There is so much to share…so much to the conference it’s impossible to get it all into one post. I’ve already written a bit about the sightseeing in Myrtle Beach pre-conference, about all the Cool Cats and Gear that were there, as well as a few favorite photos from early on. I tried to share on social media too, so you might have seen some of that if you follow us. Yet there’s still much more.
There was more sightseeing, classes where I learned a lot, inspiring keynote speakers, lots of dogs, brands with interesting products, and of course meeting many new and old blogging friends. I’ll hit a few more highlights and maybe even have more to share in future posts.
There was more than just the beach itself; we visited two other local sights. Broadway at the Beach is a collection of interesting sights, shops, and restaurants. Auntie Sheryl and I enjoyed a lot of walking, shopping, and had an excellent lunch.
We also visited Brookgreen Gardens (which I found out later is NOT pet friendly, though that wasn’t an issue for us since we were dog-less), where there was a small zoo and beautiful grounds with sculpture gardens. It was all very pretty, the zoo had sculptures of the different animals as well. My favorite was their limited time “Ribbit the Exhibit”, a collection of copper frogs by artist J. A. Cobb of North Carolina.
Both Kathleen Gage and Jay Baer, marketing strategists and consultants, were educational and inspiring. I was impressed with the way they could make their messages suited to pet blogging, and wove stories of their own pets into their speeches.
The truth is, most times BlogPaws COE (Chief of Everything) Chloe DiVita was speaking, she was very inspiring as well. All of her speeches made me want to do and be more, and proud to be a pet blogger and part of that community. BlogPaws and their partners gave away an amazing amount of money to different pet causes; local Myrtle Beach groups and many that were favorites of pet bloggers.
There are so many classes available on a wide range of subjects. It’s hard to pick and choose. I had two favorites: “What are you Worth in 2017? And How to Make Brands Believe It!”, taught by the lovely ladies from blogs A Dog Walks Into a Bar and Sarcastic Dog. I learned so much about what brands are looking for in blogs they want to work with, and I hope it will help me to be able to bring more new products to my readers.
On the technical side, “SEO for the Beginner”, taught by Jill Caren of 2 Dogs Media, was a very worthwhile class. Here I learned how to (hopefully) bring more traffic to my website.
At times it can be a bit overwhelming to know all the things I need to do better, but on the other hand, I feel more educated and equipped to handle it.
There are many, many brands at the conference, and I was searching for just a few that I felt would be a good fit for my pets and this blog. I found at least three that I will be pursuing, and I hope to be sharing these brands with you in the future!
Nom Nom Now – fresh, human grade dog food delivered right to your door.
Herbsmith – herbal supplements and healthy treats for your dogs and cats.
Treatibles – Hemp dog chews. I am very interested in the benefits of cannabinoids for dogs, especially when it comes to helping with anxiety and joint issues. This is becoming a big thing, and I have been wanting to learn more.
Last, but certainly not least, is meeting blogging friends (human and dog), old and new. I met quite a few this year that I did not meet in Nashville two years ago. There are too many to name, but I was happy when the conference was over that I got to meet most of the people I had hoped to. I have found out after the fact that I did miss some, but it’s tough! There are a lot of people there, and if you don’t know exactly what someone looks like, it can be easy to miss some. Socializing is not easy for me, but when you meet people that you have so much in common with, it makes it much easier.
For someone who had to leave her dogs at home, it was so important to me to be able to see lots of dogs at the conference and get some love and kisses! I could be seen stalking my favorite golden retrievers many times.
With so much going on, I honestly didn’t get all the photos I should have. I deliberately brought my good camera in the hopes of doing better, but still missed a lot! I imagine each conference you go to, you learn a bit more, and do things differently at the next. Since this was only my second conference, I’m still in that learning process!