The Western Veterinary Conference, or WVC, begins this weekend (March 5th to 9th) and, as one of the largest veterinary conferences in the world, Dragon Veterinary is excited to be part of their incredible lineup. The conference is characterized by its ‘Passion Meets Education’ tag line, where all attendees, from veterinarians and veterinary technicians to exhibitors and sponsors, are not only passionate about their craft but willing to learn and help others in the process. With over 1000 hours of continuing education (CE) sessions available to attend, more than 500 exhibitors, and a world class lineup of speakers and presenters, WVC will be a truly incredible experience for everyone in attendance. Furthermore, this five-day event is held in the incredible Las Vegas, NV, the entertainment capital of the world, ensuring that passionate veterinary professionals will not only get the chance to learn and expand their knowledge, but have fun doing so.
With such an amazing conference right around the corner, Dragon veterinary wanted to take this chance to reflect on the moments that await in the coming week. Here is a list of seven of the most exciting and beneficial opportunities that we believe await all those excitingly packing their bags beginning only days from now, Dragon Veterinary wanted to look forward to seven of the most exciting aspects of the conference, read on for more information.
Veterinary Conferences pride themselves in getting the most interesting, engaging, and relevant speakers possible, and WVC is no exception. Every year they bring together a wide range of incredible guest speakers to pass on their knowledge and expertise to veterinary professionals from all over the world in one of the many CE sessions that are offered throughout the program. Although these individuals are top notch speakers and educators, this year most of the guest speaker buzz is around the Boehringer Ingelheim sponsored keynote address with none other than National Geographic Fellow Joel Sartore, a world renowned photographer, author, teacher, speaker, animal conservationist, and founder of National Geographics’ Photo Ark.
The Photo Ark itself is one of Sartores’ greatest photographic achievements. When the project began his goal was to document biodiversity in order to show the world what is at stake when species go extinct. His photographs are made against solid white or black backgrounds in order to equalize his subjects, to show the world that, no matter what the size of the animal, they are important to us and to our world. Thus far the project has photographically documented over 6000 animals, from the most rare and endangered to common backyard visitors, and he shows no signs of stopping or slowing.
Sartores’ keynote address, A World Worth Saving, was sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim and is sure to be an incredibly and inspiring opportunity for all in attendance. The event is on Sunday March 5th, the first day of the conference, from 11:00am to 12:30pm, and is complementary for all conference attendees.
2) Continuing Education
No veterinary conference is complete without the opportunity to learn and grow, especially at a conference where their theme is Passion meets Education. At WVC 2017, not only are there over 1000 CE hours available to attendees through symposia, workshops, and hands-on labs (which we will get to later – see point 3). The best part however, is that there are CE hours available to veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and practice managers in the areas of small animal, avian & exotics, food animal, and equine, thus allow attendees the opportunity to create their own learning experience and to pick and choose the sessions that they feel will be most important to them in their practice.
Even more is that, not only is this 89th Annual WVC Conference on of the most anticipated veterinary conferences of the year, it is also renowned for its CE program. With high-quality sessions led by industry-renowned educators and a variety of formats to suit the learning style of each and every individual, the event promised to provide a level of education that is unmatched in its ability to be not only educational, but unique as well. Once again WVC has gone above and beyond with their CE curriculum, promising a program that is arsenal-ready, providing attendees with veterinary and practice knowledge that is individually tailored and can be used now.
3) Hands-On labs
One of the most important and anticipated elements of any CE curriculum are the hands-on labs, which give veterinarians and veterinary technicians the opportunity to learn and work on their skills in real time. Although these labs are technically optional, most attendees choose to participate in at least one session because of their incredible and unique opportunity for learning and real-time practice.
Of particular note at WVC 2017 however, is the venue for these labs. The Oquendo Center, a state-of-the-art facility that houses multiple configurable multi-purpose rooms and 12 fully-equipped stations in their surgery suite. The Center itself boasts an impressive collection of high-tech onsite surgical equipment for veterinarians, including a bovie electrosurgical generator, a c-arm, an endoscopy tower, lead apron, portable suction, a variety of power tools, scrubs, ventilators, and more, ensuring that every veterinarian and veterinary technician is well equipped for their lab, no matter what they brought to Las Vegas with them.
The Oquendo Center is also designed for maximum interaction, with advanced A/V capabilities that include an interactive pen display technology that allows the 190 seat audience to closely view each and every step being conducted by the instructor. Even more is that the same technology is available throughout the facility, allowing a single procedure and/or presentation to be viewed simultaneously, no matter where one is in the building.
These labs are an incredible experience for all involved, with many veterinary professionals citing them as one of the most important educational opportunities of the conference.
No vet show is complete without the exhibit hall, and one of the biggest of the trade show circuit is WVC. With over 500 exhibitors, including Dragon Veterinary, it is an incredible opportunity for conference attendees to learn about and explore the latest and greatest products and technologies available to the veterinary profession. There are a tone of incredible exhibitors to visit at this show, but do make sure to stop by booth 4632 to visit Dragon Veterinary. We will be giving demos of our Dragon Veterinary software and it is an incredible chance to come by, meet some of our incredible employee, and enter for your chance to win some great prizes!
Of course, the exhibit hall is about more than just discovering the best and newest veterinary technologies, it is also about making connections and learning. That is why the Learning Lounge is back by popular demand, which provides a short and sweet opportunity for veterinary professionals to engage in various 20-minute CE sessions over three days, right in the exhibit hall. This means that the learning continues throughout the show, no matter where you are or what you are doing. The learning lounge is complemented by the newly renovated New Products Showcase, giving attendees the chance to have a quick peek at some of the new additions to this years’ show, while still taking in the bite sized CE sessions that the exhibit hall has to offer.
Not only that, but WVC has also instituted an exhibit hall only hour, ensuring that, no matter how busy your CE schedule, you still have the chance to attend the exhibit hall and see all the new and incredible veterinary products (like Dragon Veterinary…). There is also an exhibit hall mixer, allowing conference attendees to engage with each other and with the exhibitors, and a Vet Detective scavenger hunt, with over $35,000 in prizes to be won. The exhibit hall is definitely going to be one of the highlights of WVC 2017!
5) Industry professionals
This highlight kind of goes without saying, but we will say it anyway! One of the best parts of any veterinary conference, WVC included, is the ability to meet, network, and work/learn with other industry professionals. So much of learning is about more than the time you spend in sessions, and although that is beneficial, particularly with all of the incredible sessions and speakers offered at WVC, it is definitely not the only thing to consider. The ability to talk to and learn from other veterinary professionals from all over the world is an incredible experience, and one that is a focus of this conference. It is why there are so many mixer events to attends, group learning and small group CE sessions, the keynote speakers and conference-only shows and entertainment (see point 6), and of course all of the additional activities available for conference attendees who also want to explore the incredible Las Vegas (see point 7).
WVC itself is expected to have over 15,000 attendees, all members of the veterinary profession. This gives each and every individual attending the show the ability to meet and learn from a massive diversity of individuals who could help them improve their practice or simply inspire them to learn more about an area of veterinary medicine that they had not yet tackled. The sheer number of passionate individuals, all under one roof, also creates an incredible environment for the show. With passion reverberating off of every surface, the collaborative and motivating environment that is WVC is bound to inspire.
What is even better is that WVC has created a new program to foster the development of these relationships and connections made throughout the show. They have made it easier to connect with each other and to keep the conversations going throughout the show and after. Connections, the free online global community created by WVC is an amazing chance to reach out to the individuals you meet, to share your knowledge and learning, and to also receive that from others. The best part is that it facilitates easy communication and continued learning even long past the end of the conference, creating a year-long, world-wide, veterinary community that thrives on the ability to continually learn from and meet others just like them.
As has been alluded to in previous points, there is so much more to a fun and exciting veterinary conference than just their CE and guest speakers. Because WVC wants veterinary professionals to learn not only from their incredible CE sessions and instructors but also from each other, it is important to ensure that there are opportunities for attendees to connect in fun and relaxed ways. This is why there is also such a heavy focus on entertainment and the opportunity to let loose after a long and stimulating day of learning. Plus, why not indulge in some entertainment while staying in Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world!
The conference has ensured that there are a number of non-veterinary related activities easily accessible to conference attendees including hiking, culinary tours, shopping trips, and a whole host of other activities that are both family friendly and individually stimulating. We talk more about these option in point 7. What is particularly exciting about WVC this year however, is their entertainment lineup, included as part of the conference registration. Their program includes the Hill’s Comedy Night with the hysterical Kathleen Madigan, and a concert at the House of Blues with world renown Gary Allan.
Madigan, a veteran comedienne whose career spans over 25 years is an incredible way to finish off the first full day of the conference and prepare attendees for the exciting days to come. Hill’s graciously sponsors this event because of the important of laughter to relaxation, and there is no better way to promote laughter than with this world class entertainer. Madigans’ credits are many, including her performances on almost every standup television show ever made, her American Comedy Award for Best Female Comedian, and her Phyllis Diller award for Best Female Comedian. This is the perfect way to start an awesome conference!
The second big entertainment opportunity, also included in conference registration, is the Merck’s Concert at the Mandalay Bat Convention Centers’ House of Blues with Gary Allan, a multi-platinum and widely celebrated country music star. His music is known around the world, as is his stage presence and this show is sure to be a hit after a few long and exciting days of CE. Don’t miss this rocking performance of his original music, which is often described as elegant, soulful, and promises to resonate with all attendees – not to mention that he is considered to be one of the coolest country music stars. Make sure to laugh with Kathleen Madigan on Sunday March 5th from 7:00pm to 8:30pm and watch Gary Allan perform on Tuesday March 7th from 8:00pm to 9:30pm, these are two shows you will not want to miss!
The seventh thing we wanted to include on our list of things to look forward to at WVC 2017 are the activities. Given that this is a veterinary conference, it is important focus on the wonderful educational opportunities available to veterinary professionals. Yet conferences such at WVC are about so much more. That is why, in addition to incredible CE, amazing performances and speakers, and truly incredible networking opportunities, WVC is providing a number of different offsite activities that conference attendees and their families can attend when they need a break from the conference or just want to see some of what fabulous Las Vegas has to offer.
Starting bright and early on Sunday March 5th, the first day of the show, there is a 5K walk and run at the Springs Preserve. This is a wonderful way to start a jam packed conference with energy and enthusiasm, to see some of what Las Vegas has to offer, and you will be back in time to catch Joel Sartores’ keynote address. Other opportunities include hiking a Red Rock Canyon on Monday and Tuesday, if you are part of the lucky group who has already registered for this sold out event, a shopping shuttle to premium outlets for all those travelling from away, and culinary walking tours of the famous Las Vegas strip. There are also opportunities to attend TopGolf, a brewery tour, and the Case de Shenandoah Platinum Tour, which is also currently sold out. Furthermore, there are a number of discounts available for other events of interest to conference attendees, including many family friendly options for veterinary professionals travelling with their significant others and/or children.
Not to worry however, for keeping with the theme of veterinary medicine and Passion Meets Education, WVC has also worked a series of incredible vet related opportunities into the lineup. First are a series of receptions occurring on Monday evening, including a Technician Reception from 6:30pm to 9:00pm, a Veterinary Student Reception from 7:30pm to 9:30pm, and an Alumni Reception from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. There is also an incredible opportunity to volunteer with the Street Dog Coalition, who provide free veterinary care to pets of the homeless on Wednesday March 6th from 7:30pm to 9:30pm.
It goes without saying that WVC is not only one of the biggest, but also one of the most anticipated veterinary conferences of the year. With its incredible lineup of speakers and performers, CE sessions, hands-on labs at the state-of-the-art Oquendo center, year-round networking opportunities, and fun for everyone, it is an event not to be missed! As the conference boats, “bring your passion and we’ll supply the education,” and that they do!
Inspiring and fuelling the passions of incredible veterinary professionals from all over the world is the main goal of this conference, and looking at what they have planned for all attendees starting tomorrow, Sunday March 5th, there is no doubt that this will be achieved!
For more information about the conference proceeds, please refer to the WVC 2017 Quick Guide and Conference Maps (here) and/or to their Conference Program and Exhibit Hall Guide (here). Also make sure to stop by booth #4632 to visit Dragon Veterinary and get the chance to try out our software, we would love to meet you!