Vision Expo - the 'official' eye-care commerce meeting

March 1, 2011

Most meetings have a footprint, something that they can be identified with.

Vision Expo means business

When it comes to running a business, Vision Expo takes the cake hands down. Several years ago, being successful was easy in spite of ourselves. Today, with managed care involvement growing and reimbursements shrinking, our practices need to become good business models. Business education is sorely missing in our formal training programs and traditionally there have been few courses we can attend that are practical for our practices.

Architects of business training

There are many individuals whom we associate with historic business training, including Gerber, Wright, Shaw-McMinn, Hays, West, Burns, and Gailmard, to name a few. And these speakers all have one thing in common-they all are regulars on the podium at Vision Expo East and West meetings. Many of us remember the practice management programs supported by B + L and Allergan back in the 1980s, but recently those programs have been sorely missing.

The most relevant optometric business event taking place today is the Management and Business Academy (MBA) program supported by Essilor and CIBA Vision. Unfortunately, this program is open by invitation only and an invitation is difficult to get.

NEWS FLASH-THIS JUST IN . . . Essilor and CIBA Vision announced that the much-talked about MBA program will be presented live at Vision Expo East in New York City, March 16 to 20. Traditional presenters of the MBA program will assemble there and bring their information to registered attendees.

"This is an excellent opportunity for the practicing optometrist to receive relevant business and management education" said Charlie Ficco, OD, of Atlanta. Monty Smick, OD, Spokane, WA, said "To have the ability to keep up with my clinical education and get the best business education at the same meeting makes sense from a time-out-of-the-practice perspective."

The MBA program can only accommodate a finite number of attendees, so those interested practitioners should register early to be certain of reserving a place in the program. Other business courses will continue to be a part of the overall program during the week.

Kirk L. Smick, OD, FAAO, is chief of optometry services at Clayton Eye Center, Morrow, GA, and an owner of the facility. Dr. Smick also serves as a technical advisor to many companies in the ophthalmic industry and has helped pioneer several visual advances, including bifocal contact lenses.