O=MEGA21 has been cancelled.
Joint organisers Optometry Victoria South Australia (OV/SA) and the Optical Distributors & Manufacturers Association (ODMA) made the difficult decision to cancel the biannual event in light of a number of Australian states in lockdown and uncertainty over border closures.
Described as “the southern hemisphere’s largest optometry conference and eye care and eyewear show”, O=MEGA21 was due to be held at the Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre from 2–4 September.
the decision followed a recent survey of those due to exhibit at the trade fair, and feedback from conference delegates
In a statement the organisers said the decision followed a recent survey of those due to exhibit at the trade fair, and feedback from conference delegates.
“As two leading bodies in this sector ODMA and OV/SA have an obligation to do what is best for not only our members but the industry and the profession as a whole,” OV/SA President Elise Pocknee-Clem said.
ODMA Chair Robert Sparkes added, “The safety and wellbeing of members, exhibitors, visitors, staff and contractors is extremely important to our associations, and given the restrictions imposed by Government as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we feel the best decision is to cancel the event.
“While there was a possibility that O=MEGA21 could be rescheduled in its original format, uncertainty around the ongoing spread of COVID‐19, together with many people’s reluctance or inability to travel, meant postponing would have been an unwise decision.
“The upcoming O=MEGA21 trade show was already a sell‐out and we know everyone was excited at the prospect of meeting, and learning, face‐to‐face again. It is disappointing that we have had to cancel, but we would like to thank everyone involved for your ongoing understanding and support during these challenging times”, Mr Sparkes concluded.
The event will next be held in September 2023, where O=MEGA23 will be presented in conjunction with the 4th World Congress of Optometry at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.
Optometry Education Goes Online
OV/SA has announced the return of Southern Regional Congress (SRC) as a virtual education conference to take place during the O=MEGA21 dates.
“Most lectures that were part of the O=MEGA21 program have been carried across to SRC Online and all registrations have been carried across to make it as easy as possible for delegates,” said OV/SA CEO Pete Haydon.
“The OV/SA office will work with all delegates to ensure their CPD needs are met. While we’re saddened that we’ve needed to cancel O=MEGA21, I’m certain that SRC Online will be a great virtual conference for everyone who can come along. We’re working closely with production company Scene Change, who did a fabulous job with us at the hybrid Blue Sky conference earlier this year. SRC Online won’t look like a static webcam stream – it’ll look much more like a TV broadcast. It’ll be interactive, colourful, educational and fun. I encourage everyone who can come to register.”
Previously held annually between 2000 and 2018, SRC was the leading optometry clinical conference in Australia, offering optometrists and eye care professionals a chance to come together and learn about the latest in clinical and eye care developments, while viewing the latest equipment to support the profession. The program for SRC Online will be announced in the coming days.