BSAVA Core Offering

As a father of two daughters being made fun of every week is a fact of life. My eldest, who is left-handed, passed me a tin she’d been unable to open last week because in her struggles to use a right-handed tin opener she’d chewed up the top of the tin. So, I opened it with a hammer and chisel. Instead of “..thanks dad..” I got “...evolve, adapt, survive!!!”

BSAVA Congress is going through an interesting transition as it evolves from where it is now to whatever Manchester BSAVA Congress will become in 2021. For me, I view the move to Manchester with optimism although I may perhaps have a bias as I went to school in central Manchester and feel comfortable there.

After graduating from Liverpool in 1986 I also took my first veterinary practice job in Cheshire on the edge of Manchester; my boss at the time used to refer to Manchester as “...a great big village...”. Whilst I no longer live or study there that is still how it feels to me when I go back, as I do at regular intervals. I find that complete strangers will smile at me, have a joke with me or say hello in the street, as they do in the small village that I now live in. It’s easy to get around Manchester’s transport system quickly if you plan the timing of your journey. There are a wide variety of things to see, eat and experience. Manchester is on an upwards trajectory and it’s easy to get there from Manchester airport, the railway stations or the motorway network.

As BSAVA is going through this evolution it’s going to have to try some new things out. Some of those new things will work, some won’t, others will but with some tweaking. That’s normal when going through change and this transitional phase is a chance to experiment with new things, listen to the feedback and learn from it ready for the move.

There are some fundamentals though that are going to have to be got right in Manchester. The quality of CPD has always been what attracts a wide international audience to BSAVA. As an exhibitor getting the visitors from the CPD in the ICC to the Exhibition Centre without being sucked into the bars along the way was always a challenge...particularly if the sun shone. People also need opportunities to meet and chat and when you got to the Exhibition Centre there wouldn’t be many places to sit. I believe the move to Manchester presents opportunities to fix that…apart from the fact that it rains a lot in Manchester it does also have good integrated conference centres, hospitality and entertainment.

Delivery of CPD or PPD if that is your preferred term is going to remain central to future success. Alongside CPD that is relevant, possibly interactive, there are some hygiene things that need to be got right…if you are in a lecture acoustics need to be good without much background noise. The atmosphere needs to be comfortable without sending you to sleep.

The next two years are going to be an opportunity for BSAVA Congress organisers to engage with the potential sponsors of the future, experiment, and find out what to deliver at Manchester. I did hear on Saturday about one change that did not go so well and needed a bit of tweaking. It would be easy to make fun of the things that don’t work. But the truth is, if the Congress manages to deliver the core CPD offering well...we do need to be able to hear it...retain the things that people enjoy....and integrate this offering with the needs of the sponsors in a synergistic way then it does have the opportunity not just to evolve and adapt but thrive.

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