The BlogPaws® Experience – wow! We have been asked “what was it like at BlogPaws as International Ambassador” a lot recently, and Mum is happy to update our BlogPaws series. We have tips, and pictures from the Conference in her own words…..
Thanks Miranda, OK where to start about our Blogpaws experience….
From the moment Paul (Dash Kitten Crew’s dad) and I arrived, we got a warm welcome. I have to say though, that any blogger who came on their own would not feel lonely! We all know blogs – so we have a heaven sent introduction to everyone we meet. People from the other side of my world came up with warm hugs, cheerful smiles and introductions to other bloggers, and I would like to thank Emily, the Kitties Blue family and Kitties Blue Mom for being so welcoming at the start.
The hotel staff were helpful and very attentive. They knew ther climate, and how people forget to hydrate when visiting Arizona, so bottles of water were constantly available. As the heat was intense, this was an essential part of the service. The hotel itself was amazing. It was decorated with native American Indian painting, artifacts and furniture of the highest quality. The hotel even kept you fit as it was quite a walk to our room – but there was an ice dispenser on every floor!
After settling in, and admiring the view, Paul (Dash Kitten Crew’s dad) and I registered and got our fabled kitty Swag Bag. The sponsors were very generous and we collected a considerable amount of cat food, treats and generous vouchers for free bags of cat food. This we could not take home, much I would have loved to (the Dash Kitten Crew have never tasted Weruva!) so we gifted them to our friend Savannah’s rescue Kitty Corner. As we had two Swag Bags we brought some items home and are able to host a mini giveaway in our next post.
- Today is we introduce you to a special friend in complimentary medicine, and some of our fabulous sponsors. The sponsors were happy to talk ‘international’ and made a trip to the Exhibitors Hall a fun experience.
Meeting Our First Friend, a great part of our Blogpaws experience !
Wherever you went, you looked out of windows at the sunshine, and could almost forget it was about C44/F112. I was glad that we were inside and making arrangements to meet with Deanna S Smith, author of a series of complimentary medicine books on Animal Acupressure. Deanna lives not far from the Wild Horse Pass resort and we were thrilled to have an opportunity to meet up. She is @DobutsuSatori on Twitter.
Deanna I discovered through our Twitter chats, lives nearby. She offered to give a brief demonstration of acupressure if I could find a volunteer pet. Dog blogger Bunny and her dog Carma Poodale were our volunteers for the demonstration and it was fascinating to have a guide through many of the points that are covered in her books.
We will be reviewing ‘The Cat’ volume soon. It was an exciting start to our BlogPaws experience!
I met my fellow ambassadors as I explored the conference venue – and I can tell you that Blogpaws did their attendees proud with the range of facilities available.
One of our duties was to welcome the sponsors and let them know how much we appreciated their support. As we love meeting people this was one of the best parts of the conference for us. All of the sponsors are there to meet you, the bloggers, to get to know you, and introduce you to their products. Here you make real friends for mutually beneficial working relationships!
Meet some of the most visionary companies we spoke to at Blogpaws
We were delighted to meet Addiction, their kibble is one of the Dash Kitten Crew’s essential foods and is made here in NZ. Addiction also available in the USA – for dogs and cats, and we can verify the fabulous range personally! You can read about their ethical sustainability and natural vision here.
Weruva who sponsored the busy coffee stand are a dynamic family company, proudly manufacturing in the USA. They are people of vision whose aim is your pet’s health. Their website is a lot of fun, and you must meet the staff!
Stand-out company Gingerlead is one you must check out, especially if you have or know someone with a dog who has mobility issues. We love their Support and Rehabilitation Harness – a stunning idea, and one we are investigating for use with cats! Look forward to a review soon!
Finally, we were impressed with WhiskerDocs – a visionary company who aim to fill one of the gaps they see in our pet care regime – deciding if you need to make that vet visit.
Our Essential Tips to make your own Blogpaws Experience a good one
- Go up to sponsors and say hello – they love it!
- Nervous? Have one sentence ready – try “It’s good to see you… I’m XX from XX blog – I have or haven’t tried your food/product yet….”
- Don’t stress about your Elevator Speech if you are scared – say who you are and your blog – the rest can come out as you chat.
- If you have any questions, never be afraid to ask… it’s why the sponsors are at Blogpaws.
- Join in the fun!
- Thank them if they sponsored a particular event. We love Weruva not only are the fun, they sponsored the FABulous coffee stand!
OK, I don’t know about you but we need a rest now! Thanks Mum for the report! We aim to have our next “Meet the Bloggers’ post up at the end of this week
The Journey to BlogPaws Started Here.
Travelling to Blogpaws must be on every sensible pet bloggers wish list – to meet, network and learn.
We believe it is important for us to share the impact that the USA and BlogPaws made on us, and our blogging future at DashKitten.
In our first post we are sharing travelling tales, first impressions, and how we coped in a country much larger than New Zealand. This post may take a while – we are writing for the readers who are following our dreams (not the goldfish of our nightmares)!
Fun while Travelling to Blogpaws
We started with fun and games at Wellington Airport security. The bears made us smile and serve a positive purpose. Visitors on their way home can give their small change to charity. It’s good to know that even the fearsome security people have a heart!
When travelling overseas, security in airports is very tight and you may be asked to unpack a handbag or rucksack for something they don’t recognise. The staff are always serious and respectful and we did our best to be helpful and friendly.
The security check-in is a high pressure time while travelling, we took a breath then another….. With our final destination in mind our attitude was ‘Let’s do this‘ and ‘BlogPaws here we come!‘.
Travelling to Blogpaws pre-flight tips
International flying is never easy, often boring, cramped and very tiring. Some things to consider ……..
- Before you go. Pack your case, then take half the stuff out – You. Will. Not. Need. It.
- Pack for the climate you are visiting – not the one you are leaving. Layers are always good.
- Mum and dad did this:- Wellington-Sydney, overnight in Oz, then Sydney-LA-Phoenix. Making the ‘long’ flight 13.5 hours = sort of boring; rather than two flights continuously – 22 hours = VERY boring.
- TREAT TIP Allow yourself a treat in the Duty Free on the way out, this is what gets Mum through the gates and past the long check in. Baileys! Chocolate! Magazines!
- Allow plenty of time to check in and clear security. Queues can be literally hundreds of people long but they do move pretty fast.
- Take a breath, pace yourself and try to take hold-ups in your stride.
- Each airport has its own electronic security with different hoops for travellers to jump through. Patience is key – keep going and, suddenly, you are there! In the USA and doing your best to make the Immigration staff smile at 7 a.m. (We did!)
- Remember your ultimate goal BLOGPAWS awaits!
Travelling to Blogpaws Tips for the flight
- These tips apply year in – year out OK?
- Take earphones in case your airline doesn’t provide them.
- The noise on a plane is surprisingly loud, so invest in quality silicone earplugs, or noise cancelling headphones, both make a big difference.
- Try to nap and enjoy the films on offer. A movie helps pass a lot of time.
- Drink lots of water and walk every few hours. Yes it matters.
- The wine is pretty good to!
What happens when you stop travelling to Blogpaws!
We had a LOT of fun at Los Angeles Airport- LAX for short! We had ‘alarums and excursions’ when someone ahead of us went the way a friendly sign told him to, and set off numerous alarms ? Cue the arrival of men in uniform and the sign was hastily removed. LAX is also trying hard to ensure those with connecting flights are sent on their way quickly – it’s a great idea and when the kinks are ironed out it will be awesome.
After baggage checks, security checks and immigration checks we arrived ‘for real’ in the USA and headed for our local flight to Phoenix and BlogPaws. This flight was more fun than any comedy show! There was a waiting list of over 30 people on standby, lots of people milling around, and, if you had not checked in you could lose your seat fast! One man was called, and Called and CALLED…. We reckon he was a relative of someone at American Airlines as he didn’t lose his spot!
Arriving at BlogPaws
We gave ourselves plenty of time to get over jetlag, adding extra days before Blogpaws. This gave us valuable ‘down time’ to recover and find our American ‘feet’.
We had time for local exploring in Scottsdale, and discovered that golf buggies are a cool way of getting to lots of local places, and, stopping by the local AT&T shop for a GoPhone Sim card. AT&T were super helpful in getting our phones online in the USA. We also discovered that Arizona is HUGE absolutely and amazingly huge and things are, sometimes, very VERY far apart!
Finally, we thought you might like to see a bit more of Arizona so here’s a mini movie. we just wish it had ‘Heat-O-Vision’ so you could feel the intense high summer heat. Maybe you can just imagine C40/F104 …. OK? Welcome to Arizona (56 secs)https://player.vimeo.com/video/174613467