Following the success of last year’s conference collaboration, the team behind the annual Independents Day business symposium and the National Eyecare Group (NEG) held an industry launch meeting for its joint 2017 meeting this week. Attended by past sponsors and exhibitors, it was held at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, where iDay’s Nick Atkins and NEG’s Phil Mullins announced that this would be the new venue for their combined conference in 2017. The meeting included a tour of the extensive conference and exhibition facilities as well as revealing new sponsorship opportunities available at the venue.
The alliance announced the format will see closer integration of the two conferences theme, however importantly, NEG will continue to run its day as a free-to-attend conference for all independent practices on the Sunday 5th November, with Independents Day following on the Monday 6th November.
Commenting on the announcement, PTR Director Nick Atkins said, “We are delighted to continue delivering a combined event with NEG and thus continue to provide fantastic business support to the independent sector. We are also pleased to have found an exciting new venue for an optical conference. Both delegate and exhibitor feedback was to find an alternative location to what seems to have become optics ‘go to’ venue in recent years – the Hilton Metropole. Now wholly owned by Wasps, the Ricoh Arena has undergone major improvements recently and is a great step-up in size and facilities, with a great conference and exhibition space and an excellent hotel on site. It is still only 20 minutes from Birmingham Airport and has its own train station.”
NEG Director of Business Development, Phil Mullins added, “So it is with great enthusiasm we embark on the next stage of our combined events history. The Ricoh is a great venue and offers the ability for the event to grow and expand into the must attend event for all independent practices.” Mullins continued, “both the PTR team and NEG aim to offer delegates real tools and action points, that they can take back to their practices and make a real difference to their business, while at the same time enjoying the company of likeminded independent professionals, all in the great surroundings of the Ricoh arena.”