DYK: Behind the Scenes of WNU

Wow, what a wonderful whirlwind it has been! On a personal level, while I (Christy) have been an attendee at many large conferences, WNU 2018 was my first time behind the scenes experience. I always imagined the immense amount of work that went into such a production, but I was never present to see it in action. I am amazed. What's New University 2018 was a month ago now, Saturday, March 10, and we are enjoying sitting back and looking at all that went on before, during and after the big day. This is a large event, with dedicated coordination and behind the scenes work to make it happen.
Did you know?
  • Adam Cherry and Sara Gerondale are the people we have to thank for this event coming together in such a spectacular way. Their vision and drive produced What's New University 2018.
  • Sara was almost solely focused on this event since June 2017! [caption id="attachment_4169" align="alignright" width="169"] Screenshot of an employee's Fitbit early Sunday morning - calculated to just under 8 miles on Saturday![/caption]
  • Multiple employees from a variety of departments at Cherry Optical, Inc have spent a great deal of time helping with the planning and implementation of all the events, organization, handouts, and physical needs for the event.
  • All employees of Cherry Optical, Inc were involved in one way or another for the event, with 88% of them present at the actual event, working in multiple capacities (along with family members as volunteers).
  • None of us are at all sure how many miles total we put on during the event. The Lambeau Field venue is unique and wonderful, and also very large, with classrooms and event rooms literally from one end to the other. So, if you saw someone in a red Cherry jacket rushing somewhere, you can be sure they were also getting their daily fitness steps in!
  • This biennial event has been a fixture for Cherry Optical, Inc and like the company, it's been getting larger and larger each time. This year we had over 1,250 attendees! We had five hours of classes, in ten different rooms/locations, providing 55 hours of continuing education credits. Three speakers were eye care professionals that we work with regularly.
  • We had 201 registered exhibitors, 27 presenters, and three representatives from Quality Contact Lens, Inc. Attendees came from all areas of the United States, literally from coast to coast. Our East Coast visitors even dubbed the event as Vision Expo Midwest!
  • Multiple categories of continuing education credits were available for attendees: ABO, COPE, NCLE, AOA/CPC for eye care professionals in a variety of settings from technicians, to opticians, to optometrists.
Planning for What's New University 2020 is already in the works! Mark your calendars as you will want to be at Lambeau Field in Green Bay on March 7, 2020, for the next WNU! In the meantime, we do a recap and evaluation of this event, looking for ways to improve, challenges that came up, and feedback from attendees. Notes are made, materials organized, and a tentative timeline is beginning to appear. With each event, we plan to improve and add to the program. To be part of something so huge, to be able to assist others, be part of a dynamic and energetic team, to deal with the moment by moment changes, and challenges, it was thrilling and exhausting! As a Cherry Optical, Inc employee, I am proud of what we produced, proud of all our efforts, and proud of how those two are already looking forward to our next one and problem solving to make it even better for all in 2020! It's going to be a big one! Did you miss the WNU Reminder and Directions Email? Click here! Up Next: Meet The People Behind WNU