August 2021 – Unlike many small businesses, we do not have an office dog. There are no cute puppy pics in our Instagram feed and no snaps of a pooch outfitted in our corporate colours hanging out at an iSPARK team meeting.

However, we temporarily sorta adopted Greg’s dog Roscoe for a sponsor activation back in April. Some of you may have heard all about our Furbaby Contest at Sport Events Congress because Greg & Roscoe practically went viral on social media before the event even started.

Okay … slight exaggeration there, but people really did go mutts over the chance to take a break from the educational sessions at SEC and turn on their webcams with their pets for the chance to win 50,000 Hilton Honors points.

We, of course, basked in the post-event glow of that successful promo and then promptly filed it under the growing list of memorable event activations that the iSPARK team is known for.

Then, along came Socio’s FUN EVENT CONTEST in July that presented an opportunity to vet the Hilton Furbaby Contest against similar event activations staged by 350+ other event professionals from around the world.

I’m competitive and I felt pretty proud of how the Furbaby activity drove engagement and amped up the fun factor at SEC this year. I told NO ONE that I was doing this, but I entered the contest.

Socio staged a live webinar to unveil the top ten submissions. I sat there in front of my computer on the day of the announcement holding my breath as each of the finalists was featured one by one. When I saw my name on the screen along with Greg’s & Roscoe’s I literally SCREAMED and jumped out of my chair, then quickly recovered and snapped this shot.

Socio FUN EVENT CONTEST, July 2021.

When the voting to select the grand prize winner began, I sat back to see how this would all play out. I will spare you the heart-stopping moments at the beginning of the live poll when the Furbaby Contest was running away with it (there was a $2500 prize on the line, so I pre-emptively started imagining how my team would celebrate the big win). However, when it was all said and done, we placed third.

Fur-give me for the humble brag, but even a few weeks later I am still giddy every time I think about it. Although sorting out the logistics of having a dog as a conference presenter was a little ruff, it was not only PAWsible, but also doggone fun!


Enjoy the last few weeks of the dog days of summer!