When we were young, the pursuit of the perfect veterinary conference was a noble one. The methods were simple, and the attendees were easy to please. There were only two conferences then: big...and small.
But then several years ago there was a conference renaissance, an explosion of creativity as conference creators sought to push the boundaries of what vet conferences were, and what veterinary conferences could be. Suddenly, there were conferences for vet moms, conferences for anesthesia nerds, conferences with memberships, conferences on ships, conferences that look like not-conferences, and the great equalizer of them all: on demand virtual conferences where you can learn...in your pajamas. 😱
The last few years have forced us to forget everything we've known about vet conferences and...life in general. It's been rough.
We knew our games could make you laugh, but we still saw a need and wanted to help more.
So, we decided to pair what we do best (i.e. help vet professionals connect and laugh through games) with continuing education and in fall of 2022, launched Vets Against Insanity CON:
a veterinary conference that boldly goes where no conference has gone before….
or perhaps it’s with great conferences come great responsibility?
or maybe we are making vet conferences great again?
We'd love for you to join us for the 2024 CON in Nashvegas...but maybe you are wondering what in the harry potter you are signing up for if you buy a ticket.
FAIR. We'd feel the same way.
So - without further ado here is what to expect if you buy a ticket to this epic event:
WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE CON: Saturday Morning
You wake up in your beautiful hotel bed at the AC Hotel in downtown Nashville. It's not too early.
There are no barking dogs, children, etc. You stretch and realize this day is all about you: your learning, your connections, your ah-ha moments, your enjoyment, your relaxation. Your eyes light upon your epic costume, crinkled on the floor like it was torn off by a vigorous lover, and you smile as you remember how fun game night was last night on the rooftop pool deck. You didn't drink too much so no hangover and you feel GREAT. You were a little nervous about last night because you came alone and you are a little shy, but from the moment you arrived at the CON you have felt welcomed and comfortable.
You put on some comfy clothes, gather your awesome manga workbook and other learning materials, and head downstairs where a full, hot breakfast is waiting for you. You chat pleasantly with other attendees including new friends you met last night, but it doesn't matter who you talk to because everybody is friendly and happy to be there. You are relaxed and ready to learn, and it's such a good feeling that everybody is together in the same room all day for lectures. Also, because the CON is intimate, you get plenty of time to network with regional vendors who provide the solutions and services you need for vetmed life.
Our attendees say: This was simply my favorite conference I have ever been to. I enjoyed all the hilarious small details. The meme's, the shot glass/condom, the comic book-like CE book. SO much attention to detail in funny/small things. I absolutely loved it. The CE courses were pretty good too. ;-)
Once lectures and other shenanigans begin, the day goes so fast! The speakers are dynamic, funny, and relatable - they answer questions and provide interactive activities. You often feel anxious approaching speakers, but here that anxiety has disappeared because everybody is ridiculously low key and approachable. Also, you feel you matter here - you aren't just a faceless number in a crowd, you are a person and this event not only gives you the CE you need, it gives you new connections and new ways to take charge of your wellbeing. You are welcomed and celebrated as you are, whether you show up as a normie or weirdo, you can express your full, creative, authentic self and it feels good.
Our attendees say: Intimate, casual, fun, and hilarious conference. Perfect for a first time conference goer or someone who has "been there, done that." Amazing CE, amazing group of people that are ready to help at the drop of a hat.
As the day goes on you never know what is going to happen next: one moment you are using a game to reinforce your learning, the next moment you are doing power poses and dancing, the next you are eating delicious snacks and chatting with exhibitors. Next, you might be filling in your manga workbook, or you have been set on a scavenger hunt or other secret shenanigans, but suddenly it's time for a hot lunch that has been set up for you!
These Vets Against Insanity folks are WILD! It pushes you a little out of your comfort zone, but at the same time, you have never had so much fun while learning, you retain what you are being taught, you haven't laughed or felt as many feels in a lonnnnnggg time. In addition, you are making meaningful connections with colleagues and reps and you are creating concrete action items on how to continue your motivation, learning, and improvement after the conference. Your not quite sure what comes next, but your mind, body, and soul are saying BOO YAH.
Our attendees say: The CON was an innovative and groundbreaking experience. Inspired by thoughtful peeps to share and care for our wellbeing, it provides provocative continuing education in a fun, welcoming environment. The dynamic speakers and hilarious shenanigans (game night for the win!) stretch us to become better humans. Once you’ve been, you’ll never go back (to less scandalous forums).
The last lecture ends and you wonder where the day went. You also look around and realize that everybody stayed for every lecture - that never happens!!! You feel good about what you learned but more than that you just feel gooooooood - your face hurts from laughing and the serotonin is aflowin'. YASSSSSSSSSSSSS 😊
You gather up your stuff and take a quick break in your hotel room that somebody else cleaned for you, but not too long because you also signed up for the party bike excursion. You are still a little nervous and shy because you came to this conference alone but turns out your anxiety was unfounded because as soon as you get to the lobby your new friends see you and welcome you into the raucous group of party bikers. It's hard to be believe but the evening turns out to be one of your best ever - peddling around downtown Nashville, singing songs, waving at pedestrians, and just being a happy human without a care in the world. It feels good to give yourself permission to care for yourself and have fun.
Our attendees say: This was my first in person conference I attended (since the pandemic forced us into digital learning) and I was a very nervous wreck. But right from the start of registration to the very end, I was welcomed from everyone I met! The scandalous shenanigans and tomfoolery just melted away all my anxiety and I felt like I had found my people! Its amazing how humor can bring us together and I seriously had a good time all weekend! Oh and I learned things too =)
The good folks at Vets Against Insanity know their attendees need their rest because Sunday is more tomfoolery, we mean learning, so they get us back to the hotel by 9 p.m. You are all partied out so you head up to your comfy bed. As your eyes close, you drop off to sleep more quickly than usual and your last thoughts are filled with gratitude. You smile as you think about your day. You love the way this conference makes you feel about yourself, your career, vetmed, and life in general. You love what you are learning. You love the people you have met. You feel hopeful and motivated and so pumped for what you are going to learn and experience the next day, and mostly you are just so glad you came.
And that pretty much sums up what to expect at the CON.
Now...we know you might be skeptical that this CON thing can really live up to the hype, so we challenge you to try it for yourself. Right now there is early bird pricing....I'm jist sayin'....
YOU KNOW OUR GAMES. COME EXPERIENCE OUR EVENT:
From our slightly scandalous hearts to yours,
Sarah J. Wooten, DVM, CVJ and the Vets Against Insanity Crew 😆