I admit I thought I was a bit old to be attending a festival. I like my home comforts and spending a couple of days in a field didn’t seem to offer many home comforts. Maybe there has been too much mud on TV from Glastonbury but the appeal of CPD in a field was a little lost on me.
When its summer I need to have my toes out at all times. How would I cope with mud? What if it rains, will I cope with a chemical toilet, how would I cope with the crazy festival vibe?
Still, I planned for my time in the field. I bought a poncho for the rain, a selfie stick for many photo opportunities and a floral headband so I would fit in, how could I not enjoy myself?
Well Dear Reader, enjoy myself I did. Everything about VetFest was fabulous. Although there could have been more face glitter….
Let’s start with the important part – the CPD. The lectures were held marquees creating a fab atmosphere. To counter the noise from neighbouring marquees there were headphones for attendees and it looked like we were in a silent disco.
The subjects were varied and the presentations of a really high standard. I was sorry to not to have been able to go the rehab lectures on the Saturday as they looked amazing. I really enjoyed Kieran Borgeats cardiology and Jon Bowens behaviour and noise phobia lectures.
The facilities needn’t have had me worried. The toilets were actually pretty plush. The food was fantastic – the best I’ve had at any CPD. There was also plenty of places to top up your water bottle and the food was served in cardboard containers. It was easy to avoid single use plastics so I was really happy.
The atmosphere was laid back and friendly. The small size of the festival really helped. I had envisioned a huge queue for food and toilets but that wasn’t the case.
A few days before we had received an email about an embargo on broadcasting any of the key note with Russell Brand. It all made it seem pretty serious but I needn’t have worried. The discussion between Russell and Noel was great. Relaxed, fun, but discussing the pressures on the vet industry and what we can do about it. I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt that being in our industry makes us part of a special club that’s an honour to be in it and we need to look after each other.
This was possibly the friendliest CPD meeting I’ve been to. I had an absolute blast, met so many great people and learnt loads, all while being outside! I’m thinking next year I get a VW Camper van and stay for the weekend! See you there in 2018, when everyone will have their toes out!