I’m trying hard to come up with a word to describe the trip I took last Sunday to the Dayton area of Ohio to learn about the Iams and Eukanuba brands. I’ve attended a fair share of events held for bloggers, but none to date can compare to this one, and I say that with complete sincerity.
I expected to spend time hearing a lot of marketing-speak, and while there was certainly a fair amount of this kind of information conveyed, this trip was less about acquiring product information to share with my readers (as most brand-related blogger events are) and more about trust. Maybe that’s the word I’m looking for. Iams wanted to tell us some things, of course, but they were even more interested in learning from us, and that is something special.
Bloggers and P&G Pet Care employees together.
Iams and Eukanuba invited fifteen “influencers,” bloggers and traditional media writers, to spend three days with them within the walls of some of their most guarded locations, including their Pet Health & Nutrition Center (we were not allowed to take photographs at this site, but the photographs and videos appearing on this site: Pet Nutrition Center Videos correspond to what I saw), manufacturing plant in Leipsic and Proctor & Gamble head office in Mason. Was there sensitive information shared? Yes. Did I learn things about Iams and Eukanuba that I’d rather not know? Yes, but only that there are people out there who are spreading a number of lies and pieces of misinformation throughout the internet and pet world and that makes me sad. (If you see something questionable about these brands online, please take some time to speak to me or one of the other influencers who was on this trip. Their names are at the bottom of this post.)
I can’t in any way sum up all of the knowledge that I acquired on the trip in one post. I can, however, tell you that pet bloggers are really cool people, and their world is one I am curious to explore further. (There are entire blog conferences devoted to pet bloggers! And bloggers can bring their dogs and cats with them!)
I can also tell you that this was one classy event. We were shuttled around not on any old tour bus, but a luxury bus complete with leather couches, an entertainment system, a bar and a bathroom that is currently nicer than our ensuite bathroom here at home.
The party bus.
All of the food and drink was taken care of the entire trip. Bowling shirts were provided for every influencer present for the Pins 4 Pets bowling tournament that was held. Thousands of pounds of dog food were donated to shelters. Every detail was thoughtfully prepared and perfectly executed. They set the bar high when it comes to taking care of bloggers!
I do intend to write a few more posts about the details of this experience, so I hope you will have patience with me over the next little while as I continue to digest the experience and share it with you.
Over the coming weeks I will share information with you about:
- the Pet Health & Nutrition Center and the fabulous manner in which the pets on site are maintained (hint: I’d totally let Farley and Rudy spend a weekend there),
- the quality with which the Iams and Eukanuba pet food is manufactured (hint: it’s probably cleaner in that plant than in your very own kitchen), and
- how the food you feed your pets can have an influence on their behaviour.
By now you might be wondering if we feed our own pets Iams food…and the answer to that question so far is, “No.” But that is only because I haven’t had the chance to get out and buy some for Farley and Rudy yet. They’ll be Iams cats by the weekend.
Iams Influencer “Behind the Paw” Summit 2011 Attendees:
- Dr. Jessica Vogelsang, Pawcurious
- Susi Szeremy, Knobnotes
- Jaime Lynn Smith, Thoughts Fur Paws
- Paris Permenter, Dogtipper and Cattipper
- John Bigley, Dogtipper and Cattipper
- Joanne McGonagle, The Tiniest Tiger
- Jennifer Costello, My Brown Newfies
- Jennifer Phelps, Preston Speaks
- Pam Hoerauf, The Daily Oskar and Pet Blogs United
- Lynette Robinson (fellow Canadian!), My Wee View
- Jackie Lindsay (fellow Canadian!), Dogs, Dogs, Dogs