IOA Hosts 30th Biennial Convention

The 7-day convention hosted by IOA discussed the current issues and emerging trends concerning the optical industry

Where: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

When: October 24-30, 2014

The International Opticians Association recently concluded its 30th Biennial Convention in Malaysia in October this year. In line with its mission to enhance the scope of practice for the optical profession, the 7-day event witnessed industry experts from all over the globe gather on a common platform to share their views about the current situation in the optical industry, the emerging trends, opticianry practice and the road ahead. Divided into two parts, this convention was held in Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi Island respectively from the 24th to 30th of October. Attended by more than 230 delegates, including 40 international delegates from Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Singapore and USA, the convention started off with a IOA committee meeting on 24th October and went on to address several key issues concerning the optical industry academy for opticianry.

A Fabulous Start!

The IOA laid out the red carpet for all its delegates, welcoming them to the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on 24th October. Starting the day with a registration programme for the participants, IOA also hosted its committee meeting and welcome dinner in the later part of the day. The second day of the conference saw the delegates visiting the scenic locales as well as popular shopping destinations of Putrajaya and Malacca.

Kevin Siew (IOA President)
IOA Conference Opening Speech from Kevin Siew (IOA President)

The IOA Conference And Optical Fair

As part of this convention, IOA also hosted a day-long conference (the Main Sponsors were HOYA & Alcon and Co-sponsors were Essilor, Carl Zeiss, Advance Lens & Masunaga) and Optical Fair on the 26th October that witnessed industry experts come forth and share their views on important topics like role of opticians in Glaucoma prevention, common oculoplastic conditions, an introduction to low vision assessment and dispensing, contribution of optical materials to a patient’s vision, and a lot more. Speakers for these sessions included Dr Fang Seng Kheong, President of the Malaysian Society of Ophthalmology and practicing eye surgeon at International Specialist Eye Center Malaysia, Dr Sree Kumar, Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Sunway Medical Center Malaysia, Jennifer Brower, Immediate Past President of ABDO, as well as Eric King and Angkana Supavarapong from PPG Industries Industries (optical materials).

KohLian Buck, representing Alcon (a Norvatis company), Switzerland-based global medical company specialising in eye care products, another speaker at the conference, talked to the audience about the advantages of using daily disposable Toric lenses, while Lim Yen San, the Professional Affairs Executive from Vision Care Alcon Malaysia, talked about the introduction of Silicone Hydrogel Cosmetic Contact lenses. The conference also had a session addressed by Trevor Inglis, Sales and Marketing Manager, Australia/New Zealand, Younger Optics Australia Pty Ltd, in which the discussion focused on ‘The Drivewear Effect and Camber Lens Technology for vision correction. The conference also included an open dialogue titled State of Nation Report dedicated to the representatives from UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia.

IOA Conference Opening Speech from  Walter Chai (Organising Chairman)
IOA Conference Opening Speech from Walter Chai (Organising Chairman)

The conference saw an orientation address by the current IOA President Kevin Siew, and concluded with a gala networking dinner for the delegates, sponsors and exhibitors. The fourth day of the conference included educational tours to the International Specialist Eye Center and Advance Lens Laboratory in Malaysia wherein the delegates got the opportunity to witness technological advancements catalysing the growth of the eye care industry across multiple areas.

Getaway To Langkawi: The Fun Element Of The Convention!

Apart from discussing serious business, the 30th Biennial Convention hosted by the IOA also had a fun quotient associated with the entire event, making it a memorable experience for all the delegates. During the last three days, the convention travelled to the Langkawi Island allowing the participants to soak in the serendipity of the beautiful beaches and fresh sea breeze. The delegates spent a large part of the first day, that is on 28th October, in Langkawi, enjoying the spectacular views of the island from the mountain and exploring the place.

(L-R) Edward Butler, David Brower, Christine Butler and Vanessa Cumming  – Eagle feeding in Langkawi Island
(L-R) Edward Butler, David Brower, Christine Butler and Vanessa Cumming – Eagle feeding in Langkawi Island

The second day of the convention at Langkawi started with a visit to the Kilim Geoforest Park and also included activities like Eagle Feeding Tour, visit to The Mangrove Fish Farm, The Wild Life Tour and trip to the Bat Cave as well. The day concluded with the 30th Annual General Meeting of the IOA and the President Installation Night, followed by a farewell dinner giving the delegates yet another opportunity to strengthen their network.

The 31st Biennial Convention of IOA will be held in New Zealand in 2016. Newly elected IOA president (2014 – 2016) is Vanessa Joy Cumming.

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