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I recently had the pleasure of attending in Chicago the second annual national meeting of Energeyes, The Association of Corporate-Affiliated Optometrists.
I recently had the pleasure of attending in Chicago the second annual national meeting of Energeyes, The Association of Corporate-Affiliated Optometrists. Energeyes is growing rapidly with approximately 500 members in its second year, and its meeting attendance doubled from last year.
I delivered six hours of CE, and in each class the attendees were engaging and willing participants in the discussions. As anyone who presents CE lectures will attest, it’s always a pleasure when the audience is involved. It makes the class much more enjoyable and gives the presenter immediate feedback.
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One interesting concept of the meeting was that each registrant had allotted, scheduled times to visit one-on-one with the exhibitors. It is often hard to find time during busy meetings to get to the exhibit hall and rush to have a quick conversation before scurrying off to your next class. So the event organizers set out to correct that.
“Each attendee receives a unique schedule based on the courses and vendors meeting they choose,” says Michael Porat, executive director of Energeyes. Attendees are encouraged to take advantage of vendor knowledge with an uninterrupted 30-minute meeting. They choose a minimum of eight meetings from the vendors present with the understanding they meet, not buy, allowing them to pay attention without any pressure.
“While first year first-time attendees are skeptical of the model,” he says, “they quickly discover what returning attendees love about the program: quality conversations about the products and services important to their practices. Our compliance rate is over 90 percent, and the feedback from both vendors and attendees alike was overwhelmingly positive.”
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With the potential to represent more 13,500 practicing corporate optometrists in North America, Energeyes is building an organization that is truly different. Its development is timely-given the job opportunities that will come available over the next decade, many more graduating ODs will be corporate-affiliated than may currently plan to pursue that career path.1
This is a group of vibrant, like-minded optometrists who have come together and formed an association to better themselves, their practices, and ultimately the patients they serve. If you are in a corporate-affiliated practice, you owe it to yourself to check out Energeyes.
1. The state of the optometric profession: 2013. AOA Excel. Available at: www.reviewob.com. Accessed 4/6/2015.