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Blue Sky Congress Ticking All the Boxes

The resounding feedback from Blue Sky Congress shows that this optometry conference ticked all the boxes.

South Australian’s Blue Sky Congress was once again, by all accounts, a great success. Libby Boschen Optometry South Australia CEO and congress co-organiser said, “Nicole Ostrognay and the congress committee developed a programme that was one of the best ever, with delegates finding the interactive nature of the learning process stimulating, enjoyable and effective. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Blair Lonsberry, received the highest score ever in the ten-year history of our congress for his presentation, usefulness and interest.

The ‘accidental’ relocation (as a result of our previous venue cancelling) to the sensational Adelaide Hills provided a refreshing back drop that proved to be good for the soul for everyone. There were of course some minor associated teething problems of an out-of-town location and a venue unused to how we run our congress, but fortunately our delegates are such advocates of SA Blue Sky Congress and so used to our culture of continuous improvement, that they have been keen collaborators in our quest for solutions.

“Our trade exhibit was sold out, with feedback from exhibitors overwhelmingly positive and many signing up for a further two years. In the evening toga-clad guests and gladiators enthusiastically demonstrated their square dancing hilarity in a flame lit, tree-lined amphitheatre. SA Blue Sky Congress will emerge from the Tardis as Blue Sky 2017 from 10 – 11 November. We encourage delegates to book early to guarantee their seat and their bed.”

Our trade exhibit was sold out, with feedback from exhibitors overwhelmingly positive and many signing up for a further two years

Top Ranking

Speaking of the Congress Dr. Lonsberry, Professor of Optometry at Pacific University College of Optometry, Portland, Oregon said, “I have had the opportunity to lecture at numerous conferences all over the world and the Blue Sky Congress ranks at the top. I was impressed that the primary focus of the conference was cutting edge learning but in an atmosphere of collegial fun.

The organisers encouraged an interactive approach to the presentations, which engaged the mind and during the breaks ‘creative’ exercise routines were encouraged to wake up the body. The organisation committee is truly committed to making sure that the attendees (optometrists and dispensers) were provided with great education, access to the latest corporate vendors, and great entertainment, which this year entailed an old fashioned barn dance (hay bales included). Truly a unique experience.”

Happy Campers!

Elise Pocknee-Clem of Eyre Eye Centre, Port Lincoln, South Australia said, “Our practice sent a team of three optometrists and five dispensing staff to Blue Sky Congress this year. The venue change to Hahndorf was an unexpected delight, with excellent conference facilities overlooking lovely views of the lush green Adelaide Hills.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Blair Lonsberry, was excellent with very practical clinical advice based on the latest research. We enjoyed the great variety of trade exhibits with equipment, frames and contact lenses.

The new exhibitors, ‘1st Available’, created a lot of interest. Our dispensers also enjoyed their own stream of lectures with an excellent variety of speakers, and all delegates enjoyed an entertaining presentation from the inventor of ‘Hegs’ (pegs with hooks). We were treated to line and barn dancing in our Toga’s at the conference dinner which was slightly quirky but great fun. In summary, we thought the venue was brilliant and the education excellent, entertaining and relaxed.”

Thought Provoking

Joanne Thomas, who practices at HoldfastBay Optometry, Glenelg, South Australia was also enthusiastic in her feedback. “I have attended six or seven Blue Sky Congresses now and without exception they represent some
of the best CPD I have ever invested in. The programmes are always fun but not at the expense of being highly relevant to my clinical practice, thought provoking, and of course an update on current research. Blue Sky Congress always has an amazing energy surrounding both the lectures and the associated trade display which for me are a reminder of why I am so passionate about, and proud of, our profession. And who could resist Libby’s energetic work out between sessions, ensuring you stay engaged for the whole day and knock off your annual gym work out as well.”

Dr. Michael Christian of Microprism Optics, South Yarra, Victoria was similarly enthused and said, “Blue Sky is such a great conference in South Australia. The team makes everyone feel welcome and their attention to detail. ensures the event runs efficiently. The relaxed atmosphere for CPD with top speakers imparting their knowledge and good humour was great. The emphasis on learning, rather than having to get the right answer for CPD points, made the conference more meaningful and appreciated by all delegates.

The location, in the Adelaide Hills at Hahndorf, was a superb choice to host the event – it was a lovely atmosphere in which to catch-up with colleagues and friends”.

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