Joining Instructions for Attendees

Please find information below to help you make the most of your Congress.

The venue and how to get there

The Hilton Birmingham Metropole is located at the National Exhibition Centre, Pendigo Way, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1PP. Please enter via the hotel main entrance when you arrive.

The Hilton Birmingham Metropole is located just off Junction 6 (NEC Junction) of the M42. Birmingham Airport BHX and Birmingham International Rail Station are just two miles away.

If you are planning to travel by train, there are no strikes currently planned that will affect Congress. However, please do check in advance of travelling to make sure your train is running.

Accommodation

If you are not staying at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole please check with your individual hotels for confirmation, check-in, check-out and parking details.

Hilton Birmingham Metropole

For attendees who have booked accommodation through the Congress Hilton Birmingham Metropole link, the hotel will have provided confirmation directly. Please double check your booking confirmation to ensure that your booking is as required, as not all rates include breakfast.

Hilton Birmingham Metropole offers Contactless Arrival so you can skip the front desk, go straight to your chosen room and unlock your door from your phone. For instructions on how to activate your virtual key click here.

Please note all delegates staying at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, will be able to drop off their bags on arrival. Please do so at the Concierge desk situated in the main lobby. There is also a cloakroom available should you require it.

Parking

The Hilton Birmingham Metropole car park is clearly signposted as you approach the venue and has 600 spaces.

We have negotiated a parking rate of £10.00 per day, please use the event code XDZRI. You can pay online at any time during the event using the following link: https://www.bhmparking.co.uk/, or in advance if you know your time of arrival and departure.

Alternatively, there is also an option to pay at the machine next to Concierge in the main Reception.

For delegates who are not staying at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, once you have entered your arrival and final departure details, you will be able to come and go from the car park throughout the event.

Facilities

The Hilton Birmingham Metropole has some fantastic leisure facilities including 4 distinctively different restaurants and bars, LivingWell Health Club with state-of-the-art gym and expansive indoor swimming pool. Click here for further hotel information.

To access the Health Club facilities, we have negotiated the following special Congress rates:

  • £5 for unlimited access (individual pass)
  • £20 for unlimited access (family pass – 2 x adults & 2 x children)

 WiFi

Free Wifi will be available throughout the venue – simply enter SPVS2024 (capital letters) into the promotional code field.

Venue Map

You will be provided with a venue plan on arrival, but please find here details on where to register when you get to the hotel:

Registration and Information

The registration desk will be open at the following times and locations:

Thursday 25th January,

  • 9.00am to 10.30am – follow Registration signs to the Plenary Foyer
  • 10.30am to 6.00pm – in hallway outside the exhibition

Friday 26th January

  • 8.00am to 5.00pm – in hallway outside the exhibition

Saturday 27th January

  • 900am to 4.15pm – in Arden

The desk will remain open throughout Congress and will also serve as an as an information point.

 We don’t issue tickets for Congress. Your delegate badges along with event programme, floorplan and happy hour voucher will be available from the registration desk.

In the interests of sustainability, we won’t be supplying delegate bags and pens, so please do bring your own. Should you wish to take notes during your time at Congress, notepads will be available at the Registration and Information desks, courtesy of PetsApp.

Please ensure that your name badge is visible at all times during Congress in order to gain access to the exhibition, lectures and workshops. You may be refused entry without it.

Covid Protocol

Whilst all Covid restrictions have been lifted we would advise all attendees to stay at home if they have Covid or have any Covid symptoms. For your protection, hand sanitiser will be available throughout the venue.

Pre-bookable Sessions

All Thursday, Friday and Saturday lectures and workshops are included in your delegate ticket price. Full programme details can be found here.

Various sessions are bookable in advance. You can book onto as many of these sessions as you like, but please only book if you plan to attend so that others don’t miss out.

Saturday Sessions

To ensure that we can best provide for you, we ask that you let us know if you will be staying for Saturday’s Grow Your Business day. Click here to do so.

Attend our Saturday Grow your Business day and enter our free prize draw to win a week’s holiday cottage in Cornwall! 

Lunchtime Sessions

We will be offering 2 one-hour long sessions on the Thursday and Friday of Congress:

  • Thursday – It’s Time to Thrive, Not Just Survive! Dave Nicol
  • Friday – ‘Relationomics’: When relationships are built, improved or even repaired, EVERYTHING improves Andy Edwards

Lunch in the exhibition will be running alongside this.

Please sign up here for the relevant timeslot based on whether you would like lunch first and then the session, or vice versa.

Elanco Business Breakfast

Join Rebecca Maher, InsideMinds Consulting at 8.00am on Friday 26th January for ‘Persuading from the inside: 3 ways to apply psychology so you hear ‘yes’’

Includes breakfast rolls, pastries and tea / coffee. Click here to book.

Thursday and Friday Workshops (Stream D)

Spaces are limited for all Stream D sessions so book your place today! Click here for bookings and full session information.

You can book onto as many of these sessions as you like, but please only book if you plan to attend so that others don’t miss out.

Yoga

We’re delighted to be joined by Marieke, vet and certified yoga instructor who will be running a yoga session from 7.30-8.20am on Friday 26 January. Places are limited, so please book here now. Please come in comfy clothes and bring your own mat. There will be time to get changed afterwards before lectures commence.

All other sessions do not require pre-booking. Please choose from the available sessions below. Should the session you want to attend be full, there are plenty of others to join. All sessions will be recorded and made available afterwards to view at your leisure.

Don’t forget to record your learning and reflection using 1CPD.

Congress Exhibition and Refreshments

On the Thursday and Friday of Congress, do take some time out to explore the exhibition with over 50 suppliers.

All lunch and coffee breaks will be served in the exhibition. Additionally, tea, coffee and breakfast snacks will be served in the exhibition from 8.00am Friday.  A dietary adviser will be located at each food station to provide information on ingredients and allergens.

Competition time!

Our exhibitors have donated some terrific prizes for our popular delegate competition. Just visit the stands of all the participating companies to find the answers to the questions they have posed. Complete your entry by 2.30pm on Friday. Winners will be notified to collect their prizes by 3.30pm on the same day.

To access the delegate competition form visit:

https://spvs-congress.co.uk/congress-competition/

Happy Hour

Brought to you courtesy of Antech Diagnostics

Join us for a complimentary drink at our Thursday afternoon Happy Hour. Located in the Exhibition Hall, between 5:30pm and 6:30pm on Thursday 25th January, simply hand in your Happy Hour voucher at the drinks station to receive your free drink.

Social Events

Please note pre-booking is essential for these events. Tickets are not issued – your name will be ticked off on arrival.

 Please check your online registration/invoice details before arrival to check your social ticket information, these are in addition to your Congress pass.  Any additional social ticket requirements can be added to your online registration by visiting

spvs-congress.co.uk and accessing your account in the top right-hand corner.

Thursday 25th January – Musical Bingo and Buffet

Brought to you in partnership with Citation

For those who have booked a ticket to the out Thursday night event, this will be held in the Kings Suite from 7.30pm for a 8.00pm start. There will be a limited free bar from 7.30pm so don’t miss out! A pay bar will operate thereafter. Please note there is no allocated seating for this event.

Dress code: Smart casual.

Friday 27th January – President’s Party

Brought to you in partnership with Elanco and PetsApp

For those who have booked President’s Party Tickets, this will also be held in the Kings Suite.  Join us for pre-dinner drinks at 7:30pm, followed by a 3 course sit down meal with wine at 8:00pm. After dinner there will be a pay bar, along with dancing to our fantastic party band The Kings and DJ.

Dress code: Come dressed to impress! This year’s theme which will be based on the letter ‘S’ tying in with our ‘Smarter Working’ theme and the first letter of ‘SPVS’. You can come as anything you like beginning with the letter ‘S’ from Spiderman to The Supremes – be as creative as you like. You can get involved by dressing up a little, a lot or not at all (although we really hope you do). Click here for ideas.

Our chosen charity for Congress this year is Animal Welfare Foundation. We will be raising money for this worthy cause at the party, with a great raffle. You can buy £5 raffle tickets before and during the event by either clicking here, or by cash or card at the registration desk. You can also enter during the President’s party by making a cash or card donation in the envelope provided on your table.

Accessibility

We’re committed to making SPVS Congress as accessible as possible to all attendees. Please click here to find the ways in which we have improved the event with your needs in mind.

The seating for the opening ceremony, Big 6 Live and Streams A-C will be set up theatre-style. The Stream D workshops and Saturday sessions will be set up cabaret style, with 8-10 seats around a large table.

We would suggest that you bring a notepad and pen, or electronic device to make notes on. Certain sessions may include online polling, so a phone might also be useful.

We will be trialling live closed captions for Congress 2024. Should you require these during lectures, please sit near the front of the room to ensure that these are legible.

We’re aware that large events can be somewhat overwhelming, For those requiring a quiet space for some time out, our Quiet Room is conveniently located next to the exhibition (see venue plan). Opening times are Thursday 26th 9:30am – 6.30pm, Friday 27th 8.30am – 5.30pm.

Congress and Sustainability

Water coolers will be available in the Exhibition Hall and Lecture Rooms.  As part of our commitment to reducing unnecessary waste, we’d like to suggest that you bring your own refillable bottles and take advantage of these during your time at Congress. Why not bring your own reusable coffee cup too?

Bins labelled with items for recycling will be located throughout the exhibition hall.

We won’t be supplying delegate bags and pens, and have encouraged our exhibitors to provide digital content rather than printed, and discouraged single-use plastic free gifts

Visit liftshare.com/uk to organise a shared journey to Congress. As a driver you can sign-up to share your journey details, and non-drivers can post requests for a lift.

Photographer

We will be taking photos throughout Congress for future press and promotion. If you are not happy to be included in photographs, please let a member of staff know on site.