In 2018 the veterinary profession faces a rapidly changing environment with unique and demanding new challenges. Now, more than ever, I feel it’s vital for the profession to meet, discuss and learn together. BSAVA Congress is special in that it has been built by the profession to foster discussion and learning and to give you a snapshot of what the profession is doing now. To meet our changing needs, I am delighted to introduce a brand-new CPD stream at Congress on Sunday; ‘Beyond the Clinics’. Designed to provide holistic support and veterinary specific information beyond clinical skills, this new initiative features experts discussing how to look after your financial, mental and physical health alongside career advice with representation from across the veterinary employment spectrum. Look out for more details to follow in the autumn. Congress is justly renowned for the myriad of clinical learning opportunities on offer and 2018 is no exception with over 450 lectures, practical sessions, small groups and wetlabs planned. I have to say a massive thank you to the Congress and Congress Programme Committee, all of whom are volunteer vets and veterinary nurses, for the time and dedication they have spent planning the first-class programme of CPD over the last two years. Reading through the preview I’m sure you will see countless sessions of interest, all delivered by world-leaders and pioneers in their disciplines. My particular highlights in 2018 include an expanded practical and wetlab offering, along with a new advanced veterinary practitioner stream for those looking to further develop specialised skills and knowledge. There’s also a brachycephalic stream showcasing the latest thinking and clinical advice, rounded off with an evidence-based discussion from key opinion leaders. The Congress exhibition continues to be the only place to see the latest products, innovations and services all focused on the needs of the small animal vet and veterinary nurse. Having personally bought everything from new products to largescale equipment at Congress over the years I know it’s a fantastic venue to come to with a shopping list and compare products, discover something new and network with the top companies in industry.
Congress wouldn’t be complete without our series of stunning social events where delegates unwind after networking and learning. Friday’s Banquet is a delight for a real ‘foodie’ like me; combining amazing food and big entertainment in exquisite surroundings. Saturday night evolves into V18, the new name for our very own indoor festival, packed full of music, entertainment and comedy (and I’m promised the return of the hugely popular silent disco). Having attended each Congress since 1991, I am very proud to welcome you as we enter our 7th decade. I cannot wait for the buzz of Congress to come around again next year; for delegates to come together, meet old friends and make new ones, and participate in the advancement of the veterinary profession Whether you are a Congress regular like myself or visiting for the first time, I hope you will be able to join us this April to create enriching and inspiring moments together