WVC welcomes attendees to hybrid conference

Published: 28 Oct 2021

Viticus Group brought attendees back in person to the WVC conference, Sept. 6-9 in Las Vegas, and offered a virtual supplement.

The Western Veterinary Conference became WVC in 2014. The organization was renamed as Viticus Group last year, reflecting its expansion to education in human health, while the annual conference remains WVC.

The 2020 conference took place in February last year before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of the United States. Viticus Group postponed the 2021 conference from February to September.

WVC attendees
Attendees listen to a speaker at the WVC conference, Sept. 6-9 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Tonya Harvey)

On-site attendance was over 8,000 for this year’s conference, and attendance through the virtual platform was over 4,000. The conference offered more than 800 hours of in-person continuing education, including hands-on laboratory sessions, and 21 hours of virtual CE. After the conference, more than 200 people continued to participate each week in the virtual supplement, available through Nov. 10.

The conference was named the WVC Dr. Jon R. Pennell 93rd Annual Conference in recognition of Dr. Pennell’s contributions to Viticus Group and the veterinary profession. Dr. Pennell is a second-generation veterinarian who has practiced small animal medicine and surgery in Las Vegas since 1981. He has a long history with Viticus Group, serving as president and in other roles, and also has held leadership positions in organized veterinary medicine.

“After scheduling the conference in September to ensure it would be safe to gather, we’re so happy to be together again,” said Andrea Davis, Viticus Group CEO, in an April blog post touting the meeting. “What our team is doing to expand the accessibility and safety features of a hybrid conference while still providing the high-quality educational experience is exciting. We want to give people the options and confidence they deserve when they trust us with their education.”

The top 5 best-attended in-person sessions were:

  • “The Diabetic Cat: Don’t Let It Get the Best of You, Part I”
  • “What to Worry About and How to Fix It: Crisis Management in Anesthesia”
  • ”The Vomiting Cat, Part I”
  • “Rational Approach to Dogs and Cats With Refractory Diarrhea, Part I”
  • “The Diabetic Cat: Don’t Let it Get the Best of You, Part II”

The 2021-22 WVC officers are Dr. Brian Poteet, Tomball, Texas, president; Dr. Debbie White, Las Vegas, president-elect; Dr. Gary D. Weddle, Henderson, Nevada, vice president; and veterinary technician E. David Stearns, Fall Creek, Wisconsin, secretary-treasurer.

Related JAVMA content:

WVC becomes Viticus Group