VMX has officially kicked off! How many of you attended the intro event at 11am today? 80s video montage, live performance of “Don’t Stop Believin’”, canine stunt performers, a joke-filled address by the legendary Kevin Bacon… I had so much more fun than expected!

The VMX veterinary conference, also known as the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) Conference, is an annual event held in Orlando, Florida that brings together vets, techs, and other animal health professionals. It’s the biggest veterinary conference in the entire world — this year there are about 26,000 attendees. Wowza!

In tribute to its 40th year, VMX is rocking an incredibly fun 80s theme this year. Their team has done an amazing job sticking to this theme! 80s references are everywhere. I already feel like I’m traveling back to the time of Cabbage Patch Kids, “Every Breath You Take”, and clunky but classic boomboxes.

The conference offers an enormous range of lectures, workshops, and hands-on training sessions. There’s also a spectacular trade show featuring the latest products and services in our field.

 

If you’re at VMX, these are our tips to maximize your experience:

 

1. Have a CE plan

Hundreds of hours of CE are being offered from now until Wednesday afternoon! If you haven’t already, scan the 16-page program and circle the lectures you’re interested in every day. There are lectures on everything from updates on seizures, sepsis, and spays to sugar glider medicine to customer service techniques.

There are a lot of lectures happening simultaneously in different locations, so be sure to know when and where your favorites are happening. You can view the conference schedule on the NAVC website or through the conference app, which is available for download on the App Store and Google Play.

 

2. Network

VMX is a glowing opportunity to make connections. There are so many ways to meet people! There are events like the EXPO night and many after-hours events. My favorite way to meet others is to strike up conversations with strangers in lines, while waiting for food, en route to/from my hotel, and anywhere else you can connect with a smile. You never know who that person is and where the conversation will go. : )

 

3. Explore the trade show

The VMX trade show is sensory overload and so much fun! Every time I see a veterinary trade show, I get excited about our profession all over again. It’s easy to feel a tingle of pride as you walk down aisle after aisle celebrating innovations in a great way to learn about the latest products and services in the field and connect with vendors. Be sure to allocate some time to visit the trade show and take advantage of the opportunities to learn and network.

 

4. Have fun!

  • Tonight – Saturday, January 14 – VMX 40th Anniversary Party 80s Night – techs admitted at 7pm and everyone else admitted at 8pm. Break out your leggings, leg warmers, neons, scrunchies, and don’t forget to use your hair crimper. I’m bursting with excitement to dance the night away to my favorite 80s tracks!
  • Sunday, January 15 – Expo night 5:30 – 6:30pm: Visit the Expo Hall after hours for snacks, drinks, games, roller skating, prizes and more!Techs are admitted at 7pm and everyone else is admitted at 8pm. 
  • Throughout the conference: 80s impersonators – Characters such as Madonna and the Ghostbusters will be rocking it through the Expo Hall!
  • Expo night and possibly through the conference: Roller Rink – I’m still trying to figure out if it’ll be open for the whole conference. But you can borrow skates and roll around under a variety of suspended disco balls!
  • Throughout the conference: Arcade – An entire space dedicated to classic games from the 80s… Except leave your quarters at home, it’s free!

 

5. Meet the Relief Rover team at booth 933!

Be sure to stop by the Relief Rover booth. We’re very close to the Roller Rink and the huge MTV television. We love meeting all of you in person! We have the following at our booth:

  • NOMV donation jar – for every visitor to our booth, we donate $1 to Not One More Vet! It’s our way of decreasing the clutter in your suitcase (and our environment) and increasing your happiness and karma.
  • flyers with our special VMX signup codes – new vet and tech members will be entered to win free Fear Free membership and new employers will get an exclusive discount on annual membership.
  • raffle for our sought-after Relief Rover t-shirts – last year, people wanted to buy our shirts! While we don’t sell them, you can enter our VMX raffle to win one of your own.
  • candy of course : )
  • our glorious team!

 

On that note, I gotta go prep for the 80s-themed dance party tonight. (Nothing like a good excuse to bring out the scrunchies and my pearl-embellished jeans.) Can’t wait to see as many of you as possible!

 

Helpful links:

VMX mobile app

40 things to do at VMX

VMX program schedule

Expo Hall map

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