The North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC) is one of the largest veterinary conferences in the world, and it’s taking place – virtually- this weekend. I’ll be there, catching up on my continuing education, on everything from behaviour to nutrition to skin disease and more.
One of the useful developments that’s happened in the veterinary world as a result of COVID has been the movement online of a wide range of continuing education. The most dramatic of these is the advent of Virtual Congresses: some of the world’s biggest and most popular gatherings of vets have moved from “in person” to virtual, and it’s working surprisingly well.
the NAVC happens every springtime in Orlando, Florida. The conference, usually hosting over 16000 delegates in person, was established back in 1982, as a “small” conference under the guidance of Colin Burrows, a 1969 UK graduate. Colin had originally planned to be a mixed animal practitioner in rural England, but somehow he ended up as a pioneer in the field of small animal gastroenterology, leading a clinical department at the University of Florida.
The NAVC follows a similar format to other large veterinary conferences (like the BSAVA congress), with the main focus being up to thirty concurrent streams of lectures and two large commercial exhibitions with hundreds of companies demonstrating their wares. There are also dozens of smaller scale educational offerings, including master classes, hands-on wet labs and novel events such as “Meet the Professor Luncheons”.
I’ve attended the conference in previous years, and it’s always been a trendsetter when it comes to technology, with audience participation via polls and questioning. It’s no surprise to me that the conference continues to set the standard when it comes to virtual events: for attendees, the website is easy to navigate, and the quality of lectures, discussions and debates is top notch.
I’ll do my best to report back with a few nuggets from the coming days: watch this space.