I’m home from a whirlwind trip to San Diego for BlogHer! This was my first time to attend BlogHer, an annual convention of 3,000 bloggers, most who are women or write for women. I’d followed the activities of BlogHer closely last year when it was held in New York and really wanted to attend so, when the opportunity came last week to go to BlogHer11 in San Diego, I started packing!
As you remember, earlier this year John and I attended the super Behind the Paw Influencer Summit, a group of pet bloggers who visited the offices of Eukanuba and Iams and talked to all the experts behind the science of their foods, everyone from veterinarians to nutritionists to animal behaviorists. For this event, Eukanuba and Iams sponsored several pet bloggers, picking us up at the airport on Thursday first to visit the incredible Helen Woodward Animal Center . We’ll be bringing you LOTS more about this center and its president, Mike Arms, in coming posts. Next, we headed to the San Diego offices of Canine Companions for Independence, an amazing group that provides people with disabilities assistance dogs free of charge. We’ll be bringing you photos from our tour of that super facility this week.
Thursday night, we picked up our registration materials at BlogHer11 and walked the Expo floor. There’s an amazing variety of brands at this show but most aren’t pet-oriented…but are certainly ones that pet families use, from paper towels to cleaners. At first, I had to tackle the shyness that always overcomes me at these events and really work to go up to all the booths. Then I got into it and had a lot of fun talking with the companies…and getting some great swag like custom fit insoles from Dr. Scholl’s that will be great for dog walking…
The next day, I attended some sessions; I got some excellent tips on making a media kit at one (watch for a new media kit here on DogTipper!) Then it was off to a Birds of a Feather Lunch for pet bloggers hosted by Dr. V from Pawcurious. Along with the group I’d flown in with (Rachel from Preston Speaks, Joanne from The Tiniest Tiger, Pam from The Daily Oskar and Pet Blogs United, Karen from Mousebreath, and hosts Bev and Jen from Iams and Eukanuba), we met up with Susi from KnobNots and KnobNotes and Tom and Yvonne, co-founders of BlogPaws (where we’ll be soon!)
Our table was topped with flat pets, many made by Bev from Iams. The flat pets were like magnets and so many people came over to check them out and tell us about their pets. They even caught the eye of Emily from Cheezburger.com; we knew her by email, having recently run a giveaway of their new book, but hadn’t met in person before the luncheon!
Suddenly as we got ready to sit down, Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory” broke out and women started dancing in the middle of the dining area. Here and there throughout the huge banquet facility, women broke into dance. I wondered how they all knew the same dance steps…then finally realized it was a flash mob. (My first flash mob…obviously I need to step away from the computer a little more often…)
After lunch, I went to another session then met up with the pet bloggers group over at the Hilton for “Puppies and Cuppies,” part two of the Birds of a Feather event. Carmen from The Honest Kitchen was there; she’s another person I had known from email but not in person! Recently we reviewed several products from The Honest Kitchen so it was great to meet her in person.
That evening, our group went to a working dinner at a wonderful seafood restaurant on the waterfront. It’s located next to the “Unconditional Surrender” statue which commemorates the famous Alfred Eisenstaedt photo of the sailor kissing a nurse at the end of World War II.
Saturday was a day of more sessions and time on the Expo floor talking with the various brands. I had the chance to get my photo taken with several celebrities like the famous “Sun” in the Jimmy Dean commercials (who happily told me about his mixed breed dog at home):
…and the Swiffer guy…
…and the Pine Sol lady!
But these were my favorite celebrities at the show. This is Elaina, the ambassador for CCI. She’s a Lab/Golden Retriever mix…
…and this tiny beauty is Yahtzee, an eight-week-old terrier blend up for adoption from Helen Woodward Animal Center!
Saturday night, our group headed to the top of the Hyatt Manchester for a quick dinner and to enjoy the fireworks over the bay then Sunday morning I was off to the airport. It was a fun trip and a great chance to talk with fellow pet lovers and enjoy the world’s best weather in San Diego. It was about 30 degrees hotter when I stepped off the plane in Austin but just outside baggage, John, Irie, and Tiki were all waiting in the car for me! I think they’d missed me almost as much as I missed them. There’s no place like home!
Disclosure: My trip to BlogHer11 was sponsored by Eukanuba and Iams. I was not paid and all opinions and statements are my own.