FVMA Annual Conference 2023 returned to Signia by Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando for its 94th year on April 20-23, 2023, providing cutting-edge continuing education (CE) to veterinary professionals from around the world. Veterinarians, veterinary technicians, veterinarian assistants, and practice managers attended the conference not only to earn necessary RACE-approved CE hours but also to network with a variety of veterinary professionals and industry partners.
The flagship event offered 180+ lecture sessions as well as 13 hands-on wet labs where veterinarians and technicians practiced various techniques and clinical procedures such as abdominal ultrasound and dental extractions. Renowned speakers like Dr. Ralph Harvey, Dr. Gary Oswald, and Dr. Jacqueline Whittemore shared their insights on anesthetic techniques, diagnostic testing options, and a variety of specialized topics trending in veterinary medicine. Of the many different lecture sessions offered, Technician Emergency Medicine, Crisis Management and Anesthesia, and Feline Chronic Bronchitis and Asthma saw the highest attendance.
New and unique wet labs were offered this year including Backyard Chicken Medicine, which gave veterinarians and technicians the opportunity to learn about treating companion chickens. Some of the most popular wet labs included Soft Tissue Surgery Boot Camp, Basic Small Animal Abdominal Ultrasound, and Dental Nerve Blocks Cleaning, Probing & Charting.
Sounds of chatter and excitement could be heard through the doors of the large exhibit hall which hosted many events throughout the conference. Over 100 exhibitors attended including Patterson Veterinary, Simmons Veterinary Practice Sales & Appraisals, and Nutramax Laboratories Veterinary Sciences, INC.
Cover-all Bingo was offered to all conference attendees and numerous prizes were awarded throughout Saturday afternoon. Players had to take their bingo card to participating exhibitor booths to receive a stamp or sticker and then turned their completed card in to be eligible for the prize raffle. Awards given away included Apple Watches, Apple Home Pods, Amazon Alexas, and even a check for $1,000.
Among other festivities in the exhibit hall was the Wine Toss booth which acted as a fundraiser for the FVMA Foundation. The foundation maintains a scholarship fund to support the studies of Florida veterinary medical and veterinary technician students — awarding nearly $20,000 in student scholarships annually. At the Wine Toss booth, players were challenged with trying to capture bottles of wine and liquor by tossing rings at the bottles. Many bottles were won and over $1,500 was raised for the foundation.
A Welcome Reception took place in the exhibit hall to welcome conference attendees and give them a place to mingle and network. Also in the exhibit hall, attendees (and their pets!) took fun pictures at the FVMA photo booth.