Eyes on Melbourne as it wins World Congress of Optometry bid

Melbourne has won an international bid to host 2000 international eye health professionals at the World Congress of Optometry 2021 (WCO 2021).

To be held in September 2021, the three-day Congress will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The bid was secured by the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) in partnership with Optometry Victoria South Australia and the Optical Distributors and Manufacturers Association with support from the Victorian State Government and Tourism Australia’s Business Events Bid Fund Program.

Melbourne recently hosted one of the most successful optometry congresses, the  Southern Regional Congress, merging for the first time with the Optical Distributors and Manufacturers Association to create the new biennial event which aims to be the largest education, eye care and eyewear event ever seen in the Southern Hemisphere, O=MEGA19.

This created a readily engaged audience in the optometry industry providing a successful platform for WCO 2021 to be hosted in the city alongside O=MEGA21.

“Melbourne is recognised as a premium destination in hosting global events in the medical field and the city provides the platform for further research and development while contributing to the economy,” said MCB acting CEO Julia Swanson.

After more than a year seeing off a host of rivals as part of the international competitive tender process with the World Council of Optometry, Pete Haydon, CEO of Optometry Victoria South Australia, said he is excited to be hosting the Congress in 2021 in Melbourne.

“We believe that we have the best destination in Australia for this Congress, and we’re looking forward to working with the MCB and other partners in bringing it here,” he said.

“The support we’re getting from the sector to date has been fantastic. Optometry in Australia is a strong and thriving profession. Partnering O=MEGA21 with the WCO 2021 will be a tremendous opportunity for our members to come together, share ideas, and make international connections.”