by Yvonne DiVita, BlogPaws Co-Founder
We heard from a lot of people at this year's BlogPaws Social Media Marketing Conference that it was the best ever! We're blushing from all the praise! Thank you to everyone who attended and who took a few minutes to stop by and say hello as I was running hither and yon!
Back at the BlogPaws corporate offices, deep in Colorado – yes, we are near the fires but not so close that we are in danger – we're winding down.
Here's a sneak peek into what happens those 2-3 weeks following a BlogPaws conference:
1. Traveling home is always tough. We are usually still flying high. "Did you talk to…this person or that person?" we'll ask each other. "Did you get to taste…this food or that food?" And more. We really are very much like the rest of you – even though we spend a whole year planning the conference, when we're in the thick of it, we're often surprised by all the fun and excitement! And, mixed in with all the memories of what happened at the current BlogPaws, we begin planning the next year's event! Oh yeah!
2. We get home. We look at the surveys as they come in. We check our notes. We read emails. We take phone calls. We read blog posts. Planning for the next year goes into full swing.
3. We discuss other ways to serve our community. Many of you have suggestions about what we can do for you – "you" being the pet community devoted to and in service to our pets and animals worldwide. We take each suggestion seriously. We discuss and weigh the opportunities and create our follow-up lists. We love each and every communication.
4. We look at last year's business plan and we talk about what we did right and what we need to improve on. BlogPaws is a media company – we are working on behalf of you, our community members. When brands contact us, we get back to them within 24 hours (unless something happens – like, our Internet acting buggy -or Mars being in retrograde – know what I mean?). One important thing that is apparent to us is that we are a small blip on the radar of the universe – and yet, we get attention. Of course, WE is the entire community. YOU and the brands we work with and the people who have pets but are not "pet bloggers" and many, many more folks with a dedication to animal care. To that end, we exist to bring brands and bloggers (and micro-bloggers) together. How to do that and be effective is a continuing challenge.
5. While we're doing all of the above, we're also looking at our effectiveness online. We are working to redesign the website. That's a major undertaking, as you all know. Be patient with us.
6. As we redesign the site, we also have an eye on the community. How can we make it better? How can we make it more engaging and interactive? What do our members really want? Tell us what you would like – we will do our best to make it happen, if we can.
7. At the conference, we neglected to introduce two important team members – Carol Bryant (from Fidose of Reality) our new PR Manager, and Kristin Dewey (aka Cokie the Cat), our Special Projects Manager. These two fantastic women have been helping, behind the scenes mostly, to bring the best conference and other events to you – and we would like to not only thank them, but make sure you know they are a big part of everything you see happening at BlogPaws.
8. BlogPaws will be announcing the RFP for 2013 – to begin planning topics and speakers. Do you think YOU have a great idea for a session? Begin putting it together – in outline form, with your background and expertise. When we announce the official RFP, you'll be ready to submit!
9. We also want to thank our POPs. Our Paws on Patrol were everywhere this year. We thank them for the great jobs they did talking with sponsors, helping newbies, and just showing that BlogPaws cares about all of our attendees. And, along with the POPs, we send a gigantic hug to our event planners, DBD Events – the best group of planners ever! So many of you told us what a great job they were doing, we hope you'll Like their Facebook page and mention them in posts.
10. As we plan for 2013, we hope you're also planning. Tysons Corner, VA is an easy place to drive to – from many places. If you begin now – if you put your 'egg' money in a jar (or the bank) a little at a time, you'll have more than enough to get to BlogPaws 2013. It's also not too early to start considering a road trip with a group. Imagine 2-3-4 cars of BlogPaws bloggers traveling together – over the miles and one or two days of travel – to get to the top pet blogging conference in the world! How amazing would that be? (brands – if you're reading this – YOU could sponsor something like that! It would be tremendous! Interested? We should talk… now, not later!)
There is a lot of activity going on at BlogPaws corporate headquarters. This just brushes the surface. The BlogPaws team is so appreciative of all the attendees and brands who took the time to be a part of our conference this year. We will see all of you next year. And, some of you before then!
Have a great weekend
p.s. MUCH thanks to Bev Van Zandt for organizing and carrying out the Flat Pet Chaos flash mob! If you were there – you know what I mean. If you weren't – well, you missed it in person, but I hope you saw it on the live-streaming! It was out of this world fantastic! w00t!