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Today’s Serendipitous Saturday has been usurped by SuperZoo. If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you may be tempted to bypass this post, because you’ve seen it all. I’m about to surprise you.

7 Secrets of Attending SuperZoo I Nearly Missed

Source: Instagram, TheFurMom (me)

I’m in a transition point. I’m still a blogger, but I’m spending less time in the pet blogging community as I work double time to build Keep the Tail Wagging. Last year, I took one trip to Las Vegas (actually, it was Henderson, NV) to attend a pet blogging conference. This year, I took several trips and one brought me back to Las Vegas for SuperZoo.

What is SuperZoo?

SuperZoo is an annual tradeshow where every pet vendor on the globe (at least if seems that way) descends on Las Vegas to show off their wares. There are demos, meetings, presentations, and more. The tradeshow floor rivals a shopping mall, it’s so huge. In under 3 days, I walked more than 40,000 steps.

All of the vendors are wooing pet store owners and distributors. I never saw it as a place for bloggers, but I was wrong, because we have our role too.

7 Things You Should Know About SuperZoo

This was my first SuperZoo and it was amazing.  I loved every minute and didn't want to leave – really, I actually called about moving my flight back.  There were no more seats available.  But I will be making this trip again next year and I plan to attend Global Pet Expo as well.

I made a few simple mistakes that I won't be making next year…

Good morning! #lasvegasstrip #luxorhotel #superzoo2015 #superzoo #lifewithdogs #keepthetailwagging #sunrise #networkingevent

A photo posted by Kimberly Morris Gauthier (@thefurmom) on

1.  Book early for SuperZoo.

The moment you even think you want to attend, book your room at the Mandalay Bay to cut down on unnecessary walking.  I will be booking my 2016 trip before the end of 2015.  I can't recall when I booked my trip, but the Mandalay Bay was completely booked up.  Some brands book up blocks of rooms for their people.

The Mandalay Bay is spendy, but you won't regret the investment.

I got a great room in the Luxor, which is located next door.  I was on the 17th floor of the East Tower and once I was able to find the East Tower, my room was blissfully not far from the elevators.

The walk from the elevators to the convention center in the hotel wasn't bad until you hit 10,000 steps for the day, and then it was brutal.  I wore comfortable shoes, but I'm still sore from this trip.

2.  Pack for the heat.

After several  years of attending blogging conferences, I expected SuperZoo to be freezing as the hotel jacked up the AC to accommodate all of the bodies.  Nope.  The AC at the Mandalay Bay was no match for the body heat of everyone attending SuperZoo and the 2 other conferences going on this week.  I packed long sleeved shirts that are great for 70 degree days.  I thought they'd keep the AC chill at bay, but they left me sweating like a woman suffering from Level 8 Hot Flashes.

Next year, I'll be packing cute t-shirts, capri pants, and comfy walking shoes.  If I need some warmth, I'll follow the lead of a woman I saw this week who wore a scarf around her neck.  I was sweating my butt off in this blue shirt.  But it's cute!

3.  Bring your business cards with a number and address.

I had business cards especially created for SuperZoo.  They have my phone number and next year, they'll have my address too.  Brands want to send you things.  Many don't have much product at the trade show and what they do have is for sale.  I don't plan on buying anything (that's a slippery slope), but I would love an opportunity to try new products with our dogs and many of the natural-focused brands are more than happy to send things to me when I explain what our dogs are experiencing.

4.  The food is expensive and water is a precious gem.

I spent $5 on an 8-ounce bottle of water.  Several times.  I finally figured out where I could get a larger bottle, but damn.  Food and drink in Vegas is expensive so be prepared.  There are brown bag lunches.  At least the food is good (except that pizza – too salty) and I'm bummed that I didn't get to go to the Irish Pub.  I love fish ‘n chips.

With all the walking, it's tempting to go nuts on eating.  No matter how many calories I burned, I wasn't willing to trade them in on empty calories.  Choose a cheat meal and behave the rest of the time.

I had some french fries and a Belgium waffle (twice) with strawberries and whipped cream that looked more like a big Eggo Waffle (it was delish).

5.  Master the selfie and put the phone away.

I love taking selfies or taking pictures with people.  It's fun.  What's ironic is that I hate myself in pictures.  I am sporting 36DDs (nope, I don't have back issues) courtesy of my grandmother and unless I stand with my left side pointing to the camera (never face on, that's horrible), I look like a frumpy, dump, troll.  Or at least that's what I see.

So practice on some selfies at home to find what works best for you so that you can quickly take the pictures you need at SuperZoo.

And I'm embarrassed to say that way too often I was looking at my phone, even when someone was talking to me.  Mostly, I was deleting bad pictures as I was trying to line them up for yet another selfie (sorry, Rodney).

Want those glasses?  You can find Dog Bone Readers on Amazon.com.

6.  Make a game plan to help you stay on track.

I was excited to stop by The Bear and the Rat, because they were on the Shark Tank.  They had the yummiest treats that acted as a probiotic for dogs and melted in your mouth.  I only had 3 and then I walked away.  Nothing un-towards happened, but I noticed that on Wednesday and Thursday morning between 8am-9am, the women's restrooms were blowing up.  In one, a door had been yanked from the hinges.  What the hell happened there?

And then there was the brand that looked suspiciously like Earth Rated.  Not sure what happened there.  The last thing I'd want is to build a brand that looked very similar to another.

7.  Stay for the entire trip; don't leave early.

There is so much to see that you'll regret leaving early.  I didn't think I needed to stay the entire time, because my niche is so focused. I wanted to see raw brands, healthy dog treats, and natural supplements.

What I saw were very cool dog beds that are easy to clean and come with a warranty; fun toys that Zoey would go nuts for, and the cutest reading glasses EVER.

Next year, I plan to stay for 3 full days and leave the morning of Day 4.  I want to walk every single inch of the trade show floor, spend more time with friends, and learn more about the amazing things vendors are bringing to the market.

Organic groom products by Organic Oscar #superzoo2015 #lifewithdogs #keepthetailwagging

A photo posted by Kimberly Morris Gauthier (@thefurmom) on

Organic groom products by Organic Oscar #superzoo2015 #lifewithdogs #keepthetailwagging

A photo posted by Kimberly Morris Gauthier (@thefurmom) on

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