BarkWorld Expo is a social “petworking” conference covering all facets of social media, pet lifestyle & business education for pet lovers. The 2011 event was held from September 29 to October 1 in Atlanta, GA.
I arrived in Atlanta on Thursday afternoon in time for the welcome reception. The pet friendly event was held at the Hotel Indigo, and I met lots of “old” friends from last year’s event and also many new friends.
Friday morning began with a keynote presentation by Ted Rheingold, Founder of Dogster, Inc. Ted talked about the development of Dogster.com and how the company eventually grew to include Catster.com, Snuzzy.com, The Vet Blog and more.
The first session I attended was “Poop There It Is!” In this session, Stephanie Miles of WebMD and Melissa Halliburton of BringFido.com discussed the types of information that pet owners are looking for online.
Next was a panel discussion featuring pet brands and pet bloggers. Diane Silver of To Dog With Love, Rachel Phelps of Preston Speaks, Seth Anderson of Greenies, and Bev VanZant of Iams discussed how pet bloggers can pitch their blog to companies for product reviews and sponsorship.
After the panel discussion, Victoria Stilwell, star of Animal Planet’s It’s Me or the Dog, gave a keynote presentation. She discussed her own passion for positive dog training and also gave tips on how animal lovers can leverage social media tools to promote their brands and causes they believe in.
By this time, I was missing my cats so I went to “How to Keep Your Kitty Cat Audience Purring for More”. This session was presented by Lisa Illman of Kritters That Twitter, who discussed topics for engaging your community, using videos in your blog, and developing your reputation in the cat blogging community. Although there were no live kitties in the room, I did manage to pet a few flat cats!
The final session I attended that day was “Creating Pawsome Content for Online” presented by Jelena Woehr of Yahoo! Contributor Network. Jelena walked the group through how to create online content that engages the reader using the Yahoo! Style Guide. It was a great presentation, but I will admit my favorite part was holding my pal Niqqi while her mom was in the front of the room with Jelena.
The day ended with closing remarks and raffle giveaways. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of going up to my room and missed the opportunity to see my very first flash mob! I guess that’s what I get for working in my room instead of staying until the very end.
In the evening, we visited Uptown Pups, a new pet boutique in Atlantic Station. It’s a great little shop with lots of products for dogs and dog lovers, and I was happy because I got to meet lots of new canine friends!
Photo of Niqqi and Bev VanZant (image via Niqqi)