O=Mega21, scheduled for 2-4 September 2021 at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre (MCEC), is cancelled due to the current Australian state lockdowns and the uncertainty over border closures.
Joint organisers Optometry Victoria South Australia (OV/SA) and the Optical Distributors & Manufacturers Association (ODMA) said the decision, which followed a recent survey of those due to exhibit at the trade fair, and feedback from conference delegates, was the right one.
“As two leading bodies in this sector, ODMA and OV/SA have an obligation to do what is best for not only our members but the industry and the profession as a whole,” said OV/SA president Elise Pocknee-Clem.
ODMA chair Robert Sparkes said while there was a possibility that O=Mega21 could be rescheduled in its original format, uncertainty around the spread of Covid‐19, together with many people’s reluctance or inability to travel meant postponing would have been an “unwise decision”.
O=Mega23 will be presented in conjunction with the 4th World Congress of Optometry at the MCEC in September 2023.
The optometry education will still go ahead as a virtual education conference, hosted by Southern Regional Congress (SRC), during the original O=Mega21 dates.
“Most lectures that were part of the O=Mega21 programme have been carried across to SRC Online and all registrations have been carried across to make it as easy as possible for delegates,” said OV/SA CEO Pete Haydon. “While we’re saddened that we’ve needed to cancel O=Mega21, I’m certain that SRC Online will be a great virtual conference for everyone who can come along. It’ll be interactive, colourful, educational and fun. I encourage everyone who can come to register.”
The SRC Online programme will be announced in the coming days.