Case study: Reptile conference scales up for annual meeting

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Following a two-year pandemic-enforced hiatus, the Advancing Herpetological Husbandry (AHH) and British Herpetological Society (BHS) Conference took place at Drayton Manor Resort Hotel in March 2022, attracting 110 amphibian and reptile specialists. 

What was the aim of the conference?

The two organisations involved were Advancing Herpetological Husbandry, an international Facebook group dedicated to driving up husbandry and welfare standards of reptiles and amphibians under human care through best evidence, alongside the British Herpetological Society, which promotes research, conservation as well as responsible management of reptiles and amphibians under human care.

The meeting brought together professional and private herpetoculturists from the UK, Europe, USA and Australia. Four speakers from four countries included two Drayton Manor Resort (DMP) staff with a programme that included thought-provoking presentations. The knowledge exchange and networking opportunities were extensive.

How did the conference build a legacy and contribute to society beyond the conference walls?

The quality of the presentations was hugely impactful with many thought-provoking topics. Students had the opportunity to play a role as they represent the future of Herpetoculture. Two experts from the conference stayed an extra day and delivered training to zookeepers from Drayton Manor, but also other local zoos in the importance of Infra-red and ultraviolet light to the welfare of zoo animals.

British Herpetological SocietyPhoto Credit: British Herpetological Society

Why was the venue chosen?

The venue was chosen due to its central location with good transport links, including proximity to the airport for international delegates and speakers. The hotel was also important, as is the historic link of the Zoo at Drayton Manor being the birthplace of the International Herpetological Society and the strong herpetology department at the zoo, with many rare and unusual species.

What was the client feedback?

Feedback from delegates and speakers has been overwhelmingly positive and CPD, networking, knowledge transfer and reputational enhancement for the zoo among peers has been considerable.

The organisers are keen to book for next year and anticipate it being an even bigger and better event. As a non-profit conference, any surplus money made will go to supporting colleagues in Ukraine who are currently experiencing extreme difficulties.

Holly Patrick
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Holly Patrick
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A desire to travel led Holly Patrick to the business meetings and events world and she’s never looked back. Holly takes a particular interest in event sustainability and creating a diverse and inclusive industry. When she’s not working, she can be found rolling skating along Brighton seafront listening to an eclectic playlist, featuring the likes of Patti Smith, Sean Paul, and Arooj Aftab.

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