OLA to Co-Locate 2010 Annual Meeting With Vision Expo West

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FAIRFAX, Va.—After several months of debate among its members, the Optical Laboratories Association (OLA) has decided to co-locate its annual meeting at International Vision Expo West.

“The 2010 OLA Annual Meeting will be held in Las Vegas on Oct. 7 to 9, co-located with the exhibits at International Vision Expo West,” said OLA president Kevin Bargman, Hawkins Optical in a statement issued late Friday. “This combination of two very important events demonstrates the ‘1 + 1 = 3’ theme that is the goal of the ongoing joint efforts of OLA and The Vision Council, which co-owns International Vision Expo.”

The move represents an historic change for the OLA, which has traditionally held its annual meeting as a separate event. OLA officials emphasized that the new venue and meeting format offers OLA members an array of benefits.

OLA vice president Mike Francesconi, Katz & Klein, noted that “Delegates will have exclusive access to all the features that make the OLA Annual Meeting so valuable to optical labs, and they will also have full access to the exhibit hall at International Vision Expo West. OLA members will have everything they have always had from both of these events, with the added benefit of reduced expense, travel, and time commitment.”

OLA and International Vision Expo West have arranged exclusive exhibit hours for OLA delegates, as well as a VIP lounge in the exhibit hall, available to OLA delegates during all the hours that the exhibit hall is open. All of the traditional OLA events: education sessions, networking luncheons, receptions, and Awards ceremonies, will be held in the meeting rooms used by International Vision Expo West.

“The sequence of events during the day has been reversed,” said OLA executive director Bob Dziuban, “with exhibit time in the morning and education in the afternoon, after the networking luncheon. We also planned based on OLA delegates’ travel preferences: the annual meeting begins at 12 noon on Thursday, and ends at 12 noon on Saturday.”

OLA director Drake McLean, Dietz-McLean Optical, noted that “OLA delegates will have everything they have always had at the Annual Meeting and they will also find an additional dimension of information available through the International Vision Expo West resources.”

“Tradition + Vision = The Future is the theme for the 2010 OLA Annual Meeting,” said Francesconi, “and that reflects both what is going on in the optical lab business as well as the discussions that are underway between OLA and The Vision Council. As the program chairman for 2010, I have been using OLA members’ comments and suggestions to prepare an agenda that tackles the important issues and problems facing optical labs. The education will feature quite a few panel discussions of lab owners and managers sharing their experiences with these issues and problems.”

OLA said it will distribute detailed information about the 2010 Annual Meeting throughout the lab industry, and is working closely with International Vision Expo West to ensure that OLA exhibitors are accommodated at the show.