|Cosmo and I hang with Ruff and Mews, the Petco mascots!|
If you haven't yet heard of BarkWorld, it's a special kind of social media conference for pet-related businesses, social influencers and pet owners. So whether you want to learn more about blogging or other forms of social media, connect with social influencers or learn about the latest in technology or lifestyle as it relates to pet owners, there's plenty to take in!
And don't let the silly photo, above, fool you! While there's plenty of fun at BarkWorld, it's also serious business for pet companies, animal rescue organizations and anyone who wants to connect with pet owners and pet-related businesses.
Since there's just not enough time to mention all the great speakers and sessions, here's a look at the all-star speaker lineup with folks like Brent Herd from Twitter and Matt Meeker from Meetup.com.
Now, here's a look at some of the highlights from our perspective!
BarkWorld kicked off with a Howl-O-Ween party and pet costume contest on Thursday night sponsored by Atlanta Dog Spa. Rick Rockhill from Natural Balance played a brilliant emcee as the swashbuckling pirate, above! The pets were the real stars of this show, so check back on Halloween and we'll show you more pics of adorable pets!
The next day was filled with educational sessions and presentations, including a cooking demonstration by the fabulous Amy Burkert from Go Pet Friendly and Kim Clune from This One Wild Life. Kim and Amy whipped up some tasty dishes using Honest Kitchen and had no trouble attracting an attentive crowd...
Cosmo and canine pal Fabulous McGrady, above, wait for a taste test, and were not disappointed.
Next, it was time for a quick break outside where Cosmo and Kona from K9Carryall see how their rides stack up to the new Ford Escape. I can't tell you how many times over the weekend I wished I had a handsfree tailgate like the one featured on the Escape.
Then, a quick meeting to compare notes with some great pals... it's Cosmo, Carma Poodale, Jasmine and Linus! Looks like a worthy representation of the Havanese - Poodle alliance!
During one of our outdoor breaks we met Wendy Santee from SirMacandLadyAlley.com. What's really cool is that Wendy and Cosmo are both lung cancer survivors. We wish for continued good health for both of them.
Wendy's pups Lady Alley, pup Jazzy Moon and Sir Mac look on during the photo shoot with their human and Cosmo!
We also were thrilled to meet Ginger Morgan from 2 Millon Dogs, the organization that is exploring the links between canine and companion animal cancers through comparative oncology research. One way to join in and help is to walk in one of the Puppy Up! Walks in a number of cities across the United States. Several walks will be happening next weekend, Nov. 3 and 4. To find one in your area, check here for the Puppy Up! Walk schedule.
Back inside the sessions continued. With so many good speakers, the most difficult part of BarkWorld was deciding which sessions to attend. Above, Kate Benjamin from Modern Cat and Jaime Derringer from Dog Milk talk about trends in modern pet lifestyle products, like the one's they feature on their blogs. If you haven't already, check out their blogs for some of the hippest products around.
Seeing old friends is another reason we love to attend BarkWorld. Above, Eldad Hagar, the famous rescuer of animals, shows how he's always thinking of the animals. Before I could dig out Cosmo's water bowl, Eldad offered up his own glass of water. Cosmo quickly took him up on it. (Hope no one from the hotel is watching!) And, by the way, the food was as good as it looks. Big kudos to the Westin Hotel in Buckhead (Atlanta) for hosting and to Denise Quashie for organizing a fabulous conference.
Friday night, the networking continued with a fun "Block Party" sponsored by Petco, Iams/Eukanuba, PetCareRX and Nutrish. Above, Cosmo, is surrounded by his pals Brett Chisolm from Life + Dog magazine, Kristine Tonks from Rescued Insanity, Kim Clune from This One Wild Life, Mel Hammonds from Fetching Images and photography for Life + Dog, Vicki Cook from Bunny's Blog and Amy Burkert from GoPetFriendly.com.
On Friday and Saturday there were two full days of sessions and networking, and we also enjoyed meeting all the sponsors in the exhibit area. Cosmo, above, uses his stroller to his advantage to get a leg up at the JW Pet booth! He's a blur because he was up on the table, checking out the toys in a jiffy!
Speaking of networking, we also enjoyed a special kind of "speed dating," thanks to BarkWorld, where bloggers met one-on-one with sponsors like Petco, PetCareRX.com, DogBFF.com, Iams, Eukanuba, Bayer, Apartment Guide, Natural Balance, Nutrish and Life+Dog magazine and more!
Then, on Sunday morning, a small group of bloggers were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the Georgia Aquarium, thanks to Apartment Guide! It was spectacular and we'll include more photos in a separate post!
All-in-all, it was a fabulous conference, and with so much to offer, you could easily customize your experience to suit your own needs. I'm lucky to have this conference in my own hometown, but it's definitely worth the trip and it was such a nice hotel, it would've been nice to stay there. Maybe next year!
Did you go to BarkWorld and what did you like the best! We're still recovering from all the fun!