Imagine being in a room of like minded individuals who all love animals and have similar challenges as you?I strongly recommend attending any of these annual conferences catered to animal advocates and rescue organizations. I'll explain a little about the differences between each conference to help you decide which one is right for you.
They are the superstars of branding. An excellent place to see find examples of marketing. Size: Roughly 1000 attendees Length: 4 days Cost:$275-$325, depending on how early you register This event truly embodies the "rah rah" spirit, i.e. "Lets go save some animals!". Best Friends really knows how to promote, sell, and grow a brand, as well as cheer on the mission of saving animals. And they do great job showing you how to do it, too. Although many rescues and organizations have nowhere near the budget that Best Friends works with, you will still see great examples of marketing for animals. They are clever and have hired excellent resources. Even if you don't have the money to hire them, their resources are at your disposal to answer any questions you have.
Size: Roughly 1000 attendees Length: 4 days Cost:$200-$250, depending on how early you register HSUS's mission statement says it all: Celebrating Animals, Confronting Cruelty. Its goals center on the protection of animals on a larger scale. The focus of this conference tends to be a bit more serious, "let's get down to business", offering advice on shelter management and building a more humane society by changing laws and public policies. There are more municipal shelters and spca-type of organizations in attendance, and many more employees versus volunteers. Many people I met are angry or concerned about the systems in place that they must work with, and Animal Expo does try to address these types of subjects. There is a track of sessions on Marketing, but more emphasis on infrastructure and making a change through organizational improvements and changes on the municipal and state level.
Size: Roughly 200 attendees Length: 2 1/2 days Cost:$200
Animal welfare marketing guru Mike Arms is the man behind the successes of the Helen Woodward Animal Center, and countless of organizations around the nation - soon to be the world. 2012 was the first year of this conference, after Mike's participation for years in No More Homeless Pets conferences. He is in short a marketing genius and aren't we lucky that he chose to use his talents to save animals. For those who are the marketing force for your organization, he will wow you and inspire you. Many people I have heard tend to dislike his disposition and also feel his stories are quite "fluffed up". But even if you believe this, his stories still bring tears to everyone in the room. And his goal is achieved. This conference is a great intro to animal rescue conferences, not overwhelming and a bit easier to network, being a smaller crowd.
Size: Roughly 500 attendees Length: 3 days Cost:$200
BlogPaws' audience is comprised of animal enthusiasts - anyone marketing via social media about animals. A much different crowd than the aforementioned conferences. But you know, we believe in treating your Marketing role for your non profit like any business Marketing professional. "You are in the business of saving lives" as Mike Arms says. Here is a great opportunity to immerse yourself with top bloggers an social media mavens who virtually walk and talk animals.