The 30th World Buiatrics Congress, held in Sapporo from August 28 to September 1, 2018 brought together 2,021 participants from 68 countries, with half of the attendance from outside of Japan and over 150 students. The World Buiatrics Congress has a long history, the inaugural congress held in 1960, making this first ever WBC to be held in the Asia Pacific a landmark event.
Hokkaido accounts for over 60% of dairy cattle and 20% of beef cattle raised in Japan, and is home to the largest number of cattle veterinarians in the nation. Sapporo, capital of Hokkaido and 5th largest city in Japan, is the hub of this industry, making it the ideal host for the congress.
Sapporo Convention Bureau supported the bidding committee from early on, helping with the site selection, preparation of the bidding documents, and designation of the PCO. During the congress the bureau assisted with cultural programs for accompanying guests (Tea Ceremony, Flower Arrangement, Japanese Calligraphy, Kimono) and ran a city information desk.
_In the Field
Besides its diverse program with a large selection of workshops, WBC 2018 also offered participants the opportunity to visit local farms and see first-hand the quality control of animal welfare and dairy products of Hokkaido.
_Making a Splash
The host committee took special care with the promotion and branding of the congress, effectively using social media and PR goods to build hype and grow attendance.
A unique twist on the traditional coffee break, participants were able to network at the congresses “milk breaks” that offered coffee, with local Hokkaido milk of course, and milkshakes.
_Pay It Forward
Special sessions for the public allowed elementary school students to try their hand at milking cows, as well as learn about dairy and veterinary sciences.