Brooke Beery is Assistant Editor of Optometry Times®.
Virtual attendance options available.
The 98th Southeastern Educational Congress of Optometry (SECO) meeting held in Atlanta GA, has rescheduled its originally planned dates of February 24-28 to April 28 -May 2, 2021. The in-person event will feature options for virtual attendance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The decision to move the dates of our annual Congress from February to April was not taken lightly,” says Max Raynor, OD, president of SECO International in a statement. "Following discussion with the Board of Trustees, input from members, and feedback from our key partners, the final sentiment indicated a strong desire for a rescheduled in-person event later in the spring. We are unified in our decision that adjusting the date will allow SECO and the industry to host a more successful meeting.”
The organization plans to implement several infection control and prevention guidelines for the 2021 conference and will ensure plans follow recommendations from public health experts and standards set by the federal, state, and local governments, according to a statement.
Additionally, the Georgia World Congress Center has implemented a program of stringent processes for cleaning, disinfecting, and preventing infectious diseases under a Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) star facility accreditation.
ODs weigh in
Optometry Times® asked optometrists about the date change. Selina McGee, OD, FAAO, says the optometric profession has had to pivot and do things differently in 2020 and looking toward 2021, but what hasn’t changed is the camaraderie within the profession.
Related: SECO 2020 at a glance
“Pushing the date back should allow more time for optometrists to make decisions and remain fluid in those choices as we all learn more,” McGee says. “Community is so important right now, and we will continue to collaborate and support one another as we all together continue to advance optometry and the lives of our patients.”
Chief Optometric Editor Benjamin Casella, OD, FAAO, says he’s glad SECO didn’t hesitate to announce the change because it gives ODs and other attendees ample time to augment their plans. He predicts attendance will go up.
“Here in Georgia, we will be getting into the warmer months, and perhaps we will have a safe, effective, and widely available vaccine by then,” Casella says. “That would certainly have an effect on international attendance.”