Europe’s largest veterinary congress brings £10m benefit

Manchester Central

Europe’s largest veterinary congress, the BSAVA (British Small Animal Veterinary Association), takes place at Manchester Central this week, bringing an estimated £10m of economic benefit to the region.

During the three-day event, from March 24-26, the venue will welcome delegates from an 11,000-strong membership of veterinary professionals and beyond, showcasing the very latest research findings and technology.

The sell-out conference and exhibition, which embraces more than 100 of the industry’s organisations, will be a hybrid event, providing keynote speakers on the venue’s stages as well as a comprehensive virtual agenda.

Shaun Hinds, CEO at Manchester Central, said: “We are thrilled to welcome the BSAVA to Manchester Central for the first time in its 65-year history.

“Conferences like this show how important it is for sectors to come together, in person, to share ideas and innovations. This is a vital part of the development of any business sector, and one that has been missing for the past two years.”

Sheldon Middleton, president at the BSAVA said: “Congress 2022 represents many firsts for BSAVA. It’s the first hybrid event, not just for the organisation but, I believe, for the UK’s veterinary community and, the first time the event is being held in Manchester.

“Having been born in Greater Manchester, I’m particularly excited. Manchester Central is an inspiring space, in one of the country’s most vibrant and welcoming cities. It is the perfect backdrop for an ambitious event created for, and by, ambitious people.”

Paul Higgs, BSAVA’s new congress programme committee chair, said: “The new venue provides an opportunity to really shake up the content.

“This is the first time BSAVA Congress delegates will have met in two years and we want to deliver an unforgettable experience.”

The event is supported by Marketing Manchester as part of its Delegate Welcome Initiative, working with hotel partners, TfGM, as well as discounted activities and dedicated city-wide meeting points, as it supports the regeneration of events in the region.

Sheona Southern, managing director at Marketing Manchester, said: “We take great pride in hosting such prestigious congresses in the city, and we hope our new ‘Manchester Welcome’ programme will ensure delegates find our city not only a convenient and forward-thinking place to meet, but also an inspiring and vibrant place to spend leisure time in our thriving culture, heritage, arts, and nightlife offering.”

The congress comes almost two years to the week that the UK – and the events sector – was plunged into its first lockdown, and is the latest in a long line of events held at the venue since COVID restrictions were lifted.

To date, the venue has welcomed around 70,000 delegates in 2022 alone across its public and trade exhibitions, conferences, corporate events and special events.

Shaun Hinds said Manchester Central generates around £150m into Greater Manchester in a typical year.