Members of the eye care profession from 75 countries have met this week in Beijing for the Essilor Asia Pacific Convention 2011.
Essilor International’s CEO, Hubert Sagnieres said the convention, themed ‘Rising Opportunities’ aims to bring together Essilor, its practitioners and partners in an effort to develop the industry and bring better vision to those who need it. He told the 900 attendees that an estimated 15 billion people in the region require visual correction. With only 0.5 billion experiencing necessary correction, the opportunities for the profession are enormous.
To be successful as a global eyecare profession, Mr. Sagnieres said, it is necessary to “anticipate customer needs; promote visual health, expand retail distribution and build a strong optical industry.”
Through a series of keynote presentations and workshops, Essilor communicated the need for practitioners to increase their overall market coverage so that more people could have access to quality eyecare; to inspire a greater desire among people for total eyecare, and maximise the advantages of innovative products and services that will improve levels of eye health.
Essilor International’s CEO, Hubert Sagnieres said the convention, themed ‘Rising Opportunities’ aims to bring together Essilor, its practitioners and partners in an effort to develop the industry and bring better vision to those who need it…
Plenary speakers at the conference included Patrick Cherrier, President of Essilor Asia Pacific. Mr. Cherrrier has worked with Essilor for 18 years and is respected for his role in leading the company’s expansion in the region through organic growth, joint ventures and acquisitions.
Martin Lindstrom, author and the 2009 recipient of Time Magazine’s ‘World’s 100 Most Influential People’ spoke about consumer behaviour and was followed by shopping anthropologist Paco Underhill, the CEO of Envirosell. Leading technology forecaster, business strategist, and author Daniel Burrus spoke about the technological, social and business forces that are converging to create enormous untapped global opportunities. Later, Eric Thoreux, Executive Senior Vice President of Essilor Strategic Marketing, spoke on Essilor’s retail solutions that are aimed at inspiring customers to seek out total eye care.
The plenary sessions were followed by a series of workshops aimed at developing the theme of the convention ‘Rising Opportunities’. Australia had a strong presence with workshops hosted by optometrist Colin Madigan, who spoke about the day to day challenges of running an optical business and John Bartlett who spoke about continuing education. For the past three years Mr. Bartlett has used his practice ownership experience to direct Essilor’s education program for the Asia Pacific Region. Mr. Madigan joined the team in 2009.
Australian Dr. Tony Hanks OAM, founder of Eyecare Plus who was recognised with an Order of Australia Medal in 2010 spoke about the results from eyecare consumers surveyed in four continents. His workshop highlighted practical information that can be used by optometrists to understand and meet their patient’s expectations. Ian Thurn, a past President of the Optometrists Association of Australia (South Australia) and current Director of Professional Services for Essilor in the Asia Pacific region, spoke about the need to keep patients up to date with advances in lens design and production technology. He went on to demonstrate the advantages of doing so.
The key messages of the convention: less is more, the story your practice is telling, the need to be perceived as a trusted advisor, to use advanced technology in practice and to cater to all five senses when marketing to patients.
In the final session Essilor presented a surprise guest speaker, Olympic Speed Skater Vince Poscente. His key message “do what the competition is not willing to do and to have fun”.
“During the conference, delegates took the opportunity to sight see with organised tours that included Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Imperial Palace, a ride through Old Beijing and even a traditional Chinese massage.