Visionz™ 2016 will include a one-day low vision conference on Friday 14 October as part of a comprehensive educational programme for optometrists, practice managers and other optical staff alongside its industry showcase.

The biennial conference, organised by the New Zealand Optical Wholesalers Association (NZOWA) and run in tandem with the Association of Dispensing Opticians (ADONZ), is being held on Friday 14th to Sunday 16th October at the Ellerslie Events Centre in Auckland.

Planning is well under way with 60 exhibition booths displaying all that’s new in the industry including frames, sunglasses, lenses, equipment, accessories, software and services, while the education programme, Eduvisionz™, already includes an impressive slate of speakers.

On the low vision side this includes Dr Mike O’Rourke, ophthalmologist at Tauranga Eye Specialists, who recently carried out a life-changing procedure, using an intraocular mini-telescope implant, to help a low vision patient improve her vision; Professor Stephen Lord, senior principal research fellow from the Falls and Balance Research Group from Sydney, who will address Falls in Older People: Visual Risk Factors and Intervention Strategies; and Dr Alan Johnston, a low vision specialist from Melbourne, who will discuss his recently updated, sliding scale logMAR visual acuity calculator, which includes ETDRS scoring principles, now widely used for monitoring any vision gain or loss with intra-vitreal injection of anti-VEGF and Telescopes for low vision: principles, practice and rationales for clinical choice. Other sessions include:

•    The latest developments in technology and innovation in low vision products
•    Incorporating low vision clinics into a busy optometry practice
•    Identifying a person’s low vision needs and rehabilitation goals
•    Sharing important strategies for managing daily life
•    The latest research into the use of mobility scooters, digital devices and neurological vision impairment
•    The current development of an occupation-based low vision model incorporating information on the level 8 postgraduate curriculum in low vision for allied health professionals
•    The Blind Foundation’s Prevalence Study Work and the Level 7 Vision Rehab diploma to be launched in 2017

On Saturday, the focus will more to the business of optometry with speakers addressing the commercial aspects of running a business in today’s competitive environment, says Gary Edgar, NZOWA president. “We are planning to deliver an event to suit the changing needs of our clients and the broader industry in general.”

Speakers include Juanita Neville-Te Rito from The Retail Collective who will share insights drawn from her 25-year career in retail, and her personal passion for shopping, which will include five key trends in retail that any retail business owner should be aware of; business mentor, Tanya Unkovich, who will present on how to use your life experiences to know and get what you want in life; and John Saywell, CEO of Christchurch software and consulting company RPM Retail, who will discuss how to analyse your optical practice’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Other topics include:

–    Coming to terms with the new Health & Safety laws
–    The pros and cons of social media and whether a practice can benefit from incorporating a social media platform into its marketing strategy
–    Picking the best team and getting it right from the start

Another attraction at Visionz™ 2016 will be the opportunity to register for a St John’s Basic Life Support course, that teaches essential life-saving skills, on the Saturday afternoon. Participants will receive a NZQA 6401/6402 acknowledgment at the end of the 4-5 hour course.

Visionz™ and Eduvisionz™, as well as being held in conjunction with ADONZ’s annual conference, will also incorporate the International Opticians Association Annual Meeting, which is being hosted for the first time in New Zealand. A Visionz ‘Happy Hour’ has also been organised for late on the Friday afternoon for all delegates.

Registration for Visionz™ and Eduvisionz™ will open in July. Keep reading NZ Optics magazine for more information or email:


— Article by NZ Optics (June Edition)