BlogPaws 2015: Cat Ladies Descend on Music City

BlogPaws-2015

I spent last weekend with 500 of my fellow pet bloggers at our annual gathering in Nashville, TN. This was my fourth BlogPaws conference, and it just keeps on getting bigger and better each year. And while the conference is still pretty “dog-heavy,” the contingent of cat ladies (and a few gents) is growing each year, thanks, in no small part, to the amazing Kate Benjamin of Hauspanther, who once again created the ultimate cat lover’s experience in the Cat Lounge.

Bluebird-cafe

I arrived in Nashville on Thursday morning, and after helping Kate in the lounge for a few hours, I snuck off for some sightseeing. I’m a huge fan of the ABC TV show Nashville, and I wasn’t going to miss seeing some of the locations where the show is filmed. Fellow Nashville fans Rachel Shubin of Sandpiper Cat and Christine Michaels of Riverfront Cats joined me on a four hour long tour that took us to several of the homes used in the show, as well as the famous Bluebird Cafe. It brought the show to life in ways that simply watching it on TV never could, and it made me fall in love with the city of Nashville.

Even though the tour was most definitely one of my personal highlights of this year’s BlogPaws experience, my real purpose of going there was to network and learn, and to help Kate in the Cat Lounge. Networking at BlogPaws is serious business, but since everyone there is involved with pets, it’s also a lot of fun, and an opportunity to make new friends and reconnect with old ones. Because I spent a lot of time in the Cat Lounge, I didn’t attend any sessions, but I did make time to catch the absolutely amazing keynote speech by social media guru, entrepreneur and angel investor Peter Shankman, who also happens to be a cat guy.

cat lounge

The Cat Lounge drew cat lovers like a magnet. In addition to many new products, I enjoyed seeing some of our sponsors’ products there. On Thursday evening, Kate organized a “make your own cat glasses” arts and crafts party, which was a lot of fun. I can honestly say that it was the first time I had ever wielded a glue gun!

cat-glasses

There were several cats in attendance, too. I was thrilled to meet the lovely Summer, and so happy that I finally got to meet Katie and Waffles. Unfortunately, none of the photos I took of them turned out – I think I was too excited to meet them to worry about getting good pictures!

cat-ladies

Friday night we were on our own – something I appreciate so much about how BlogPaws schedules its conference. Far too many conferences overschedule attendees with events every single minute of every single day, and you end up feeling guilty for taking some time for personal fun. Cat ladies Kate, Rachel, Christine and Deb Barnes of The Chronicles of Zee and Zoey and Kate’s fiancé Mark Allred piled into a taxi (yes, all six of us, and it wasn’t a large cab, either – don’t try this at home!) and had dinner at a vegetarian restaurant with the name,  of all things, the Wild Cow. After dinner we went to the 5 Spot, a little club (which, much to my delight, was also one of the locations for the TV show) to listen to some music.

The three days, as always, flew by much too fast, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference in Phoenix. If you’re a blogger and you’ve never attended a BlogPaws conference, do whatever you can to make it happen for yourself – you won’t regret the investment.

 Conscious Cat Sunday will return next week.

12 Comments on BlogPaws 2015: Cat Ladies Descend on Music City

  1. Deb Barnes - Zee and Zoey
    June 12, 2015 at 7:15 am (4 years ago)

    I had such a great time going to dinner with you, Kate, Mark, Christine, and Rachel. Alas, no cat ear pictures for you this year, but I am thrilled that I at least was able to capture one of myself with Peter Shankman wearing a pair!!

    Reply
  2. Dezi and Lexi
    June 9, 2015 at 3:41 am (4 years ago)

    BlogPaws was pawsum. We saw ya’ but didn’t get a chance to meet. And then mommy left us in da room so she kuld do sum visitin’ and take in da classes wiffout worryin’ ’bout da doggies lungin’ at us. Maybe weez can meet next year. Glad yous had a good time in Nashville.

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Lexi

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 9, 2015 at 6:02 am (4 years ago)

      I’m so sorry I didn’t get a chance to meet you!

      Reply
  3. Lola The Rescued Cat
    June 7, 2015 at 12:12 pm (4 years ago)

    It was great seeing you again, Ingrid. I’m looking forward to BlogPaws 2016.
    Dawn

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 7, 2015 at 2:50 pm (4 years ago)

      It was great to see you, too, Dawn!

      Reply
  4. The Swiss Cats
    June 7, 2015 at 11:28 am (4 years ago)

    It looks like you had great time at BlogPaws ! Thank you for sharing with us ! Purrs

    Reply
  5. Caren Gittleman
    June 7, 2015 at 8:24 am (4 years ago)

    what a fabulous recap Ingrid! So sorry I missed seeing you and everyone again. I did catch Peter Shankman on livestream (I bought his book). What an inspiring and power packed and HILARIOUS guy!
    I would have LOVED having a pair of those glasses!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 7, 2015 at 9:45 am (4 years ago)

      You were missed, Caren! Hopefully, next year!

      Reply
  6. Sometimes Cats Herd You
    June 7, 2015 at 8:20 am (4 years ago)

    It was great seeing you, Ingrid! As Summer implied above, seeing friends really are the best part of conferences like these. I didn’t cram in as many sessions as I had originally planned because I chose spending time with friends instead.

    I have some camera phone photos of you with Waffles. They aren’t blog-quality, which is why they haven’t seen the light of day, but I would be happy to send them to you if I could find your email address. If you have mine, send me an email, or send me your email address through another channel so I can get the photos to you.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 7, 2015 at 9:46 am (4 years ago)

      It was so great to see you, too, Julie! I’ve learned to no longer feel guilty about putting friends before business at these conferences. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Summer
    June 7, 2015 at 3:28 am (4 years ago)

    I enjoyed meeting you, and my human had a great time seeing you again! Other than her own panel, her attendance at any sessions was pretty sketchy too – she was more focused on hanging with friends and meeting the brands! Often with me in tow.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 7, 2015 at 9:47 am (4 years ago)

      You looked like you were having the best time, Summer. I’m glad I got a chance to spend some time with your human!

      Reply

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