2018 Conference Highlights

Wednesday, June 20

Optometry's Meeting® Opening General Session

Opening Reception 4:30-5:30pm

Program 5:30-8pm

The Opening General Session is one of the most anticipated events every year. The reception begins at 4:30pm followed by the presentation of the AOA's annual awards, messages from profession leaders and the keynote address.

Aron RalstonCome experience the story behind the headlines as adventurer-turned-inspirational-speaker Aron Ralston presents the keynote address. Ralston captured international headlines in 2003 after a canyoneering accident left him trapped between two boulders in a remote location for more than five days. Ultimately, Ralston freed himself by severing his own arm with a pocketknife. Ralston recounts that story in his New York Times best-selling book, "Between a Rock and a Hard Place," which inspired the major motion picture, "127 Hours."

On stage, Ralston brings his gripping story to life. With candor and humility, Ralston reflects on his remarkable triumph over insurmountable odds and shares the lessons he learned about the importance of examining one's priorities and outlook on life. Take away a true appreciation for the power of the human spirit and the value of relationships to overcome life's challenges, no matter how large or daunting one's "boulder" may be.

Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision

Thursday, June 21

House of Delegates, Optometry's Voice

Thursday, June 21, 8am-2:30pm

Friday, June 22, No Sessions

Saturday, June 23, 8am-3:45pm

The House of Delegates is optometry's preeminent assembly of leaders and decision-makers leading the advancement of our profession. Delegates representing members of the affiliated associations gather to discuss and vote on the business matters of the association. Sessions are scheduled Thursday and Saturday. HOD

On Thursday, the opening session begins with a colorful parade as the flags of the states, the District of Columbia, the Armed Forces Optometric Society and the American Optometric Student Association are presented. Industry supporters are recognized, reports are delivered, awards are presented and proposed amendments and resolutions are considered. The Saturday afternoon Session begins with a procession for the incoming president. Following the president's inauguration speech, the nominations, elections and installation of the AOA Board of Trustees conclude the annual meeting.

Exhibit Hall Grand Opening and Ribbon-Cutting


Join your colleagues as the AOA Board of Trustees performs the ceremonial ribbon cutting Thursday at 3pm. The Exhibit Hall will be open exclusively from 3-7pm so that you may network with exhibitors and other professionals and stay abreast of the latest advances in products and services to grow your business and improve patient care.

The Exhibit Hall will be open on Thursday and Friday only this year. The Hall will be open longer on Thursday and Friday so you'll have more time to learn about the latest industry innovations and connect with the experts and your colleagues. The Hall will be closed Saturday so you can spend your day in CE. Click here for the Exhibit Hall schedule.

Ribbon-Cutting Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision

Ribbon Cutting

National Optometry Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony


Optometry Cares® - The AOA Foundation will induct the Class of 2018 into the National Optometry Hall of Fame during an hors d'oeuvres reception. Congratulations to the 2018 inductees: Dr. David Cockrell, Dr. Irwin Suchoff and Dr. Les Walls. Come celebrate their accomplishments and honor these luminaries of the profession.

Sponsored in part by SUNY College of Optometry, New York State Optometric Association, Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians and College of Optometrists in Vision Development

Essilor Optometry Student Bowl™ XXVII


Student Bowl College rivalries take center stage as 25 schools and colleges of optometry battle to be the smartest, loudest, and most creative in the 27th Annual Essilor Optometry Student BowlTM. The high-speed, high-stakes test of optometric knowledge pits one champion from each school against all others, poised to buzz in with the right answer and bring home $1,000 and the coveted crystal trophy.

The equally celebrated Spirit Award honors the school with the most energy, best costumes and flashiest entrance-students ramp up for the must-attend event by putting together costumes, props and signs to cheer on their champion.  OSB

Everyone is invited to the Student Bowl and the reception that immediately follows. Keep the energy flowing and party with your peers at the reception while you enjoy great food, drinks and warm camaraderie.   Students will be automatically registered for this event. All others may attend the Student Bowl without registering but must register to receive a free drink ticket for the reception.

Click here to relive the excitement of the 2017 competition!

Sponsored by Essilor

Friday, June 22

AOA+ Keynote Speaker Alexa von Tobel

1-2:30pmAlexa von Tobel

Financial expert and speaker, Alexa von Tobel is back by popular demand after her keynote address at the AOA+ event at Optometry's Meeting 2017. The entrepreneur and best-selling author of Financially Fearless, von Tobel will present easily applicable financial planning advice no matter where you are in your career—from mitigating student debt to preparing for retirement.
Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision

Schools & Colleges of Optometry Alumni Receptions


Reconnect with classmates and make new friends at the schools and colleges of optometry alumni receptions, always a Friday evening highlight at Optometry's Meeting. The alumni and friends' receptions are a great place to socialize, make connections and build your professional network. Check here to see if your school is hosting a reception, and make your plans to attend.
Alumni Reception

Saturday, June 23

Optometry Cares® 5K Run/Walk



Rise and shine with Optometry Cares at the annual 5K Run/Walk! The race will take place on the beautiful University of Colorado Denver Auraria Campus, located only a half-mile from the Colorado Convention Center.

Sign up for the race when you register to attend Optometry's Meeting! Race entry fee of $30 includes a race packet, chip-timed bib, a technical T-shirt, and awards to top age-division finishers. Check in at the packet pickup table located in AOA Central near the Optometry Cares Kiosk on Friday, June 22, from 9am-5pm.

Registration Required. $30 fee

Presenting Sponsor—MyEyeDr
Supporting Sponsor—The Vision Council

Hackathon IV: Artificial Intelligence & the Care of the Diabetic Patient


The second Inter-Professional Hackathon at Optometry's Meeting will examine how diabetic patients are currently cared for by optometrists, ophthalmologists, primary care physicians, nurses, podiatrists and dentists. It will focus on reducing the loss of vision in diverse populations by improving our care of patients with diabetes. Teams will include faculty, residents, students, practicing optometrists, researchers and others. The teams will be tasked with creating a prototype for the use of artificial intelligence to improve patient outcomes for diabetic retinopathy.

Thomas Wong, O.D., director of new technologies and clinical externships at State University of New York (SUNY) College of Optometry and director/facilitator of the hackathon, said that the goal is to create a presentation to be given to the National Eye Institute to fund an artificial intelligence product that will better diagnose and manage patients with diabetic retinopathy. If you are interested in participating in the event, contact Dr. Wong at tawong@sunyopt.edu. Attendance is limited, and advance registration is required.

Not for educational credit

A Celebration of Optometry


Reception, DJ and Dancing, 9:45pm-midnight

Howie MandelCome enjoy an evening of laughter as Howie Mandel-comedian, actor, producer and author-performs on the closing night of Optometry's Meeting. Mandel may be best known these days as a celebrity judge on the hit talent competition series, "America's Got Talent," on NBC. But his entertainment resume is long and versatile.

In show business for 30 years, Mandel received an Emmy nomination for "outstanding host for a reality or reality-competition program" for the game show "Deal or No Deal" and a Daytime Emmy nomination for outstanding game show host for its syndicated version. Mandel starred six seasons on the Emmy-Award winning "St. Elsewhere" as Dr. Wayne Fiscus. His Emmy-nominated animated children's series "Bobby's World," ran eight seasons and now appears in syndication in 65 countries. As the series' creator and executive producer, Mandel was involved in its writing and provided the voice of Bobby, Bobby's dad and other characters.

A frequent guest on talk shows, he performs as many as 200 comedic concerts a year. He got his big break when he took the stage on amateur night at the legendary Comedy Store in Los Angeles. Fortunately, a producer in the crowd immediately hired him for an appearance in a comedy-game show called "Make Me Laugh."

Also, an author, Mandel released in 2009 his honest, humorous memoir, "Here's the Deal: Don't Touch Me," about his continuing struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Join your colleagues to recognize the 2018-2019 AOA and AOSA Board of Trustees, and expect an evening to remember. Doors open at 7:45pm. After the entertainment, socialize at the reception and enjoy a DJ and dancing.

Sponsored by Hoya Vision Care