By Bruce Cochrane.
The co-chair of the program organizing committee of the Banff Pork Seminar expects a change in venue at this year's conference to enhance networking opportunities.
The 2016 Banff Pork Seminar kicks off today and runs until Thursday.
This year's theme, in recognition of the forty-fifth anniversary of the annual conference is "Honouring the Past, Embracing the Future."
Dr. Michael Dyck, a professor of swine physiology and biotechnology with the University of Alberta and co-chair of Banff Pork Seminar program organizing committee, notes this year will see a return of the seminar to the Banff Springs Hotel.
Dr. Michael Dyck-University of Alberta:
We changed the venue simply because we do like to try new things.
As well there was an interest from a number of delegates to move back to the Banff Springs, so it's more just an evolution of the conference and, as conference facilities become available and are improved, we're always trying to improve the experience for our delegates.
One of the things that we really liked about the Banff Springs is that their conference centre allows us to have all of our sessions and our break-out sessions all in a very intimate sort of environment.
The rooms are very close to each other and there's a nice area for networking as well as for our sponsor exhibits.
One of the things that attracted us to the Banff Springs Conference Centre was the fact that it would allow for a great deal of networking.
That's something about Banff Pork Seminar, is that it's know very well as a networking meeting where people from industry can get together, talk about what's going on in the industry, what challenges they're having and as well compare notes.
It's not just the sessions.
The sessions stimulate conversation but as well I think a lot of people come back year after year after year and kind of catch up with their colleagues in the industry and take notes and then go back and try and apply some of the things that they've learned.
Dr. Dyck says over 600 delegates and counting have registered for this year's conference.
He notes the industry has had a fairly good year which helps increase attendance and we have a fairly strong program so people are interested in coming and hearing what's being talked about.