05 Aug The dust settles on optical shows
The dust has settled on Australia’s optical shows for 2018 amidst many differing opinions of success, clashes, support and frustrations. Having attended both the O-show and Silmo, I had wonderful experiences at both, meeting old and new friends is one highlight for me but so too is learning about new products and seeing old faces in new job positions.
One must question the tit for tat scheduling of both events though. The pressure placed on suppliers to invest heavily in both optical shows, as well as turn up two weekends in succession in two major capitals is enormous and a big ‘well done’ to the companies that did.
These events are physically taxing on the people who put the stands together, man them all day, pack away stock at the end of the day, then entertain key accounts at night, and pack the stands and product up again at the end of the fair.
The announcement at O-Show, that ODMA and Optometry Australia (OA) Victoria are to join the strengths of ODMA Fair and the very popular and successful Southern Regional Congress (SRC) together to establish a Melbourne centric optical fair, O=MEGA19 is welcomed. It is good to see to the two peak ophthalmic bodies in Australia coming together after a long separation.
Silmo also announced a change of hours for their next optical shows but have chosen to run Silmo19 two weeks prior to O=MEGA19, again putting pressure on exhibitors and event attendees and another demonstration of tit for tat scheduling. Oh well.
There is a need for a greater coming together of the Australian Ophthalmic Industry in the interests of the Australian public, training for optical assistants, regulation of optical dispensers and the issuing of provider numbers are all issues that need addressing. The ostracising of Specsavers, who picked up the training of optical dispensers where OPSM left off eight years ago and are now the biggest trainers of optical dispensers in Australia today, is also puzzling. Surely after ten years in Australia, they should be considered a part of the scene.
The ophthalmic industry in Australia is great to be a part of and I love it all, but comparatively speaking we have more work to do.
OA’s Optometry 2040 Project will go a long way to address this and provide direction for the future.