Actually I have only half attended because I couldn't get out of work (all administrative staff is either on holiday or ill, I was alone), but I am happy enough to be there for at least part of it.
The conference was held in O'Reilly hall in University College Dublin. Look! It's a nice place, isn't it?
I couldn't make most of the lecture, I could only make the evening event for the exhibition, networking and dinner.
So I arrived at the registration and found my pass there. It felt so good that my name is actually on a conference pass for an animal conference. It gave such a I-am-in-this-new-business feeling. I browsed around other people's names, they are all from different existing animal companies or organisation, I was the only one without a company name. I felt a bit uncomfortable at the beginning knowing that I would probably be the one who know the least about this business, but I didn't feel too nervous, I mean I might not know about animal business but I do know how to go to conferences, I have been some because of my work, so I figured it would be too different.
I started browsing around, talking to exhibitors, played animal care professional. It was fun and great to know it is one step closer to my self-employed road to this new and exciting industry. Though I had difficulty to remember that I AM in this business now and presented myself differently from my day-job. Instead of sayingm, 'Hi, I work for xxx bank', I have to say, 'Hi, I am starting a pet-sitting business, how are you doing?' Some practice is definitely needed.
I met quite a few people from DSPCA, it was great to see them again and hanged out with them during the dinner. I have never ever seen the vegetarian option during a hot-folk dinner to be the first one that needed refilled! Hey, it is an animal care conference!
It was so great to be with whole bunch of people in this business in the same room, talked to different people who care about animal, passionate about their welfare, bringing new products to the market for the animals and their human companion, etc. Everything is new to me and exciting. I am so glad to be there.
Plus, there is always the goodie bag...
( Proof of co-existance of day-job and 'road to self-employed' : business suitcase thing behind the conference bag)
Question: Is it weird to be so happy to have a bottle of 'URINE OFF' and a box of cat treats in my bag?
I am officially in this business.