Sold-out ECC conference a winner for delegates, exhibitors and speakers

The Vets Now 14th annual Emergency and Critical Care Congress has been hailed a success.

More than 600 delegates and exhibitors attended the two-day event in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Hosted by Vets Now in the historic Majestic hotel, the sold-out event provided vets, vet nurses and other delegates with the opportunity to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in emergency and critical care.

Image of people clapping and having fun at Congress
This year's Congress was the most successful yet, with tickets selling out weeks in advance

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Amanda Boag, clinical director at Vets Now and vice-president of the RCVS, said: “Our aim was to bring some of the world’s leading ECC specialists together with vet professionals to debate and discuss the latest developments in the discipline.

“The list of speakers was phenomenal and feedback has shown that colleagues from across the profession found the lectures and practical sessions useful and informative. Emergency and critical care is constantly changing and we always need to be prepared for the next big challenge.”

The Vets Now ECC Congress was first set up in 2004 to provide innovative training to the veterinary profession. This year, 14 speakers discussed 36 topics across three separate lecture streams.

Image of attendees watching a lecture at Congress
Vets and vet nurses from all over the world travelled to attend this year's Congress

The programme included a mixture of talks, discussion forums and workshops on subjects such as wound management, ultrasound-guided vascular access and trauma management.

Among the speakers were leading ECC and surgical specialist vets Kate Hopper, Laura Cuddy and John Williams. There was also a range of practical workshops led by internationally-renowned experts such as Karen Humm and Jen Devey.

Meanwhile, Christine Magrath and Geoff Little hosted a platform discussing communication techniques, and how to improve discussions with clients expressing extreme emotion.

Some 45 exhibitors attended Congress, showing off the latest technology and developments in small animal care.

Image of Louise O'Dwyer presenting a lecture at Congress
Louise O'Dwyer was among the speakers during Congress

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It wasn’t all about learning, however, as each night featured a different social event to allow delegates to network and relax after a hard day of lectures.

The Thursday night Gala dinner — held at The Royal Hall in Harrogate and with a Strictly Come Dancing theme — delighted all who attended. Stars of the hit TV show James and Ola Jordan gave a mesmerising performance.

The fantastic three-course dinner was followed by a live band performance and disco and the fun carried on well into the night.

Delegates from across the veterinary profession heaped praise on all aspects of Congress.

Stephanie Edwards, veterinary surgeon at Shepherds’ Vet Centre in Kidderminster, said: “I’ve been to Congress seven times now and the CPD is always of a very high quality. It’s also reasonably priced and the social events are excellent.”

Another vet, Fiona McGuckin, of Vet 24 Milton, Cambridge, added: “I learn something new every time I go to Congress. For me, the overall experience — including the venue, staff, information, delegate packs, quality of CPD, food — is always so positive. It gives you the feeling that the veterinary profession is always moving forward.”

Image of James and Ola from Strictly Come Dancing performing at Congress
Stars of Strictly Come dancing James and Ola performed on Thursday night

Congress was supported by main sponsor Woodley Equipment Company Ltd, and other sponsors, Idexx Laboratories, Boehringer Ingelheim, Zoetis, Abaxis and KVP.

Our media partners were Vet Times and VN Times.