Attendees at the 2009 AVMA Annual Convention can sample the Seattle scene while earning up to 40 hours of continuing education credit.
The 146th AVMA Annual Convention is July 11-14 at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in downtown Seattle, not far from the waterfront and the city's famous Pike Place Market. Advance registration opened Jan. 15 at the convention Web site, www.avmaconvention.org.
The AVMA again is offering 50-minute educational sessions as well as interactive labs and hands-on computer classes. The two-hour lunch break in the schedule will allow time to explore the exhibit hall or walk to nearby shops and restaurants.
The convention Web site features a one-minute video tour of Seattle's highlights with narration by Dr. Sandy Willis, a native of the city and Washington's alternate delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates. Dr. Willis invites convention attendees to indulge in local culinary specialties such as wine, salmon, and coffee. Seattle also is child-friendly, she says, with attractions including the Space Needle.
July is the least rainy month in the verdant Emerald City, and temperatures usually top out in the 70s during the summer. Visitors who venture farther afield can catch a ferry to the towns across the Puget Sound or travel to the Olympic and Cascade mountains.
Special events at the convention include the Fort Dodge Comedy Kickoff, Bayer Bash, and Merial Concert Series. The Hill's Opening Session will focus on a message about teamwork from the fish-flinging staff of the Pike Place Fish Market. The American Veterinary Medical Foundation again is organizing a voluntourism project to combine volunteerism with tourism.
Convention attendees can start planning now by checking www.avmaconvention.org for Seattle visitor and travel information. The General Information section provides the basic convention schedule, hotel/downtown map, and information about ground transportation. The section for frequently asked questions offers answers to the most common inquiries in five categories.
A link on the convention Web site connects directly to the secure online registration and housing site. Online registrants can tell in real time which hotel options and prices are still available.
The AVMA offers advance registration from Jan. 15-April 13, preconvention registration from April 14-June 12, and on-site registration from July 10-14. With each registration period, the fees increase by $25 to $50, depending on the registration category.