Experience the Optometry’s Meeting® revitalization!

March 5, 2012

Dr. Coble

By John Coble, O.D., chair of the Meetings Center Executive Committee

February has passed, and that means it’s time to book your registration and select your housing for Optometry’s Meeting® 2012.

From June 27 through July 1, Chicago will host the AOA’s annual meeting in high style. As the premiere event for ODs, optometry students, and paraoptometric professionals alike, there is something for everyone— great networking, stimulating education, innovative exhibits and more. Plus it all takes place amid the art, fashion, food and fun of the Windy City!

We suggest you head on over right now to our Web site at www.optometrysmeeting.org and complete your registration online. You’ll find a new, streamlined interface that takes you step by step through both your conference registration and housing reservations. Of course, you can also register by phone or fax.

Plus, by registering now, you assure yourself a space in the popular courses and save money with the early-bird conference rates!

Still need a few more reasons to attend? Here are just some of the exciting opportunities awaiting you:

Education served daily

Optometry’s Meeting® 2012 will feature outstanding new speakers and formats designed to boost your knowledge and spark your practice. You won’t want to miss highlights like these:

  • Hollywood comes to Chicago! Optometry’s Meeting® Opening General Session will be a “behind the scenes” 3-D experience, as Hollywood comes to Chicago.
  • Optical science and health are in Hollywood’s spotlights this year as movies, TV, video games, and even the Summer Olympics are coming to viewers in stereoscopic 3-D. In partnership with Essilor and the International 3D Society, special guest speakers will dazzle you with the latest in 3-D and maybe even give us an insiders’ peek into their current projects before they’re released to the general public. This is a can’t-miss event!
  • 3-D Theater courses and a special 3-D session on Saturday, “Movies, Television, Video Games and in the Classroom —When Our Eyes Fail Us,” open to all attendees at no additional cost will expand your view of stereoscopic technology. Hollywood is increasingly using 3-D in movies, TV, video games, and even the Summer Olympics. And our profession is using it to help identify millions of children and adults with treatable binocular vision problems.
  • Pardon the Optometrist does away with long lectures in favor of the rapid-fire question format you’ve seen on sports TV shows. We’ll have a panel of respected experts engage in fast-paced discussion and debate on a given topic. Each subtopic will be limited to 10 minutes, and the audience will see a rundown of upcoming subtopics just like the TV counterpart.

Five courses will be presented in this unique and lively style: Anterior Segment, New Technology, Contact Lenses, Glaucoma, and Student Practice Management.

  • Interactive Sessions on multiple topics will give the audience the opportunity to participate in real-time surveys to facilitate discussion and steer panelists to the areas of highest interest.
  • Breakfast & Lunch Symposiums on a variety of topics are being offered Thursday, Friday and Saturday. See the Preliminary Program to get more details on times, subjects, and our generous sponsors. Space is limited, so be sure to register early!
  • Practice Pathways is a two-part course open to all attendees at no additional price. If you are looking to buy, buy into or sell a practice, this course is tailor-made for your needs. You’ll discover how to be successful in each stage of the practice lifecycle, including practice entry, practice management, and development and succession planning.

More people to meet

This year, you’ll not only be able to greet AOA and American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) colleagues, but also connect with old and new friends from other premier optometry organizations.

The Illinois Optometric Association will be fully participating in Optometry’s Meeting®. Plus, the World Council of Optometry’s international conference immediately precedes Optometry’s Meeting® from June 24-26.

So if you’re looking to share ideas and information this June, Optometry’s Meeting® is the right place!

Captivating exhibits

You’ll be fascinated by the products and technology on display in this year’s Optometry’s Meeting® Exhibit Hall – filled with state-of-the-art equipment, trendy eyewear, advanced pharmaceuticals and more. On Thursday evening, Shamir welcomes you to a special wine-tasting event, where you can take home a commemorative wine glass.

Careers are calling

Join the career event of the year on Friday! Optometry’s Career Center® offers an “open mic” of job opportunities, career information on different modes of practice, and insights into what both employers and job candidates need to know. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to find the perfect job opportunity or the perfect candidate, partner, or even buyer for your practice.

Thanks to Marchon and Optos for sponsoring this exciting opportunity.

Saturday evening gala

Our Presidential Celebration, “A Celebration of Optometry,” will take place in Chicago’s famed Field Museum— home of “Sue, the largest and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex specimen in the world.”

This final-night special event, generously sponsored again this year by HOYA, recognizes the AOA and AOSA Board of Trustees.

The museum is ours for the night! We’ll enjoy our own “Taste of Chicago” hors d’oeuvres and be entertained by dueling pianos as we walk through the museum’s world-class natural history exhibits showcasing every corner of the globe.

Limited space is available, so advance registration is required.

Stay where your colleagues stay

Networking can continue after hours when you stay at one of the official Optometry’s Meeting® hotels. After completing your online registration, you will be linked directly to the Housing reservation page that offers discounted rates at three magnificent Chicago lodgings:

  • The Hilton Chicago— the official headquarters hotel of Optometry’s Meeting®—located on South Michigan Avenue.
  • Hilton Palmer House— a historic grand hotel close to Millennium Park, Macy’s, and the Art Institute.
  • Hyatt Regency McCormick Place— connected by skybridge to McCormick Place Convention Center.

For easy access to all Optometry’s Meeting® functions, there is complimentary shuttle service between McCormick Place and the Hilton Chicago and Hilton Palmer House sponsored by Allergan and Vistakon®.

Brief encounter

For the first time, your copy of AOA News will include an on-site registration brief well in advance to enable you to plan your conference activities.

You can also view the entire preliminary program online at www.optometrysmeeting.org.

Social change

We’ve made it easy to keep up with all the news of Optometry’s Meeting® using social and mobile media. So keep these tips in mind:

  • Follow us on Twitter @Optometrysmtg
  • Like” us on Facebook. Find weekly updates and fun trivia. Search Facebook for “Optometry’s Meeting.”
  • Watch for our mobile app. The new 2012 Optometry’s Meeting® mobile app will be available this month.

Remember, registration and housing are now open, so make sure you reserve your place and bookmark www.optometrysmeeting.org.

Letter from Chicago's mayor

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