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Optometry Victoria congress takes new JV approach

18/07/2018By Matthew Woodley
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Optometry Victoria (OV) and ODMA have revealed they will join forces to create a new optical event next year that they hope will become the largest education, eyecare and eyewear event in Australia.

O=MEGA will run biennially and replace the Southern Regional Congress (SRC) and ODMAFAIR. Optometry Victoria CEO Mr Pete Haydon told Insight O=MEGA19 was a win-win for all involved, in particular delegates and exhibitors.

“It’s bringing together the two best parts of the two products. SRC is the largest, longest established and most credentialed optometry conference, so everyone will still get that. But the trouble is that some people want to go and buy as well,” he explained.

“SRC doesn’t happen without the tradeshow on the side, but the tradeshow at SRC is no where near as large as ODMA’s. So people can actually get the best of both worlds from this.”



“SRC doesn’t happen without the tradeshow on the side, but the tradeshow at SRC is no where near as large as ODMA’s. So people can actually get the best of both worlds from this.”
Pete Haydon, OV.

Haydon believes the new event, which has been negotiated by the OV and ODMA boards for the past 18 months, could attract up to four times the number of delegates as the current SRC stand-alone format. He also said it aligned with OV-led bid to host the World Congress of Optometry in 2021.

Meanwhile, ODMA chairman Mr Rob Sparkes said he hoped the entire industry would embrace the new joint venture and that it was important to deliver, rather than wait for change.

“ODMA Fair and our other products have been the cornerstone of optics events in Australia for as long as most people can remember. We’re proud of that legacy. In fact, it’s only because of the strength of our events that we can be so forward-looking and ambitious with O=MEGA19,” he said.

“It’s a truly exciting initiative and we can’t wait to bring it to market in 2019. ODMA looks forward to working with Optometry Victoria to deliver an international world class event.”

O=MEGA19 will be held in the new expansion at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, which is fully integrated with the conference space. While a split schedule will see dedicated exhibition-only time, there will still be a 40-point CPD minimum.

It will also unveil a new format including lectures, sponsored sessions, team based learning and small group workshops, a design junction fashion eyewear area, and a cocktail party on the Saturday night.

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