Wellness will be a focal point when more than 6,000 veterinary professionals gather for the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association’s (OVMA) 2017 Midwest Veterinary Conference (MVC) convening at the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center from February 23-26.

“Last year, we added a wellness track to the continuing education program. This year, our MVC Sunday Lunch will feature well-known speaker Dr. Ernie Ward talking about the keys to happiness and success. We’ll have a wellness center inside the exhibit hall with our partners from the Ohio Physicians Health Program offering resources, activities and stress relief,” said OVMA Communications Director Krysten Bennett. “We’ll also have nearly 200 exhibitors in our sold-out exhibit hall.”

“It’s amazing how many people come back year after year to this conference,” said OVMA Executive Director Jack Advent.

Known as “America’s Pet Advocate,” Ward is the founder of Seaside Animal Care, DogGone Healthy, VetPartners and the International Veterinary Senior Care Society. He will delve into the “5 Keys to Happiness and Success in Veterinary Practice” during his presentation.

MVC offers more than 400 hours of continuing education opportunities, 100 speakers providing expertise in all aspects of veterinary medicine, nearly 200 exhibitors and a variety of affiliated networking events for veterinary professionals and students aspiring to join them someday. Areas of focus include pet animals, equine, shelter animals, exotic animals, practice management and staff development.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to visit the exhibit hall from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. February 23-25 to explore the latest in veterinary technology, supplies and services.

“MVC is an event whose growth parallels that of our facility,” said Greater Columbus Convention Center General Manager John R. Page. “MVC is one of the largest veterinary conferences in North America and experienced a record-setting year in 2016 with more than 6,400 attendees, a 13 percent increase over the previous year.”

OVMA presents more than 2,400 veterinarians and provides them with opportunities to learn, discover and engage throughout the year.

The Greater Columbus Convention Center, located in downtown Columbus, hosted an estimated 2.5 million visitors in 2016. The facility is owned by the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority and is managed by SMG.

Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 240 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theaters, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 15 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 1.5 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s NRG Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering company SAVOR, currently serving more than 140 accounts worldwide.