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Manchester Central welcomes Europe’s largest veterinary congress

Manchester Central, one of the UK’s leading events venues, recently opened its doors to Europe’s largest veterinary congress as it continues to lead the recovery of the live events sector in the North West.

Across the three-day event (24 - 26 March), the BSAVA welcomed delegates from its 11,000 membership  of veterinary professionals and beyond, showcasing the very latest veterinary research findings and technology, and generated around £10m economic impact for the city.

The conference and exhibition, comprising over 100 of the industry's leading organisations, operated as 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 were 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 British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) said, Congress 2022 represented many firsts for BSAVA. It was the first hybrid event not just for the organisation but, I believe, for the UK’s veterinary community and, the first time the event has been held in Manchester.

"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."

“The new venue has provided an opportunity to really shake up the content,” added Paul Higgs, congress programme committee chair, BSAVA. “This is the first time BSAVA Congress delegates have met in two years, so we hope we’ve delivered an unforgettable experience.”

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The association highlighted Manchester Central’s sustainability drive and net zero carbon pledge as a key factor in its decision to bring the event to the city, including its use of Manchester’s Civic Quarter Heat Network to reduce carbon emissions in the city and power the venue solely through the network’s turbine engine.

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

Sheona Southern, MD at Marketing Manchester, said: “We were delighted to welcome the first face-to-face BSAVA Congress to its new home in Manchester. We take great pride in hosting such prestigious congresses in the city, and we hope our new ‘Manchester Welcome’ programme has ensured 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 came almost two years to the week that the UK - and the events sector - was plunged into its first lockdown and was the latest in a long line of events held at the venue since Covid-19 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 continues, “Live events are such an important part of the regrowth and regeneration of Greater Manchester and are critical to our wider economic and societal recovery. Our venue alone brings around £150m into Greater Manchester in a typical year, helping drive the local economy. Being able to support other businesses in this way is something we are extremely proud of.”