AVMA convention brings thousands together in Boston

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Thousands of attendees enjoyed four days full of education and events in Boston at the 152nd AVMA Annual Convention, July 10-14 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

According to final on-site figures, the total number of registrants was 9,001. Among the convention-goers were 4,248 veterinarians, 631 veterinary students, 590 veterinary technicians and veterinary technician students, 1,475 exhibitors, and 2,057 spouses, guests, and others. The number of veterinarians in attendance was the highest in recent years.

On July 11 at the AVMA Annual Convention in Boston, the Association debuted a new brand combining a fresh look with a member-centric focus. The launch featured a town crier, a toast, and acrobats. (Photos by R. Scott Nolen)

Deidre Ross, director of the AVMA Convention and Meeting Planning Division, said during the convention that she thought attendees were having a wonderful time.

“They enjoy Boston a lot,” she said. “They like the quality of education. They like the events.”

“I think the depth of education has also impressed the attendees,” said Dr. Ron Banks, chair of the AVMA Convention Management and Program Committee. “It’s not just superficial, basic veterinary information, but it’s actually in-depth, detailed, practice-building clinical care and business management.”

Continuing education commenced in the afternoon on Friday, July 10, and concluded in the morning on Tuesday, July 14. The program provided more than 1,000 sessions, including a number of interactive labs. The AVMA Convention App helped attendees navigate all the offerings.

Hundreds of first-time attendees turned out Friday night for the reception welcoming them to the convention.

“We’re a massive association, we’re a very large convention, but we still relate to people on a one-on-one basis, and we start that at the first-timers’ reception,” Dr. Banks said. “It reminds them we are a family community, if you will. We are all individuals working together under a common banner for a common passion.”

Friday night also featured An Unforgettable Evening with the American Veterinary Medical Foundation: Honoring History, Embracing the Future at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

The exhibit hall opened Saturday morning. Convention-goers visited with more than 300 exhibitors through Monday afternoon.

New this year was Saturday’s Keynote Luncheon in the exhibit hall, sponsored by Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Ross said the event attracted 2,650 attendees. Chris Gardner, entrepreneur and author of the autobiography “Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in the Pursuit of Happyness,” shared his message on self-empowerment and overcoming obstacles.

Chris Gardner, author of “Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in the Pursuit of Happyness,” speaks during the Keynote Luncheon on July 11 at the AVMA Annual Convention in Boston.

The AVMA launched its new brand on Saturday evening during the Welcome Reception in the exhibit hall. The Association debuted a green-and-blue logo incorporating the staff of Aesculapius and a tag line: “Our Passion. Our Profession.” Overall, the brand combines a fresh look with a member-centric focus.

The Hot Topics Sessions and sponsored lunchtime sessions were among the highlights of the CE program on Sunday and Monday. The Beach Boys were a big draw for Sunday’s concert, sponsored by Merial, at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion.

The 2016 AVMA Annual Convention will be August 5-9 in San Antonio.

A video of convention highlights and videos about the AVMA’s new look and outlook are here.