The 144th AVMA Annual Convention will take place July 14-18 in Washington, D.C. What events will be unique to this year's convention?
David Little, director of the AVMA Convention and Meeting Planning Division, responds:
The Opening Session will take place Saturday morning at convention. Julie L. Gerberding, MD, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, will be the keynote speaker. Her talk will be especially interesting because of the increased awareness of zoonotic diseases such as avian influenza.
We have moved AVMA Family Night this year from Monday to Sunday because of the weekday traffic in the D.C. metro area. The alumni receptions will take place on Monday night.
The Smithsonian National Zoological Park will be the site of this year's Family Night. One of the top attractions at the zoo is the giant panda habitat, which features indoor and outdoor exhibits and a research center. Also, we have arranged with the veterinary staff at the zoo for a behind-the-scenes tour of the veterinary clinic and laboratory for attendees.
Also unique to this year's convention are the tours we will host to the AVMA Governmental Relations Division office. More information will soon be available on the convention Web site (http://avmaconvention.org).
What can members do now to prepare for the convention?
I encourage members who are interested in attending to register for convention and sign up for housing as early as possible. Housing in Washington, D.C., will go fast. Hotel rates are notoriously more expensive there when compared with other U.S. cities, especially in the summer months when tourism is high. The AVMA has negotiated deep discounts within our housing block for convention registrants, so it is important for attendees to get their housing while rooms are still available.
Many of the interactive labs and computer learning classes are already starting to fill up. Those who plan to attend these continuing education opportunities, along with any of the special events, need to sign up now, before they sell out.
Also, attendees interested in touring the White House should make their reservations soon. It's an involved process, and the tours are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis approximately one month in advance of the requested date. Further tour information is available on the convention Web site or by visiting the White House Web site (www.whitehouse.gov/history/life).