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WVC, NAVC on Move in Future Years

The Western and North American veterinary conferences are planning new March and February show dates, respectively.

The annual Western Veterinary Conference draws nearly 15,000 attendees, compared with more than 16,000 at the North American Veterinary Community conference.

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Veterinarians accustomed to flying to Las Vegas in February or staying at Orlando’s Gaylord Palms Resort in January may have to rethink their plans.

Western Veterinary Conference is moving to March show dates starting in 2016, and the North American Veterinary Community conference is switching times and locations beginning in February 2017.

WVC traditionally is held at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas each February, but the conference has overlapped and shared facilities with the fashion industry’s MAGIC trade show.

“With Mandalay Bay currently hosting two major events at the same time, it adds tremendous pressure in coordinating logistics and increases the internal site pressures of servicing enormous crowds in all areas, such as parking, retail outlets, restaurants and more,” WVC stated. “The date change will allow some relief from that pressure and will work to enhance the participant experience in ways that have otherwise been out of WVC’s control.”

The new WVC dates are March 6 to 10, 2016, March 5 to 9, 2017, and March 4 to 8, 2018.

WVC’s upcoming 2015 show is set for Feb. 15 to 19.

The changes prevent a schedule conflict with NAVC, which will move from mid-January show dates to early February starting in 2017.

WVC was the first to act, CEO David Little said.

“We had already made the decision to move our annual conference dates when we heard NAVC would be moving to February in 2017 and 2018,” Little said. “Certainly we were relieved and pleased for our exhibiting partners, who would have been in a real bind if both of our meetings occurred less than one week apart.”

NAVC has squeezed its Orlando, Fla., trade show and continuing education into the Gaylord Palms and the World Center Marriott, and presented additional classes at the Caribe Royale.

Everything will move a few miles down Interstate 4 in 2017 to the Orange County Convention Center. The need to board a shuttle bus to get from a CE session at the Gaylord to one at the Marriott, for example, will be eliminated.

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“I’m excited about the move for two primary reasons,” said Tom Bohn, NAVC’s CEO. “First, since we’ll be taking over all three hotels connected to the center [Hilton, Hyatt Regency and Rosen Centre], we can continue to offer the intimate and closely connected experience our attendees have come to expect.

“Second, the new space allows us to add new programs and partnerships as we seek innovative ways to deliver outstanding conference programs.”

The Orange County Convention Center offers more than 2 million square feet of meeting and exhibitor space. Under the current set-up, trade show booths are split between the Gaylord Palms and the Marriott.

NAVC’s 2017 conference dates are Feb. 4 to 8. The last conference at the multiple locations will take place Jan. 16 to 20, 2016.

The contract with the Orange County Convention Center runs through 2023.

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