My second BlogPaws report is ready.
Today, I hope to capture some of the flavours of the exhibition hall, and the friendships that Dash Dad (Paul) and I renewed and the new friends we met for the first time. But first, a weird picture that makes sense when you watch the video.
The ‘Morning Building’ picture? You need to watch the video to see what that is all about!
It is hard to capture the whole exciting event in a single post, although I know plenty are trying, just like me. Previously I introduced you all to Kansas City here, and how much we enjoyed the warmest of American welcomes. The mid-West, much decried and dismissed, provided a tremendous backdrop for the premier blogger conference for pet people – BlogPaws.
Meeting the Product Influencers
Our exploration and BlogPaws report started earlier than we expected with a sneak peek at the brands as they were setting up.
These people are expert at setting up their stands in a short space of time. Things looked bare, then suddenly a booth was up, in place and packed with products. That takes skill.
So much of the work is done so quickly! Kudos to all of the sponsors and brands for making the booths reflect their aims and goals. I can remember people like Humerian, and Meowjiuana simply by closing my eyes. A valuable lesson for pet blogs – right? Are you that memorable? It certainly made me decide to sit down and think about how Dash Kitten looks in 2018.
We met some weird and wonderful characters as well as plenty of helpful representatives ready, even half set up, to say hello and welcome.
Everyone from top pet blogs to absolute newbies started to sneak in to see the preparations. It is almost as exciting as seeing the Exhibition Hall in all its final glory! The end result? An Exhibition Hall that dazzled and excited us all.
Then it was time for the opening welcome event where we said really started to meet friends. We put names to faces and hoped we wouldn’t miss anyone we wanted to see. That is a major issue, even at a conference as specialised as BlogPaws, and I ended up trying hard to catch up with some of the people on my ‘must see list’.
The list included Susan Nation of Talent Hounds (to talk video), and Teri Thorstein to catch up about her lovely cats, and because she is a true BlogPaws person. Kim Kozlowski and the enchanting Dori from Wonderpurr, Cori and Connie of AvertingCATastrophe.
One of the great things about the gorgeous cat swag bag was the fabulous cat food from brands. We could not take our cat food home (darn it!) so we gladly donated it to Cori when we met Stormie and Smudge the gorgeous kittens.
The Brands You Want to Meet at BlogPaws
But, I’m getting ahead of myself! I hope you can watch the short BlogPaws video at the top of the post. It was a lot of fun to make as I am trying out my new ScreenFlow software. I will be using ScreenFlow for my Newbie Movie Making for the Terrified course in a couple of months. NOTE: If you can’t see the video at the top of the post I will be adding it at the end of this report.
- Top of every cat blogger’s list was the Cat Lounge. The products Kate Benjamin showcases at HausPanther take your breath away. Her discerning eye discovers the most talented designers, the most creative cat artists and the most inspiring cat products. She has no equal and her presence was missed. We all wish Kate well and hope she is there in person at the next big BlogPaws event. Blogpaws report
One thing I learned from the many tips cascading from the BlogPaws blog before the conference was ‘Plan who you want to meet‘. Cat influencers, dog influencers and bloggers of all species needed to be prepared. The number of brands was almost overwhelming so keeeping your focus was vital.
I am glad I had my list ready. Seriously good quality food brands, influencer marketing platforms, cat toy developments, and the latest in pet health all clamoured for the pet blogger’s attention. There were also affiliate opportunities that would allow us to expand our influencer networks in new directions.
I wanted to meet the Viagen people and get their input for a major post on cloning. It is cutting edge stuff but made much more friendly by the sweet @IPartywithBruceWayne puppies. Then I wanted to quiz the Humerian people on their pet probiotics. This is an unfamiliar area for many readers, so Humerian were ‘must meet for me’.
Our friends at the Helen Woodward Animal Centre were the first people I really REALLY wanted to meet! In fact, I found Marcie in the lift with people between us so I had to visit them as soon as I could after that.#Pet #Influencers rock into the world's premiere #blogging conference.Click To Tweet
#RememberMeThursday is an important part of our blogging calendar now. It is also a huge part of our Twitter life in the run-up to the day itself – 27th of September 2018. Marcie and the HWAC loved my movie specially created for #RememberMeThursday 2017 so to meet Marcie, as their Twitter ‘voice’ was special.
I was also excited to be interviewed for the Humarian podcast by Dr. Benzinger, CEO of Humarian. It was a lot of fun and the experience gave me insight into how podcasting works ‘ for real’. I enjoyed the podcasting session from Fadra Nally as a result of my interview. I am now saving up for my first good microphone! Watch out world DashKitten The Podcast will soon be here!
It was not all serious business! I adored meeting the wonderful Meowjiuana people. They got top marks for having the best blogger ready handout custom made for BlogPaws. Not only was it packed with information for cat bloggers, but they also had ready-made quotes and a list of Need-2-Knows. They made sure the cat influencers will be ready to review their pawsome ‘nip, toys and sprays.
- [Confession I didn’t bring ‘nip back to NZ! I did bring a ‘Nip Rainbow and Catnip spray so of course the cats will review it!]
As a video creative, I was thrilled to be able to show the Weruva staff our Finalist video of Dusty. It features a cool shot of their t-shirt from Phoenix BlogPaws two years ago. How many of you remember that one? The staff even took a picture of it to show their boss! So. the lesson here for us cat bloggers? Keep experimenting with your videos, keep exploring. We were Pet Video Finalists because we kept going in spite of beginner frustrations until we made our break through.
Don’t believe the t-shirt story? Check out the video and see!
Meeting Friends and Fellow Pet Bloggers at BlogPaws
The most thrilling moment for me was meeting my blogging and Twitter friends. Especially Connie, and Cori Stanley from AvertingCATastrophe, Herman Tattlecat’s mom Kim Kozlowski, and Katherine Kern MommaKat to Bear and Ellie.
Kim and Kat both do humour so well. Kim is the gifted writer behind Wonderpurr home of the famous Sherlock Herms adventures, and we can now read ‘Tuesdays with Dori’. I just can’t do funny that well, I wish I could. Besides, how many cats can really deliver ‘Purple Underpants’? Yes, really, check the Wonderpurr sidebar….
Any blogger going to BlogPaws will tell you that a real highlight is meeting the people you already know, so meeting Sharlene, mom to @TweetingTruman was fun. We have been Twitter friends for a long time, so to meet Truman’s mom was fabulous. She is such an inspiration, getting a new blog organised for Truman, dazzling us with Truman’s growing following on Instagram and Truman won the Purple SleepyPod in the Cat Lounge.
BlogPaws Blogger Planning
One of the bloggers I need to shout out is Jodi from Kol’s Notes. She is a planning maven and inspired so many aspiring blogging planners to get a handle on their content schedules for the coming year. She actually brought me my very own Happy Planner and on 1st May 2018 my planning adventure began. I think Jodi might have fainted when I reported that planner shipping to NZ was around $54US. The planner may need a post of its own so keep your eyes open!
The Warmest Welcome
Finally, two pictures that encapsulate BlogPaws this year for me. BlogPaws Ambassador Jenise of Happy-Go-Doodle and her family, and inspiring guide to so many bloggers of every species, Carol Bryant of FidoseOfReality. Carol persisted when I said I couldn’t figure out Pinterest. Now I enjoy it and am learning its finer points. #WIN
Both made me feel at home, included and relevant when I had come halfway around the world to be at BlogPaws. Their warm welcome and their inspiring words meant I came home encouraged, with hope and determination to do even better this coming year.
I will also say that I love the mid-West. The people must be the friendliest in the USA. Nothing was too much trouble, help was always available, even from perfect strangers. Kansas City is one place I loved to pieces!
Finishing up at BlogPaws
The Dash Kitten Crew and I learned a lot at this year’s conference. We made valuable connections, were inspired by our cat blogging friends and have enough blogging material to keep us busy for months (and months!) The blog continues to grow and develop and we have so much to teach people about movies, and about developments in cat technology and health. We hope that the new regime under Chewy will carry on the good work of helping and enhance the quality of blogs across the globe. The excellent outgoing team have left rock solid foundations for them to build upon.
I think 2018 is going to be a busy year!