Southern Regional Congress 2016: 950 delegates surprises organisers

Optometry Victoria’s Southern Regional Congress 2016 was held over the first weekend in March at a new venue, the Pullman Melbourne Albert Park.Based on data from previous years, OV estimated a likely attendance of around 800 delegates. The reality was around 950 following a last-minute surge in registrations, a number that stretched the venue’s set-up well after all conference plans were finalised. Frustratingly for the organizers and the hotel, a much greater number was well within the capabilities of the venue, but not without forward planning.As a result of the larger-than-expected crowd, space in the exhibition area at morning and afternoon teas and lunches was bordering on the impractical. Later in the weekend, some of the food sources were moved to an adjacent area to relieve the congestion experienced earlier.The programme itself was well received and much of the usual CPD fare (AMD/anti-VEGF, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, OCT, etc.) was notably absent. SRC 2016 also identified a new ‘star’ in Dr Nate Lighthizer, a relatively young optometrist from the Oklahoma College of Optometry where he is head of the Specialty Care and Electrodiagnostics Clinics, Director of Continuing Education, and Assistant Dean for Clinical Care Services.Dr Lighthizer joined fellow US optometrist Dr Jeffry Gerson, a presenter returning to the SRC by popular dand. Dr Gerson practices at Grin Eye Care in Olathe, Kansas. Together, they headlined the conference as keynote speakers and were ably supported by local speakers drawn from ophthalmology, optometry, and neurology as well as a few industry representatives. As usual, most lectures also offered additional CPD points to those answering the majority of MCQ correctly, using an audience response syst to confirm attendance and answers. The exhibition space hosted 37 exhibitors.

Send this to a friend