August 01, 2010


 Upcoming AVMA conventions headed to big cities

Posted July 18, 2010

Further analysis of AVMA Annual Convention data and a concern expressed by one state VMA have caused the Executive Board to shuffle locations for the event in coming years.

In November 2008, the board approved a Convention Management and Program Committee recommendation that, in concept, the convention would rotate through five cities distributed throughout the United States during 2015-2024.

The recommended cities—Washington, D.C., San Antonio, Chicago, Denver, and San Diego—were presented to the Executive Board in November 2009; however, the recommendation was tabled and staff were asked to present a revised plan for future annual convention cities.

In reassessing possible convention sites, staff studied both past convention attendee evaluations and results of surveys of members and nonmembers that asked about their preferences for convention cities in each of five regions across the United States.

"It's really come down to AVMA members and nonmembers alike are interested in bigger cities with lots of opportunities and things to do," said Kelly Fox, director of the AVMA Convention and Meeting Planning Division. "They like that the convention changes cities every year. We will continue to look at primarily bigger, metropolitan cities with diverse options and opportunities. We look to the member feedback before we select convention cities."

On the basis of this analysis, the CMPC submitted a recommendation to rescind the five-city rotation plan at the board's January 2010 meeting. The committee also made a recommendation to confirm alternate locations through 2020. Both items were approved.

In lieu of the previous plan, the following cities were selected as possible convention sites: Boston in 2015, San Francisco in 2016, Chicago in 2017, Denver in 2018, Washington, D.C., in 2019, and San Diego in 2020. At the board's meeting in April, members discussed the California VMA's concern that the AVMA could potentially be holding multiple conventions in California during a relatively short time span—San Diego in 2012, San Francisco in 2016, and 2020 in San Diego. Eventually, the board agreed to cancel San Francisco as an option for 2016 and look at San Antonio and Vancouver, British Columbia, as alternative locations.

It was determined after reviewing proposals from both cities that San Antonio presented the best proposal for the AVMA, according to the background to the CMPC recommendation. The board voted in June to pursue San Antonio as the location for the 2016 convention.

Fox noted that staff members are in final negotiations for the 2015-2020 cities, and once they are confirmed this fall, the convention dates will be announced.