Knowledge Centre Speakers


Knowledge Centre Speakers

The Eyewear Girl - Emma Roberts

The Eyewear Girl is Eyewear fashion influencer and blogger, Emma Roberts who is also a Qualified Optical Mechanic and Dispenser who has been in the Australian Optical Industry for over 17 years. Emma has a wide range of industry experience across retail, wholesale, training, fashion and management, which combined with her passion for quality eyewear is a force to be reckoned with!


Emma started the Eyewear Girl in early 2019, with the intention of opening up the industry to the end consumer and helping independents hold their value in a changing marketplace. She is passionate about quality products and the stories behind them, and her obsession is contagious. She also works as Business Manager for Portland and Warrnambool Eyecare in South West Victoria.


Every day at O=MEGA19 Emma will be conducting her fun and interactive session 'Your customer's inner voice'

Dispensing these days is about being more flexible than ever. It's about showcasing the details of a frame and matching the craftsmanship of a frame to the personality of the consumer. It’s about listening, but also being able to gently correct misunderstood information from the internet.  It's also about being able to tell a frames story. The presentation, is fun, but has a serious undertone of how to communicate with consumers these days that are focused on being different and expecting it for very little money. It’s about informing your customer, and heightening the overall frame search experience giving value to your practice, your staff and your product.

The Social Media Guru - Vivienne Forbes

Vivienne Forbes is an expert in the art of relationship building. She is adept in marketing and advertising and possesses skills in business development, all acquired from over 25 years’ experience in radio, magazines (digital and print), news media agencies, leading newspapers, outdoor advertising, direct mail, event management and training.

Every day at O=MEGA19 Viv will be conducting her engaging and entertaining talk 'The Social Media and Online Shopping Era'

Whether you don’t know your Instagram from your Pinterest or Foursquare or you already host your own YouTube channel Viv Forbes has got ideas and advice for you on maximising social media. In the aftermath of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytics revelations Viv will discuss why independent retail practices should not only continue to use social media but how to market themselves effectively using the medium.  Viv will give practical take away advice that can be implemented and tips that can be used immediately by small businesses.

The AI Guy - Ludwig Heymbeek

Ludwig Heymbeeck has a Master in Electronics Engineering and a Master in Computer Science. He also obtained an MBA from the AGSM at the University of New South Wales. Ludwig has developed Artificial Intelligence algorithms since the late '80s when these were used to simulate, test, and validate Integrated Circuits of computers at Philips Research Labs in the Netherlands.

He has been involved in the optical industry since 2004 when he founded PlanetVA Pty Ltd, a company that uses the latest Artificial Intelligence algorithms to provide leading omnichannel eyewear dispensing solutions such as virtual eyewear try-on and style assistant. Ludwig also founded in 2006 the online B2B optical media site

Every day at O=MEGA19 Ludwig will offer some future proofing advice with his topic "Artificial Intelligence and the future of eyewear dispensing"

So are robots going to take our jobs and make us all redundant? Ludwig will explain exactly what Artificial Intelligence (AI) is, and the current state of AI.  He will talk about AI Applications for Optical Businesses,  Eyewear dispensing with the assistance of AI and outline future trends and implications for optical retailers.

The Succession Expert - Kathy Allen

Kathy Allen is  a Chartered Accountant with boutique firm Dewings based in Adelaide. Kathy has worked with ODMA for more than 10 years now - in fact, since the Australian optical landscape changed forever.  Kathy specialises in Start Your Own Practice and Succession Planning topics.

Every day at O=MEGA19 Kathy will present the answer to the question "What is your practice really worth?"

Let’s face it there are more practices changing hands in recent times than anyone could ever have imagined and anecdotal stories about how much practices sold for cannot be relied upon.  The bottom line is working it out is basically accounting 101 for Kathy Allen.  Kathy will explain some of the methodology used to calculate market value of an optometry practice and how to maximise the ultimate amount you receive.  Even if you are not thinking of selling it is important you know where to get the information and just as we are all keen to know the value of our real estate.