O=MEGA19, from 19 –21 July, is shaping up to be the largest education, eye care and eyewear event ever seen in Australia. Eighty per cent of exhibition space is now sold and a solid line up of optometrists and ophthalmologists have committed to delivering the clinical lecture program.
Pete Haydon, CEO of Optometry Victoria and Finola Carey CEO of the Optical Distributors and Manufacturers Association (ODMA), described O=Mega19 as a “unifying event” and said it will offer something for everyone in eye health. The event is expected to attract optometrists, optical dispensers, ophthalmologists, orthoptists, ophthalmic nurses, practice staff, other retailers (sunglasses), mechanics, technicians and students.
Held in the new expansion at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, O=Mega19 promises 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.
The idea is that people can dip in and out of the lectures across the three days to fill gaps in their learning or pursue particular interests. There will also be plenty of time to visit the trade show
Three Days of Clinical Education
A dual stream clinical lecture program will run across the three day conference program, with a break on Saturday afternoon during which delegates will be able to visit the trade exhibition and attend a high energy interactive presentation on unusual cases, delivered by O=Mega19’s two international keynotes, Dr Danica Marrelli and Dr Jordan Keith.
Mr Haydon said the dual stream clinical program will be “broad, challenging, and clinically relevant”. For those who choose to focus their time on lectures, it will be possible to acquire a total of 48 CPD points.
“We have been overwhelmed by the number of optometrists and ophthalmologists who have confirmed they will present lectures at O=Mega19. Every eye health professional we have invited to speak has said ‘yes’,” said Mr Haydon.
“Consequently, the program will cover a wide range of topics from age related macular degeneration and glaucoma through to paediatrics, pregnancy and the eye, epiphora, optical coherence tomography, and much more.
“The idea is that people can dip in and out of the lectures across the three days to fill gaps in their learning or pursue particular interests. There will also be plenty of time to visit the trade show, for networking, or to relax over a coffee in between lectures.”
Optometrists already confirmed to speak at O=Mega19 include Associate Professor Bang Bui; Dr Anne Weymouth, Professor Erica Fletcher, David Forresto, Rod Baker, Gavin O’Callaghan Richard Lenny, and Katrina Yap. Ophthalmologists include Associate Professor Lyndell Lim who will speak on uveitis, strabismus specialist Dr Lionel Kowal who will speak on tropias and Dr Georgia O’Cleary who will speak on corneal infection.
A program of masterclasses is also being developed for practice managers and optical dispensers. Ms Carey said all the major Certificate IV in Dispensing providers including TAFE NSW, ACOD and RMIT had been invited to present the masterclasses, which will run alongside the clinical lecture series.
Trade Exhibition Almost Sold Out
O=Mega19 will feature a comprehensive trade exhibition covering 10,000m2 of exhibition space.
“The gamut of exhibitors is wide with Platinum sponsor Bausch & Lomb and Diamond sponsor Alcon being joined by loyal exhibitors of many years including BOC who have attended every single ODMAFair ever held,” said Ms Carey.
“We welcome back Maui Jim to its biggest ever exhibition footprint and are pleased to have every category of product and service an eye care practitioner could require represented,” she said.
Exhibitor numbers exceed 75 and along with those previously mentioned include Zeiss, De Rigo, Transitions, VSP Australia, Aarons Eyewear, Shamir, Rodenstock, Rx Safety, Hoya, ProVision, Johnson & Johnson, BOC Instruments, Heidelberg Engineering, Eyecare Plus, JP Optical, Eye Candy Optics, ProOptics, Essilor, Designs for Vision, and AM Eyewear.
“O=MEGA19 is owned by the Australian optical industry and we look forward to being the only major event on the calendar. In our own annex of the MCEC, the optical industry will enjoy the biggest collegiate and convivial event ever held in the Southern hemisphere,” Ms Carey said.