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  • Katie Ford

We did it! Celebrating VETstagram 2023: The Veterinary Social Media Summit

VETstagram banner
We had a (small) banner!

As the organiser of VETstagram, I find myself reflecting on the incredible journey of our inaugural veterinary social media event. It has been a week filled with awe-inspiring moments, powerful insights, and heartfelt connections. In this reflective piece, I want to share the highlights of VETstagram 2023, offering a glimpse into the transformative power of the event and the lessons learned along the way.

Unveiling the Potential of Social Media for Veterinary Professionals:

VETstagram 2023 was born out of a desire to empower veterinary professionals to harness the potential of social media effectively. The event had a modest beginning, originally planned as an in-person gathering in 2020. However, the unforeseen challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to pivot and transform the event into a virtual experience. Despite the last-minute changes, we were determined to create a space where veterinary professionals could learn, connect, and grow through social media.

Celebrating Moments of Inspiration and Learning:

At the heart of VETstagram 2023 was the incredible lineup of speakers who generously shared their expertise and experiences. From influencers to mental health professionals to community members to marketing experts to ex-Apprentice stars, each presentation was a source of inspiration. One of the most memorable moments was the opening by Hercule Van Wolfwinkle, whose unique use of social media raised over £250,000 for homelessness charities through his "rubbish pet portraits." This set the tone for the event, reminding us of the transformative power of social media beyond our professional endeavors, and how sometimes, we just have to take action. We were incredibly grateful to Hercule for donating a bespoke pet portrait, with was auctioned thanks to Ebony Escalona of VSGD; this alongside other auction lots raised nearly £2000 for StreetVet.

Hercule doing a live drawing 'masterclass' and raising funds for StreetVet

Interactive workshops brought theory into practice, allowing attendees to explore content creation, social media strategy, and responsible discussions of emotive topics online. These sessions were designed to be actionable and practical, providing attendees with tangible takeaways to implement in their own social media journeys. Other sessions were intimate, smaller community chats where speakers reflected on their own experiences and insights to start discussions amongst the community.

Naomi Oikonomou PetsApp
Naomi from PetsApp giving a workshop on how 'Everything Is Content'

We ended the day with an awesome public speaking working shop Calvin at SpeakEasy. Who knew this event would see seven veterinary community members battling to win an Attenborough cut-out? Yet it remained one of the favourite sessions amongst attendees.

Calvin from SpeakEasy
Caving from SpeakEasy bringing the energy

A keen set of volunteers for Calvin's challenge

The great Attenborough battle!

A community brought together

VETstagram 2023 brought together a diverse community of veterinary professionals, including veterinary surgeons, nurses, practice managers, and other animal healthcare professionals. It was heartwarming to see those at various stages of their social media journeys, from those just beginning to those with millions of views online, all gathering with a shared passion for making a positive impact.

Networking opportunities created a space for genuine connections and collaborations. As the event unfolded, attendees engaged in meaningful conversations, shared their challenges and successes, and built lasting relationships. It was an experience experience to watch the vibrant exchange of ideas and the formation of bonds that will undoubtedly extend beyond the event.

We event had networking golf - courtesy of Introducing Events!

networking golf
Networking mini golf was a total hit

The Impact and the Path Forward:

The impact of VETstagram 2023 exceeded our expectations. We loved reading the feedback, insights and suggestions for the future. We were proud to gain a net promoter score of 9.6.

In the week following the event, we find ourselves humbled by the response and are so excited about the possibilities ahead. We are already looking at ways to improve future events based on the feedback and requests from attendees. Our focus will be on adding beginner-friendly sections, further structured networking activities, and enhanced pre- and post-event connections to foster an even more inclusive and supportive community.

VETstagram is not just an event; it is a collective effort to make a positive impact in the veterinary profession through social media.

Thank you so much to all of our speakers, sponsors and everyone that supported us along the way.

Here's to 2024!

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