Meetings and Events
In addition to regular Council and committee meetings, BIAZA has three major meetings each year; the Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting (in June); the Awards, Communication and Education (ACE) conference (in November) and a Research Symposium (in July). There are smaller regional meetings held each year (including those for educators and volunteer coordinators), and each of the seven Taxon Working Groups has an annual meeting. BIAZA also holds training events ranging from animal record keeping, to elephant management and the evaluation of education and interpretation.
The Annual Conference has a different theme each year; in 2010 (hosted by Belfast Zoo) it centered around Partnerships and Participation and in 2011 (hosted by Fota Wildlife Park in Cork City) it focused on evidence and basing decisions and actions on a sound foundation. The 2012 conference will be held at Paradise Wildlife Park on the theme of getting closer to animals.
Awards, Communication and Education Conference (ACE)
The Awards are presented to members at an Awards ceremony that precedes a joint communication and education conference. The aim of the ACE Conference is for education, marketing, pr and other relevant staff to learn from each other and invited guest speakers. It is a forum for new staff to learn about zoo communication and for more established staff to find out about the latest developments.
The Research Symposium attracts an increasing number of academic and zoo professionals as well as students every year. Themed sessions and workshops are aimed at increasing the understanding of the influences on zoo animal welfare, and topics have included measuring stress, improving diet and nutrition and studying visitor effects.