by Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com
A couple of years ago I heard of this pet industry conference called ‘Bark World‘ and at first glance I thought it was just another trade show, but after doing some digging and looking into their website, I was intrigued. I have been to many pet industry events, aside from the ones I host for Long Island Pet Professionals (LIPP), and at each event I always walk away with new knowledge, a new connection, and something to bring back to our members of LIPP. Every industry event, trade show, or conference has always been super helpful in one way or another – and I love being able to share more knowledge that I learned with my networking group. So needless to say I could not wait to go to Bark World to see what the social media and petworking conference was all about, you know in Atlanta!
From the moment I stepped onto the party limo bus with other petworkers, that was a free ride from the Atlanta airport, (which btw, New York needs to seriously step up their game with airports – Atlanta was a beautiful, futuristic and super simple airport to navigate), to the pet friendly Westin Buckhead Hotel- thanks to Bayer for sponsoring that ride to Bark World – I knew this was going to be a great event. Everyone on the bus was super friendly and seemingly as excited to be there.
Upon arriving at registration for Bark World we were greeted with smiles and a large swag bag loaded with items from the sponsors of the event. And this was not the first or last swag bag or the 2 day event – there was so many things given away by the Bark World sponsors that I literally could not fit everything in my luggage for my return trip.
On Thursday night there was a Halloween party for the guests of the event and many pets dressed up too.
Friday morning kicked off with an opening keynote intro and then we all headed into the seminars – which were fantastic. I could not take notes fast enough or ask enough questions, the dept of the speakers and knowledge was really inspiring. I still have not wrapped my head around a lot that I learned there, mainly due to hurricane Sandy ripping through the north east and especially hitting Long Island, Staten Island, and NJ. I came back from Bark World late Saturday night, and Sunday was hurricane prep and Monday we got hit. And if you were affected in anyway by the superstorm, you know how heartbreaking, worrisome and distracting to focus on anything but try to help those affected. But now, I am finally taking a moment to look at my notes and reach out to those that checked in on us here on LI (see amazing connections already made across the country!), I am diving into the information.
A few seminars really stand out for me and have totally inspired me to do more – and that in and of itself was so worth the trip. As an entrepreneur sometimes working on your own can get really, well unmotivated – so thank you to all the speakers who put their time and effort – you all inspired me in one way or another! But one of the funniest and mind boggling seminars, (in terms of how far we have come on social media), was the Hashtag Revolution given by Twitter’s very own Brent Herd. (@brentherd) Really fascinating. Still not on twitter? What are you crazy? Lol, follow me @LIPetPros I got so much info from each seminar, you should check out who the speakers and key notes were too.
I was really impressed with how well everything ran, how friendly all the Bark World staffers were, and what a great job Denise Quashie, the Founder of Bark World Expo, did – not to mention her adorable dog Frankie Beans too! I am hoping to go back to Bark World next year too – along with a lot of other great conferences throughout the year – for me Bark World will be a keeper – and if you are a pet blogger, pet writer or in the pet industry – this event is one to put in your calendars. Next year I hope to stay longer and explore the ATL more – was a beautiful city as we drove through it.
It is great to be at an event with so many friendly, like minded individuals that are happy to be meeting each other and sharing their knowledge with you. Petworking baby, petworking!
Check out the slide show below this adorable dog of the many pictures I took of Bark World!