Members of the eye care profession from 75 countries met in Beijing at the end of May for the Essilor Asia Pacific Convention 2011.
The convention, themed ‘Rising Opportunities’ aimed to bring together Essilor, its practitioners and partners. In his opening address, Essilor International’s CEO, Hubert Sagnieres told the 900 attendees that an estimated 15 billion people in the region require visual correction. With only 0.5 billion experiencing necessary correction, he said, the opportunities for the profession are enormous.
Mr. Sagnieres spoke about the need 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.
Plenary speakers at the conference included Patrick Cherrier, the respected President of Essilor Asia Pacific who has led the company’s expansion in the region through organic growth, joint ventures and acquisitions
Plenary speakers at the conference included Patrick Cherrier, the respected President of Essilor Asia Pacific who has led 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 converging technological, social and business forces that offer 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.
A series of workshops followed, 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.
Australian Dr. Tony Hanks OAM, founder of Eyecare Plus who was recognised with an Order of Australia Medal in 2010, 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.
Other topics addressed issues that included 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.