Challenge: The Canadian veterinarian market is underdeveloped in the areas of sustainability and business operations technology. The old guard, mostly operating small regional veterinary businesses, do not see the need to update their technology since the majority of them are in the process of retiring and typically selling their veterinary practice. At the same time the young generation, nearly 85% women, are looking to enter the market and apply emerging technologies to propel the industry forward. There is also an education deficit with regards to owning and operating a business because most Canadian professional training is aimed at scientific practice-based information. Finally, there is a need to introduce more ecologically conscious and sustainable industry standards. I was approached by Director Veronique Thivierge, a rising star and student leader at the time (now Dr. Thivierge), who asked me to help her understand and solve this problem.

Solutions: In order to engage all of the relevant stakeholders and establish a platform for meaningful industry level change management, I recommended that the Dr. Thivierge establish a Young Woman’s Veterinary Conference (for all ages). I designed and helped project manage the entire operation. My work included: demographic research and conference design, branding, implementation of easy to use online e-commerce technology, sales pipeline design and management, communications design and delivery, on site ‘take-1’ professional video/media production, ‘Ted Talk’ style program design, continuing education credit registration, budgeting, community outreach, volunteer management and I helped successfully negotiate the appearance of keynote speakers the likes of Jane Goodall and David Suzuki.

Results: The YWVA sold-out their first show with over 500 participants. They made a profit and attracted over 60 of the top industry influencers who came from across the continent to hear 20 top executives give talks on business and sustainability issues in the veterinary space. The association set the bar and changed the direction of an entire industry in less than 18 months. We engaged industry, well aware of the core issues in a market they are trying to penetrate, by setting up a distributed marketing effort that involved several key sponsors whom collectively promoted the conference. We were also able to respond to the veterinary industry challenges by bringing vet students, veterinarians, industry captains and companies all together to dialogue and manage what is proving to be and amazing development opportunity for all stakeholders.

Watch more YouTube videos from the conference.

Skills Needed: Networking, Conference Design & Management, Costing/Budget, Program Design & Management, Media Relations, Technical Crew Management, Stage Design, Sponsorship Acquisition, E-Commerce Website Design, Graphics Design.
Location(s): Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Budget Range: 100K+
Date/Duration: 2016-2017
Team: Morgan Rauscher, Dr. Veronique Thivierge, The Vancouver Aquarium, Sophie Leonelli, Ariane Durocher, Marie-Claude Laurin, Claude Stanciu, David Nantel et copine, Catherine Mireault-Romagna, Caro Bergeron, Student Volunteers.
Partners: CDMV, Royal Canin, Hill’s, Merck, Elanco, Royal Bank, Vetoquinol, Rayne Clinical, AnimaPlus+, Groupe Vétéri Médic inc., Bank National, Nutram, Openface, Merial, Sinclair Dental.