2010 took over the beautiful and historic (and of course pet-friendly) Westin Downtown with attendees from all over the country, coming together as one pet community. It was an impressive turn-out...the organizers did an amazing job getting everything together!
It was great to meet people face-to-face, given that as bloggers and web people, we are often hiding behind - or rather,in - our computers. Getting out there and putting faces to the sites and blogs I admire was awesome. It was great to meet the people behind sites like DogTipper.com, Thoughts Fur Paws, Dog Files, Life With Dogs, Scratchings & Sniffings, PetSide.com, Catster, Pet Finder and so many more. It was also great to meet and hear from some of the industry's most recognized names like Bissell, FURminator, FIDO Friendly Magazine, Purina, Del Monte and even Andrea Arden from Animal Planet's Underdog to Wonderdog show. I could go on and on, but it'd be almost impossible to list everyone I met and everything I was inspired by.
After reflecting on Saturday's full day of events, for me, it really all came down to a diverse group of people, doing different things with different goals in mind, but every one of us had at least one thing in common - the love of animals. Furry or not, dog or cat, ferret or guinea pig, writing as them or for them, adopting or advocating. Everyone's story is unique. Everyone had pets or photos of their pets to show off and share. All of us have a different voice and point of views, but one thing is for sure, we are all passionate about pets and leave a huge place in our hearts for them!
All in all, it was a wonderful weekend. Being surrounded by all those pet lovers was inspirational, uplifting and educational. I know that all the people I connected with share the enthusiasm for pets that BaxterBoo has and I look forward to the friendships and resources we will share in the future. I'm so happy I was able to go and I already can't wait for BlogPaws 2011. My vote is to hold in Denver!
4 paws in the air for BlogPaws!