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Thread: My Study/Discussion Group Idea

  1. #1
    ATO Member OPTIDONN's Avatar
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    My Study/Discussion Group Idea

    So for some time I have been wanting an optical study group. You know a bunch of Opticians getting together learnin' stuff. So far not much has happened. There was just no interest. The otherday I was at our town library studying for the ABO-AC when I noticed they had meeting rooms for rent. I spoke with the lady in charge and she is willing to let me use these rooms for free up to 40 people and any more than fourty it will cost only $10! These are very nice rooms and will have access to overhead projectors and what not. My idea was to attempt to put the word out that once a month there will be an Optical Study/Discussion group. Opticians and ECP's that attend will have the opportunity to meet and network with other ECP's in the area, people who have a certain expertise in a given area are welcome to lead a discussion/workshop/seminar on that particular subject, invite reps to dicuss thier products (keep up with whats on the market) and of course study and learn optics in a group environment. This would all be for free. What do you guys think? Any suggestions on how to get the word out and make this a success. It seems the hardest part may be generating enough interest.

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    Can remember 40 years ago we did this through members of our association on a local basis. Usually used one of our offices so we could drink and smoke during same without harassment from the socially minded. We could even cuss there as we were all male then. Made for some interesting and informative meetings, even some of the lab people that hoped to advance to dispensing came.

    Chip

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    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
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    Would your lab allow you to put a printed note in their deliveries?

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    ATO Member OPTIDONN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judy Canty View Post
    Would your lab allow you to put a printed note in their deliveries?
    Good idea Judy!!! I'll ask around. Could save some money on stamps. I'm meeting with the OAI (our state society) this weekend for a board member position. I'm curious to see if they may help. I think I need some hype for this first one. Maybe hit up some lens companies for goodies and create a kind of goodie bag for every one. Chip's meetings sound like they were some fun! To bad we can't drink booze in the library .

  5. #5
    Optician Extraordinaire
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    Could you get someone to give ABO credit? I hope this works out for you, it sounds like a good idea.

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    ATO Member OPTIDONN's Avatar
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    I'm an approved Technical Speaker so I guess if I get off my butt I could do that. It would be cheaper than paying some one else.

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    Master OptiBoarder Snitgirl's Avatar
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    Can it be virtual as well?

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    Master OptiBoarder Cindy K's Avatar
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    Well, interesting that you should be asking this. I present a workshop on the very topic right from how to source out participants to where to go for information on your topic of choice to having your study group's work accredited by our provincial regulatory college.

    Your first step would be to contact your state opticians association (assuming you have one and are a member). Ask if they'd be willing to post a section for potential participants and what topic they'd like to work on. Also, if your state is licensed, the licensing agency may be willing to entertain the idea, as our College of Opticians of BC was, of accrediting your work. Once that is established, it may be easier to source out participants, since their study would be of tangible benefit to them (read: credits).

    There's several forms of media you can utilize. One which shows much promise to us is the Adobe Connect, where several particpants are linked together by their high speed internet connection, with or without webcams, and switch access from one computer to another to view documents, etc. They even provide you with a conference call line. I've played with this once and was sold on its virtues for use in this area. Or Yahoo, MSN, or one of the other IM programs can provide a link, and simply send documents and such by transfer and conduct your group via voice connection.

    Gees, the best thing for you would be to come up to Beautiful BC and check out my next presentation!

  9. #9
    Paper Shuffler GOS_Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPTIDONN View Post
    So for some time I have been wanting an optical study group. You know a bunch of Opticians getting together learnin' stuff. So far not much has happened. There was just no interest. The otherday I was at our town library studying for the ABO-AC when I noticed they had meeting rooms for rent. I spoke with the lady in charge and she is willing to let me use these rooms for free up to 40 people and any more than fourty it will cost only $10! These are very nice rooms and will have access to overhead projectors and what not. My idea was to attempt to put the word out that once a month there will be an Optical Study/Discussion group. Opticians and ECP's that attend will have the opportunity to meet and network with other ECP's in the area, people who have a certain expertise in a given area are welcome to lead a discussion/workshop/seminar on that particular subject, invite reps to dicuss thier products (keep up with whats on the market) and of course study and learn optics in a group environment. This would all be for free. What do you guys think? Any suggestions on how to get the word out and make this a success. It seems the hardest part may be generating enough interest.
    I think it's a great idea! :cheers:

    If you association has an email newsletter, maybe they could include information in that? Or at least email all the members in your area?

    Maybe the ABO-NCLE can tell you who is signed up to take the class in your area? (granted, this is a big maybe ...??)

    Our part of the country uses Craigslist a lot - it CL is popular in your area, perhaps post the session announcements there -

    I really do like the idea of seeing if the labs will send out the information - that would be sweet :cheers:


    I'm not sure that it's "optician's don't have interest" - I think it's that optician associations aren't as well developed and networked as they have the potential to be - (example: I am affilitated with an Human Resources group in the area - http://www.pdxhr.org They put together a study group for their certifications every year - the calendar with topics and speakers are set up well in advance).

    I think your idea has a great deal of merit and has the potential to be an awesome resource for your community! :cheers:
    "I just love the smell of Optidirt in the morning.

    Smells like------Victory." -- Uncle Fester :p


  10. #10
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    I tried to do the same here. NOTHING.

    I find it hard to believe that not even one person that I talked to showed any interest. I went to local optical stores, made a few phone calls, talked to a few of the Doc's trying to get them onboard===NADA.

    I would come to yours, but the drive would kill me.

  11. #11
    ATO Member OPTIDONN's Avatar
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    To be honest I expect it to happen pretty much the way Fezz described it. If I could get just two or three to meet on a monthly basis and let these three explain it to thier co workers then maybe it could spread by word of mouth and in a year or so there could be four people participating!

  12. #12
    ATO Member HarryChiling's Avatar
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    Donn,

    Labs have in the past sent out info in their boxes, you make up the flyers and they throw it in with every order. Our little meet and greet here in PA is hopefully a beggining of something similar. Focus on the netwaroking aspect of it, let the group shape into whatever people in your state want it to be. For potential prospects, PM me and I will give you an idea of where to get these, also pound the streets. Like Fezz mentioned the people more likely to attend are going to be the ones who are close to the event, so in the immediate area send out flyers by fax blasting them to the local opticals. Don't just fax blast though contact them and let them know you are sending an invite (call it an invitation and don't say "free" say "complimentary", free has a negative conotation) Tell your frame and lens reps about it and ask them to pass it on (do this at least 3-4 months in advance as reps usually do their rounds in 8 week intervals so if you give them enough time they can menton it to all their accounts). Also if you give me the time and the info on what you are calling this even I can make up some CD's with various software and links to resources as a give away (100 CD's cost $10.00 and the cases another $10.00, so for $20.00 you give them a tangable tool to walk away with). And most important of all let me know what I can do to help.
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