Year Before Move, NAVC Hosts Record Crowd

17,328 show up in Orlando for the last conference before a 2017 consolidation.

The 33rd annual NAVC conference set an attendance record in January with a count of 17,328.

The Orlando, Fla., event, organized by North American Veterinary Community, will head a few miles up Interstate 4 in 2017 to the Orange County Convention Center. The dates are Feb. 4 to 8.

The move eliminates three venues used for years—the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center, the Orlando World Center Marriott and the Caribe Royale hotel and convention center—and the need for an extensive shuttle bus system.

The 2016 conference drew attendees from all 50 states and more than 80 countries. Among them were 7,087 veterinarians, 1,613 veterinary technicians, 601 practice managers and 4,276 exhibitor personnel.

During a ceremony held the last day of the conference, Melinda Merck, DVM, was installed as president of the NAVC board. The other 2016-17 officers are Christine Navarre, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, immediate past president; Gail Gibson, VMD, president-elect; Leann Kuebelbeck, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, vice president; Laurel Kaddatz, DVM, treasurer; and directors Paige Allen, MS, RVT, Harold Davis, RVT, VTS, and Cheryl Good, DVM.

The conference offered two exhibition halls, more than 1,200 continuing education hours and hands-on laboratories, “Meet the Professor” luncheons, master classes, and breakfast and evening sessions.

NAVC officials stated that the consolidation beginning in 2017 will benefit attendees by bringing all sessions and the trade show to one location.

“Major hotels, restaurants and shopping will all be within walking distance, and there will be plenty of space to experience the best of the NAVC conference and all that Orlando offers,” the organization reported.

Nearby hotels include the Hilton Orlando, Hyatt Regency and Rosen Centre.

NAVC has booked the convention center through 2023. Other scheduled dates are Feb. 3 to 7, 2018, and Jan. 19 to 23, 2019.

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