Another Great BSAVA
As another BSAVA congress draws to a close, I think it's fair to say that it has been another great success. It's not physically possible to make it to all of the lectures with just so many to choose from there is something for everyone! I particularly liked the short ‘How to...’ lectures which summed up in a 20 minute lecture the kind of things we try to cover in our “How To” section on VetGrad.co.uk. There were also many more advanced talks and what looked like a really interesting nursing stream this year too.
The organisers had clearly listened to suggestions from previous years as numerous talks were so popular that at times several hundred people were watching on the overflow screen outside the lecture halls.
There was no chance of falling asleep though as the hard floor and engaging speakers would keep anyone awake. The business side of things was not neglected either with Brian Faulkner and others delivering a steady stream of content.
Wandering around you always bump into some familiar faces as well as making new friends. The overwhelming response from people was that this year the lectures really were top notch, a feeling echoed by several foreign vets that I bumped into. It's good to know that events like BSAVA put the British veterinary profession on a pedestal on the world stage. One thing I did notice for the first time is how few of my year group attended, maybe it's a sign that I am getting old. I think it's because the ticket price hikes considerably once you are over three years qualified, even so I think if we want to stay current and at the top of our game, I think all small animal vets really should be trying to attend BSAVA at least once every few years. Even though tickets are more expensive once you get past three years qualified I still think BSAVA offers incredible value for money, for BSAVA members, for four full days of CPD (lectures don't finish until 6pm on Sunday!). BSAVA members can also access podcasts of the lectures at a later date so you can catch up on the lectures you missed.
“all small animal vets really should be trying to attend BSAVA at least once every few years”
Of course the social side of congress is a big draw for most people whether it's having a catch up as you wander around the exhibition or going to the all new VetFest! VetFest was fantastic, as the new and improved party night on Saturday, it now spreads over two halls and the foyer upstairs. The decoration was top notch and they really did manage to achieve the feel of a ball or very upmarket festival within the ICC. With a selection of music, comedy and a silent disco there was something for everyone as well as a chill out area so people weren't having to talk over the comedians as had happened in previous years.
There were still tickets left on the day this year, possibly because people were unsure if VetFest would live up to expectations but I think next year you will definitely need to book your tickets in advance or schmooze your reps in the run up to BSAVA.
The exhibition was housed as always in the NIA, although having undergone a very tasteful renovation it's now called the Barclaycard arena.
Although it was smaller than previous years there were still a host of prizes to be won from dental elevators to iPads to holidays, although sadly this year there were no cars to win. It's amazing how many smaller veterinary companies are out there supplying equipment which events like this really help to make you aware of. The highlight of the exhibition hall for me was probably the BCF Technology climbing wall which was really good fun and always in demand, which no doubt also helped the surrounding stands such as Jurox (the maker's of Alfaxan) which also always seemed busy everytime I went past.
Some names were notable by their absence as Novartis has now become part of Elanco (makers of Comfortis, Trifexis, Danilon, Domosedan etc) and Abbott has become part of Zoetis to form a new surgical care division.
There were also several product launches at BSAVA, including a new improved Feliway and Adaptil from CEVA which now works at a lower temperature, the Douxo Skin care range also from CEVA and Remend wound spray from Bayer. Boehringer Ingeheim also announced a new licensed use for Vetmedin in the treatment of pre-clinical DCM!
So in summary another great BSAVA... well done team BSAVA!