At Congress last week I found myself walking down the canal looking for food and reflecting on how BSAVA has changed. The area where I was walking used to be a crime hotspot; I recall two people being mugged at BSAVA Congress in years gone by but the introduction of CCTV along with the ongoing economic regeneration of the centre seems to have largely solved the problem. It's a beautiful place and feels safe.

The sights and sounds are of a cosmopolitan city continuing to regenerate and reinvent itself on the foundation of a transport hub that was once the centre of a world wide manufacturing revolution ...the smells of great food...the sight of funky architecture alongside glimpses of a Victorian past that was simultaneously functional and aspirational. I was still struck by the numbers of homeless people on the streets although I am aware that Dogs on The Street (DOTS) and StreetVet are doing their part in making at least some things better.

The hub of BSAVA itself remains the continuing personal and professional development provided by the ICC which still brings in visitors from all over the world and sends ideas, innovation and products back, just as Birmingham did in the industrial revolution. For me though it remains a place to meet contacts, see old friends and chat. Inevitably then I gravitate to the commercial exhibition to catch up with people I've known throughout the past few decades.

The exhibition itself has also changed. Gone, with one or two exceptions, are many of the large corporate pharmaceutical sponsors; there in greater numbers are the large incorporated veterinary groups and the smaller innovative companies who still need a hub to connect to an international veterinary audience.

I have worked with some of the large corporate groups in the past. These groups have the resources to organise their own CPD and I have presented at some of their conferences or worked with their staff as part of in-house training programmes, often with members of the team other than vets. But the fact is that they still have an ongoing issue to address that is never going to go away: recruitment.

Even if you manage much of their professional and personal development in house you still need to be able to continually recruit, train and replace staff: In a large business you cannot just work in one corporate silo. You still need to connect to the wider veterinary world and present yourself as a team worth joining; BSAVA remains a good place to do that.

So as I consider BSAVA past and consider its future I find myself wondering will its future just be a reflection of the past? Or will BSAVA Congress look at the current trends and also find a way to connect with and manage the multi-disciplinary professional team of the future? I do hope so as change is unstoppable and multi-disciplinary teams are the way ahead.