The new roadshow format for Independents Day (iDay) was a sell-out success on Monday, with 59 practitioners attending the conference and exhibition in the shadow of Wembley Stadium.
The joint organisers, Proven Track Record and the National Eyecare Group (NEG), were delighted with the turnout and the response from independents who liked the change of format to a one-day event visiting three locations.
The 2018 conference was the first time iDay has visited London and this year also saw the event running from 12.30-8.30pm instead of over two days.
With the theme, ‘Balancing Eyecare and Eyewear,’ the first Building for Success roadshow featured seven presentations, including a choice of business workshops and three CET sessions, concluding with a roundtable discussion on the event theme.
“From my perspective, I was very pleased with the event,” said Proven Track Record Managing Director, Nick Atkins. “The delegate feedback was very positive with regards to both the programme content and the fact that iDay had come to London for the first time.
“The exhibitors I spoke to were pleased with the level of delegate interest in what was on offer to help independents grow their business and they reported good lead generation.”
NEG’s Operations Director, Phil Mullins, added: “For our first iDay/NEG roadshow, it was a highly successful event, with delegates and exhibitors saying how great the day was. Our programme was both challenging and thought-provoking and certainly stimulated the discussions among the delegates.”
A highlight of the first roadshow was the keynote address by optometrist and trainer, Andy Clark, which asked delegates to consider ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ Explaining patient ‘Avatar’ types and the different types of independents, ‘Archetypes,’ it proved so popular that Mr Clark’s later workshop, on helping delegates to discover their own practice type, was full.
The keynote address was supported by case studies from practice owner Mark Holloway, of Thomas & Holloway Opticians and Gerald Fernandes, optometrist director of Lynne Fernandes Optometrists. Both explained how they had used Mr Clark’s ideas on being the perfect fit for their patients to develop and grow their own practices.
Retail designer Dean Waugh used examples of his own practice re-fits to show how re-designing the layout, look and lighting of a practice could not only transform the business, but the customer journey as well.
“From a programme perspective, both Andy Clark’s keynote address and Dean Waugh’s presentation on designing more effective retail spaces were particular highlights, with both having the audience totally engaged,” Mr Atkins highlighted.
In the parallel business sessions, independents were encouraged to ‘See the Hearing Opportunity’ by Ryan Leighton, Chief Executive of Leightons Opticians & Hearing Care, with optical training expert, Lindsey Small, explaining how training and development were the key to retaining staff, a foundation for a successful independent practice.
Peer discussion CET sessions in the evening explored contact lens scenarios, myopia management in everyday practice and how OCT could assess a patient’s risk of glaucoma. They were followed by a roundtable discussion featuring Mr Clark, Mr Atkins, Mr Mullins and Proven Track Record Director, David Goad, which most of the delegates stayed for.
A recurrent theme of the discussion was that practice owners had to beware of getting into the habit of working in the practice six or seven days a week but not actually working on the business itself.
“Business owners must take time out to work on the practice,” Mr Goad concluded. “Remember the Einstein quote,” he urged delegates. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results,” he concluded.
The iDay roadshow continues next week in Coventry on Monday (29 October) which is now sold out, followed by Bolton on Tuesday (30 October).
For more information, visit http://www.independentsday.co.uk