The NAVC 2017 vet conference is a wrap and now to be known forever more as “VMX” or Veterinary Meeting Expo. Change has come to the cherished first national veterinary conference of the year, and changed it was. Bigly.
First, the bigly talent selection starting with Robin Roberts as the keynote opening speaker could not be missed. As the vet profession is graduating predominantly women, and as our entire country becomes more diverse, she was an excellent choice. Personal to me was her survivor story – from breast cancer and myelodysplatic syndrome. While we usually post pet books in our book section, I’m doing a special shout out here for her book, “Everybody’s Got Something.”
Second, the bigly size of the show hall and convention center was the talk of the vet attendees. The sheer scope of exhibits was aptly illustrated now that all booths are consolidated at the Orlando Convention Center versus one hall at the Marriott and one at the Gaylord – with plenty of room for expansion. Well-known vet exhibitors and new ones blended seemlessly. It was a long haul between sessions but hey, it was great exercise!
Third, the vet conference program format itself is bigly committed to innovation. Robust scientific programming tracks with organizations such as the American Heartworm Society (AHS), the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) and Fear Free continue to pack rooms. New offerings such as the inaugural Health and Wellbeing Center for Veterinarians are an important acknowledgement of the challenges facing our beloved veterinarians and the New Products Showcase was well presented.
Thanks to Fear Free, I comfortably traversed the show floor in my newly minted green Converse sneakers every day, gladly giving them kudos for both the sneaks and the growth of the vet program. While it will take a bit to get used to the expanse of the larger exhibit hall – which changes it’s location again – the sheer scope of exhibits shows the growth of veterinary medicine itself. I’ll be there with my Cons – bigly.