Surviving Hurricane Irene, Navigating BlogPaws 2011 and My Biggest Secret Ever
How I survived Hurricane Irene, navigated BlogPaws 2011 as a threepeat attendee while keeping the biggest secret of my life.
When PEDIGREE sponsored my first attendance at BlogPaws in Ohio, I was over the moon. The pet blogging conference had great keynote speakers, lots of fellow animal lovers and I couldn't get enough of the informative sessions. Fast forward to last week, and this time forget the moon you could have launched me into orbit around the sun!
First of all, I live in San Francisco. I have lived through and slept through more earthquakes, tremors and after shocks than I can remember. Our hotel location for the conference was Vienna, VA. Honestly most of my time was spent in windowless rooms so I didn't even notice the weather. Being from California, and choosing wisely, I was fortunate to have a husband who didn't text me repeatedly with his worries about what was being reported by the Weather Channel. Many who stayed used the wacky weather reporting as a model to create dramatic Hurricane Irene videos.
The folks who brought their pets and had to take them out to "do their business" had the worst time of it in my book. Cleo does not like to pee in the rain. The puppy pads that were in the conference swag bag probably never made it home for some whose dog didn't want to get a wet butt outside, or they were afraid the dog would blog away in the wind.
Biggest Secret Ever
Now that the cat (or dog) is out of the bag, I can tell you that keeping my mouth closed about being in Issue 6 of LIFE+DOG Magazine, with the gorgeous Jordin Sparks cover was the hardest thing I've ever done.
Brett Chisholm, LIFE+DOG publisher shares my passion for illustrating how dogs make our lives better. He understands the value of sharing stories of how dogs demonstrate the Grouchy Puppy motto "Give Fearlessly and Influence Positively". When Brett recognized that San Francisco is the perfect location to expand the magazine's reach, and offered me the role of Editor-at-large, I wanted to tell everyone I knew.
During the conference there were close calls, including when I almost spilled the beans to dear friends, Carol from FIDO Friendly and Kim from Be the Change for Animals.
I hope you will check out LIFE+DOG online and subscribe to this incredible lifestyle magazine! They will guide you through modern living with man's best friend.
Well you can't say Yvonne, Tom and Caroline don't know how to make a pet blogging conference exciting. Check out the BlogPaws highlights on their site and the photos we posted on Facebook. I can imagine there must be some folks out there who wished they had not cancelled their attendance, and others who kick themselves for leaving early. If you stayed then you know the sessions were worth navigating your way to and through.
I have to thank PEDIGREE again for sponsoring our attendance. In the middle of a storm, there were many people who care passionately about pets having meaningful conversations. The team of sponsored bloggers spoke to many about the #DogsRule gear that supports the Pedigree Foundation.
All of us who had been to the previous BlogPaws enjoyed the keynote speakers once again. Having Joe Panz and Anthony "Bigg Ant" from Rescue Ink open the conference on Friday morning was perfect. Like Mike Arms before them, they spoke directly and from the heart about being a voice for animals, and the importance of doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do.
Having Heidi Ganahl from Camp Bow Wow speak on Saturday was incredibly light and inspirational. Again, a perfect speaker for a day when hurricane force winds were expected later that evening. She kept us laughing and enjoying her stories about creating such a successful franchise for our buddies - so they could have a day away at camp.
Will I return for a fourth BlogPaws in Salt Lake City? If they ask me, yes. If it is up to me, probably. June 2012 is a ways away on my calendar but given how much excitement happened at my third conference, I'm kind of hooked. Each and every conference has been very different so I'm very curious about the next one.
After I unpack my swag box (thank you PEDIGREE for shipping this back home for me!) you will see more posts about what happened during the conference and what lessons or tips make sense to pass along. September is back to school time. And expect to see my dog Cleo inspecting and reporting her opinion on all of it!