Attendees | CE Speakers | Exhibitors | Affiliate Partners | Show Management
Josh Bladh, Dr. Taylor Bladh, Diamond Bar, CA
We opened an account with TOMS at Vision Expo West and have already sold out of our ophthalmic frames. They're great styles with the same one-for-one promise as the shoes. TORY BURCH alternative fits have been hard to keep in stock. We have a large population with a small nose bridge and this fits their need perfectly.
Susan Cheung, Optometrist, Cloverdale Optometric Center
Vision Expo gets all of the industries together so it is a one stop shop for me. I mostly make purchases while I am here. I can compare different prices and allow myself to make a good buying decision. Club Vision provides a nice place to relax while here. They also provide me with a lot more information and better idea of what I should expect.
Emmy Corder, Optician, Elmore County Eyecare
This is my second Vision Expo and I am looking forward to the training. We have been to other conferences, and this one is by far better.
Bradley Cross, Optometrist, Eyewear Express
Vision Expo has been great so far. It is always very informative and very good to hear perspectives from leaders in the industry. I continue to come back to Vision Expo for the education. I am really looking forward to the Dry Eye Symposiums because they offer the most practical application for my practice.
Andrea Cullen, Optometrist, Cape Vision Centre
This is my first time at Vision Expo and I came more for the continuing education. I did not know how big of a conference this was. I will definitely come back to make purchases in the future.
Joanna Domagalski, Manager and Licensed Optician, Westwood Optical
The biggest benefit, for me, of being an OPTImum member is the networking. I took part in the Vision one2one program on Wednesday and I met a lot of great contacts. It is also nice having that little bit of extra time, the half hour at the beginning of the day and the half hour at the end, to get in that one last appointment. I come from Canada, so we have been taking CE classes and trying to see all of our vendors and distributors. It is nice to a little bit of that great freedom. It is also very convenient that this lunch is actually on the show floor, where I can duck in and say hi then go back to the booths. I come to Vision Expo for the Continuing Education, purchasing and networking. Vision Expo is kind of like having a trunk show. You get to see the complete collections of all of the lines in one place. It is a great place to shop comparatively. You can make sure that you have the best options in the most cost effective styles for your patients.
Ronald Gelfman, Optician/Owner, Cedar View Optical
I haven't missed a Vision Expo since 2001. I primarily keep coming back for the CE courses, because you can get a lot done in essentially one long weekend. Vision Expo is also a great place to see everyone's wares on display. It allows me to scan the show floor and compare prices, quality and styles all in one place. I used to have to sit down with 25 reps to get that kind of exposure.
Karen Hameny, Buyer/Optician, Eye Clinic of Wisconsin
This is my third Vision Expo, but my first one here in Vegas. I just had my first run through the exhibit hall and everything was great. I like to see the representation of all the different designs and exhibitors. Being a frame buyer, I was looking forward to Board Management classes. It was very exciting to see all of the trends for this year in class, and then go out onto the floor and see them all represented. In selecting and buying for our clinic, it is nice to know what is trending so we can provide the most up-to-date products to our customers. I have taken three CE classes, and they all have been great. I especially enjoy that they are ADO certified.
Linda Harrison, Owner, Laguna Eyes Optometry
One2One allows me to meet vendors in a quieter and more personal setting. You get to pick up tidbits from other optometrists and opticians in the same meeting. It is an open discussion instead of a lecture, which makes it more personalized and I feel I get more out of the discussion.
Kallie Kappes, Student, Southern California College of Optometry
As a student, I think it is important to immerse yourself in the field that you are going to be a student for the rest of your life in. Vision Expo helps me to meet other optometrists and fellow students as well as learn about the new technology out there. Continuing education after you get your degree is really important, so if you make those ties now, and go now, you are going to be better off in the long run.
Robert Kennedy, Optometrist, Kennedy Eye Associates
I have been to 10 Vision Expos and enjoy seeing friends, selecting unique frames from the show and gaining knowledge from CE courses. I think the Global Contact Lens Forum is terrific. I liked Dr. Morris a lot, and I always enjoy Dr. Davis because he is so didactic and illuminates things in the forefront of technology.
David Kiang, Optician, O Divine Vision
This is my third Vision Expo, and I look forward to seeing the innovation and meeting new vendors.
David Kosto, Practice Manager, Insight Family Eyecare
I have been to Vision Expo five or six times. I continue to return each year for the great classes, new products and to purchase different things we need for our office.
Jacques Lecavalier, Account Manager, OSI
Club Vision saves me a lot of time so I can optimize my visit here. I don't have to work hard to find a place to sit down and relax. Vision Expo allows me to see amazing, new technologies and attend different seminars. I can focus on certain objectives in the seminars and find the solutions on the floor. So that is something I can bring back to all my members and trainers. Vision Expo is a source of great information. I mainly come to Vision Expo to learn, but it allows me to identify trends and technology that I should be focusing on.
Sandi Leong, Optician, Self-Employed
I like coming to Vision Expo West because it offers specific CE courses that are not offered in other places.
Dean Meyer, Optometrist, Owner, Family Eyecare Center
I come back to Vision Expo year after year for the education, the ease of traveling here and just how great the convention is. I liked the format of three speakers at this year's Global Contact Lens Forum. It provides a greater diversity of information. You get three different ideas about customization and specialty contact lenses.
David Mudam, Licensed Optician
I am a career optician who is here to self-educate myself in broad aspects of the industry, and Vision Expo is a great place to do it.
Debi Nee, Optician
Vision Expo allows me to see reps and to get information without taking up office time. I manage two offices so I don't always get a chance to spend the time looking for a product like I can at Vision Expo. I always buy while I am here. I can see five or six different reps in two days, and I am not taking time away from patients.
Du Nguyen, Optometrist, Nguyen Vision Inc.
This is not my first time at Vision Expo, but it is the first time I have ever taken a class. I like how interactive the Wet Lab was; they actually brought up patients to try on actual lenses. It didn't feel like they were trying to sell us the product as much as it felt like they were trying to actually help the patient.
Phuong Quach, Optometrist, Castaic Optometry
I come to Vision Expo every year to buy frames and good show specials. I get some classes in, but I mainly go to the exhibit hall. This is the one time I make a big purchases that will last the whole year. I like One2One because you get to meet different vendors, some of which I did not know had a specialty that I can now pass onto my patients. One2one also gives you the opportunity to get to meet different vendors that you may not normally think about.
Eric Rollins, Owner, Rollins Consulting
This year's Vision Expo has been very busy, there are a lot of people here. It is always fun for me to see old friends that I have known for a long time that I only get to see twice a year at the Expos. It is great to reconnect with all of them. It is exciting to see all of the new products and technology. When I find something I want to buy, if I don't purchase it while I am here, I purchase it when I get back home.
Jasmine Roth, Student, Southern California College of Optometry
As a student, I wanted to see all of the products and machines that Vision Expo offers to future optometrists. It is pretty exciting; they have a lot of booths out there and a lot of new products that I haven't seen before.
Juliana San Antonio, Optical Manager, Sears Optical
I have been to the Vision Expo every year except last year. I enjoy hearing about new, up-to-date trends in the industry.
Sarah Scott, Optometric Technician, Elmore County Eyecare
I came back to Vision Expo this year after my first one last year for the CE courses. The classes are the best we have ever been to.
Lucina Silva, Receptionist/Contact Lens Trainer, Eyeoptics Optometry Center
This is my second Expo and I came back this year for the education. I am still learning, and the contact lens education is really beneficial to me.
Mana Spring, Optician, Armstrong-Root Opticians
I am looking forward to learning more about contact lenses and insurance. The Global Contact Lens Forum has been great so far. Scott Morris was a good way to start the morning at 7:30am, very energetic and educational.
Anthony Tran, Optometrist, Owner, Custom Eyes Vision Care
I come to Vision Expo to look at trends and to see new products and technology. It is nice to see all the new frame lines and equipment all in one place.
Joe Trezza, Optometrist, Self-Employed in Pittsburg, CA
I have been coming to Vision Expo for eight or 10 years for the quality of education and choices. At smaller conferences you get some really boring lectures and don't always have things to go to. At Vision Expo you have a lot of choices. I am really looking forward to Dr. Milton Hom; he always puts on a sort of comedy show while still being very educational.
Amanda Tyler, Optician, Ridge View Eye Care
This is my first Vision Expo, but I am excited for all of the classes. It is really great that I am able to take 23 hours in only three days. I also look forward to shopping for things we need in our office.
Tammy Valdes, Optician, Antelope Valley Optometric Center
Last year was my first Vision Expo and I wanted to come back to learn more. I am really looking forward to the PRISM course, as well as classes on lenses and high-end frames.
Norene Watkins, Optician, Valley Vision Center
I hadn't been to Vision Expo since 2000, but I think since then, the classes have become more technical and getting more involved in the precision of lenses, which is exactly what I was looking for. The classes and the vendors educate me so I can make sure I get the right glasses for my patients.
Continuing Education Speakers
Mark Dunbar, Optometrist, FAAO, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, co-chair of Conference Advisory Board
Vision Expo is one of the top meetings in the country so the fact that I get to speak is great. So far, we have seen great attendance in all of our courses. We have 18 hours of this crowd sourced learning format, so we are hoping that people enjoy it.
Scott Deming, author of Powered by Purpose
This is my fourth Vision Expo, and they have always been just spectacular. I think this year has a great turnout and people seem to be very interested in education. I had a presentation at 7:00am this morning and I was shocked there were about 150 people there. Everyone seems to be very into the educational process here. I think it is wonderful. The benefit for me speaking at Vision Expo is that I am meeting new people and new companies. I am not a doctor and I don't really have an expertise in the eyecare industry, but I have an expertise in leadership and customer service. I am hoping attendees are learning some new things that they really haven't taken time to learn before.
Steven Ferrucci, Optometrist, Sepulveda VA Hospital
Every time I lecture at Vision Expo I actually learn a little something. I think by putting together a presentation, you force yourself to actually be on the cutting edge and learn a little bit. So as I am teaching participants, I have already taught myself this stuff so it helps me as well. This new format that we are trying out, crowd sourced learning, and was very interesting and we had a lot of interaction. I think a lot of people liked it. People's attention spans are shorter these days, and this is a way for us to be a little more rapid fire. If an audience member has a question, and maybe they are a particularly shy person and they don't want to ask the question themselves, they can text the question in and we can answer their questions personally.
Milton Hom, Optometrist, FAAO
The nice thing about it is that you can really give an update on cutting-edge material. What's happening now is things are coming very fast. I mean over the past few years, technology has just traveled at warp speed and it's changed the way that we practice. And we just really need to update. I'm just trying to keep up and this gives me an opportunity to share with my colleagues. I'm trying to keep up just like they are. I was watching a Jackie Robinson biography movie and he said that he was being coached by a reporter on how to handle the media because at the time he was very controversial and he said, ‘What you want to do is make the pitches come slow. You want to slow down the pitches.' That's how I feel about optometry now, is that stuff is changing so quickly that we can just fall behind on new technology and research and new developments. Vision Expo helps me and my colleagues slow down the pitches. The nice thing about Vision Expo is that is helps us keep up to date. On this session, my first of three, I got an opportunity to talk about extremely new stuff. I think that if you look back a year ago in terms of what I do in clinical practice, it's totally different from what I'm doing now. The reason why is because of all the changes. Sjogren's syndrome is an example of that. What I'm doing in terms of diagnosing and understanding Sjogren's syndrome a year ago is nothing like it was a year ago. I think that the doctors really appreciate slowing the pitches down. Usually at the first session the attendance is very light but I was surprised to see quite a few people in the hallways. I was surprised for a first-day session it was very active. I did see quite a number of people. The exhibit hall that Vision Expo has is unparalleled. There is nothing in our industry that can even match it. When you talk about different products and innovations in CE, people can then go upstairs and see it, and you can't do that anywhere else because everybody's here. The other meetings don't have that. I was just talking about a new instrument and was then told earlier by the doctor who's been working with them and he said, ‘Oh yeah, they're going to be at VE also.' I've never seen the instrument myself, but it's here. You can learn about it and then go upstairs and touch it and feel it. You can't do that anywhere else – it's amazing.
Tim Moore, Director of Marketing, Rochester Optical
Vision Expo West has been very good. Our traffic yesterday was fantastic. In this Future of Digital Vision and Wearable Tech class we had people from Egypt, Ireland, UK and Asia. It's world-class. This class was packed, all of the seats were full and we had about seven people standing in the back. Everyone was very interested and it was a big hit.
Shawn Shafer, Program Manager, Industry Research, The Vision Council
I think that certainly on the education side, people can step outside of their practice and see the trends for the overall industry, like with the information we shared here at the State of the Industry Address today, to be able to know what's happening in their business and what's happening in the general marketplace. Hopefully they will have some things to take back with them about opportunities for growth that they may not have been paying attention to or potential customers or that sort of thing, and that's not even including the new products upstairs.
Valerie Vittu, Margot & Camille Optique
In terms of the market it is beneficial for me to speak at Vision Expo because I have a vision about glasses and I can share my experiences. I can inspire people to take a chance and not do something they have to do, but rather something they want to do. So many people have been undersold because the optician was afraid of the money. But it is not about the money. It is about making people feel good about themselves. When people look good, they feel good. When I speak, I can share the confidence that this does work. Speaking at Vision Expo also benefits me personally because when people ask questions, they are often things I never would have thought of. Sharing with others helps me grow. I have a lot of pleasure in what I do and I want to share my story. One of the best ways I know to learn in this industry is by understanding how the product is made and its benefits.
Vision Choice Awards:
Jeff Gibson, President
We're ecstatic. This is our second win in a row. We won last year for best new product for the floating component and now this year we won for being the first American National Standards Institute (ANSI) rated floating product. It's a big deal to be able to maintain buoyancy, but yet have a dense enough product to withstand the ANSI impact rating. It's never been done before in the history of mankind, and due to our patent protection, no one else can do it either. We're a young company – we're not even three years old – so we're here and we're taking big swings. We're a real brand. We're the next big thing – we're convinced of it. Hard work pays off. When you decide to build a product and a brand you start with a white canvas. So you set up a checklist of things that you see that the other manufacturers aren't doing, and on your canvas you start building. I want that, check. I want that, check. And through research and development; blood, sweat and tears; and a whole lot of money, you figure out how to do it eventually. We've been able to compile all those components together in one product, so we're obviously very proud of that.
Avantek Eyewear and HOYA DF
Grant Zider, National Product Manager for HOYA DF, Avantek Mounting System
COO for Avantek Eyewear
We are pleased once again to be voted the best new product in ophthalmic frames and lenses at Vision Expo West. Each year we focus on another innovation in the ophthalmic market from our distortion free lens systems (HOYA Distorion-Free Optics) to our Avantek Mounting System which offers no drill holes, wires and leaves the optical zone free of distractions. Avantek now has the best new ophthalmic awards in the past three years. We will try to continue to provide the ECPs with continued innovation and exciting new products. It's in our DNA, starting with Flexon 30 years ago.
Specs of Wood
Ian Rubinstein, Owner
The organization, layout, professionalism, and down right friendliness made for such a smooth sail! I had a very successful show, made some excellent contacts, and even won a Vision Choice award. How much more can one ask for?
Medical Advisory Panel:
Lee Ball, Optometrist, FAOO, Associate Director, Medical Affairs with VISTAKON
The Global Contact Lens Forum was a well-formatted, quick hitting presentation that was very topical to today's optometrists. Vision Expo provides an opportunity to interact with colleagues throughout the industry. Most importantly, I would say it offers great touch points.
David Gibson, Director Optometric Professional Relations and Strategic Initiatives, Allergan
Vision Expo's Young Professionals Club is innovative and really helps to connect young practitioners with other practitioners in the same stage of their careers. The Young Professionals Club also offers great networking and educational opportunities that can help inspire doctors and allow them to become successful.
Press Conference Presenters:
Anthony Roberts, VP Optical, Babiators
We are launching two new products here, Submariners and Rx frames; we're really excited to introduce those in this way and connect with current customers, meet some new ones and reconnect with other companies in the industry, whether it is manufacturers or media or all the different components. There is no substitute for a good face-to-face meeting. We have a new booth this year that we feel really reflects our updated brand aesthetic. We are excited about the show, and in Optical it's our favorite show. We've been to Vision Expo East, but West is where we started in Optical so we look forward to coming out here each year.
Ilene Marcus, Director of Sales, Velvet Eyewear
Velvet is a three-year-old brand that's ready to explode and we want everyone to see us and know what we're about and it's not just our beautiful styles. It's our relationships with retailers and it's about how we relate to what's going on in fashion and the industry and the trends online. It's how we work with our colleagues and all of those pieces are what makes us a really fabulous brand. The West show is always a great show for us – we love the exposure and the sales. It's very organized and a great place to be.
Chris Barber, President, ZeaVision
I am excited to participate in the educational courses offered at Vision Expo West. While here, we have the opportunity to preview and launch the latest or next generation Macular Pigment Measurement instrument, QuantifEye MPS II. We also are working towards helping more optometrists meet the ocular nutrition needs of their patients and practice. Vision Expo allows us to support Optometry Giving Sight's World Sight Day by donating a portion of the proceeds generated at the show.
Robert Liener, President/CEO, A&A Optical
Vision Expo provides us the opportunity to meet new people and to get new leads. I think the most effective way to meet new people and customers, is by being at a Vision Expo. Our current customer base that we have been working with for years is definitely going to stop by and take advantage of show specials and things of that nature. I think there are always new things presented at tradeshows and the venue, with so many people here, allows for the introduction of new products, brands and launches.
Cleveland Cox, Professional Sales Representative, Alcon Laboratories, Inc.
We have seen some pretty decent traffic at our location. One of the biggest benefits of Vision Expo for our company is the opportunity for us to show our customers support from a company standpoint.
Matt Cevasco, President & GM, Briot
The traffic seems very good today; we have been very busy all day long so we are quite pleased. From a manufacturer's perspective, Vision Expo is an opportunity for us to get together in one place and showcase our entire portfolio to the people that are coming in. We work pretty intensely in the marketplace prior to Vision Expo to create awareness to bring potential customers in to preview our products. Vision Expo is one of the very few opportunities a year where an optician or ECP can preview pretty much every product that is available in the marketplace and spend detailed time on a one-off basis with each manufacturer. Otherwise, it is very difficult in practice to say let me see product A, B and C all lined up next to each other.
Robin Rhodes, Vice President Sales, Essilor Instruments
This year we are seeing a lot more traffic and a lot more energy. Vision Expo is where we can actually show people and get people to have hands-on experience with our products all in one place, so that is a huge benefit for Essilor. I think attendees like coming to Vision Expo to buy because they can compare everything all in one spot and make that decision of what is right for them, without having to space it out over time. If somebody wants to purchase a certain product, now they can come up to our booth and really get a feel for it before they actually buy. This way, they actually know what they are getting and how it will look and work in their office.
Jill Burrowes, Director of Key Accounts, Europa International
The Galleria itself seems busier than it has in the past, which has been great. Vision Expo allows people from every part of the country and beyond to see so many different types of products in one space. It is basically a one-stop shop. I think Vision Expo is a buying show because people come with buying in mind. We have existing customers who know we are going to have show specials so they will take advantage of the show.
Carolyn Zazra, Marketing Director, Europa International
Vision Expo has been wildly busy. We have been very busy; the traffic we have seen has been steady throughout the day. Vision Expo is beneficial for people whose companies don't have reps in their area; this is the opportunity to get more coverage. We love any chance we get to sit one-on-one with our customers, and Vision Expo provides us with that opportunity in a very relaxed atmosphere. Vision Expo is just a really good opportunity to present Europa to people who are just not that familiar with us. We always look forward to seeing our current accounts, but we really look forward to trying to meet new people and introduce people to what Europa is all about.
Don Herold, Sales, Fluid Edge
This show has been just what we asked for. We were looking for new customers, and we have found them. We also had the opportunity to see existing customers as well. Vision Expo is the easiest way for us to reach out to the customers we are looking for. Everybody has done a really great job making us feel comfortable at the show and it has been very successful.
Roxanna Pacheco, Corporate Accounts Coordinator, Inspecs
Vision Expo is a fantastic way to gain exposure. We have garnered a lot of interest for our brands, which is why we do the shows. People are starting to recognize the Inspecs name behind the brands we sell out of distributors, since we don't actually have our own stores. I think face to face is key. There are people who will say, Oh, I have seen this brand or actually we sell this brand, but they don't recognize that the middleman comes through us. So it is nice to put a face to a name; people feel more related to you and bond to you that way. The ability for our upper heads to meet with our customers here creates a different environment too. You are motivated in a different way than just your regular sales call; this is more of establishing that relationship and maintaining that relationship. Vision Expo gives us an opportunity to do just that.
Mike Cundiff, CEO, Kenmark Group
I find that people seem to come to Vision Expo prepared to buy and they make plans to do so. Often they are making their buying decisions for the whole year while they are here. For the first day, traffic seems to be up and people seem to be coming by, so everything is good so far.
Mark Ginsberg, Senior Vice President Global Marketing Services, Marchon
Vision Expo makes buying easy, it is one stop shopping. When our customers come to Marchon, they can work with a number of reps not just the particular rep that comes into their dispensary on any given day. They can see the entire portfolio of brands and do all of their Marchon and Altair business at one time; it is very efficient. We love being an exhibitor. This is a great show for Marchon. We enjoy the positioning we have at the show and we feel very bullish about the remainder of the year based on what we have seen so far here.
Woody Muire, Marketing Manager, Mitsui Chemicals
We had a lot of traffic this year compared to the size of the booth last time. We had a little bit of a learning curve, and we learned a lot from the last Expo. We were able to apply that knowledge to this booth. Really the location and size of the booth helped us get a lot more foot traffic. I think a lot of people make purchases at Vision Expo because everyone from the industry is in once central place.
Janet Johnson, Director of Acuitas Product , Ocuco
This year we have seen more traffic compared to last. We have also had more direct questions, people aren't shopping around; they are here to buy. Everybody is here at the same time, so if someone is debating between two pieces of software they can run between two booths and immediately compare the two options. Shopping at Vision Expo is not as distracting as it would be at someone's brick and mortar location where the phone is always ringing; everything is focused here. Maybe someone who is shy doesn't want to call us up and ask to speak with the sales rep, can come to Vision Expo and just walk by and browse. Being here exposes the company and our products to people that we would never ever encounter. I think being at these Expos is a necessity in order to gain that desired exposure.
Chelle Stanley, Account Manager, Optos Inc.
Although it's not Optos' first time at Vision Expo, this is my first time as an exhibitor. I feel like it's productive and busy. This venue typically will bring a big crowd, for us, with instruments it's nice to be able to bring a display and have people pretty much from all over the US coming to this big of a show. Normally this is the show that they want to come to. I think Vision Expo is a good buying event because in the mind of the customer, they feel like they're going to get the best deal, they are going to get the best mileage out of their trip and there's probably a good speaking engagement here and they want to be a part of that.
Mary Anne Ereso, Marketing Coordinator, Optovue Inc.
We have seen a great outcome this show. We have seen a lot of traffic, and I think it has gone very well so far. Vision Expo is beneficial to us because we get new customer leads and are actually able to show off our new products and generate more of a customer base. Vision Expo is a good buying event, I would say. This is actually my first Vision Expo. I would say it has met my expectations and it has been pretty fun and we have seen good traffic flow for our sales people. We've been able to get some sales out of it.
Morten Hansen, VP Operations, ProDesign Eyewear, Inc.
We're trying to pick up some new customers and get some leads. It is great to come to Vision Expo to see our customers and interact with them. It also provides an easy way for customers to come and see a bunch of different products and judge them against each other in one place.
Mike Hundert, Owner, CCO, CEO, REM Eyewear
The traffic has been very good so far, by noon it was packed, and it has stayed fairly busy the whole day. Vision Expo is an opportunity for a retailer to see everything in context, and also provides the resources of all of the people in the company. You can come here and not only meet with your rep, but you can meet with the designers, the owners and the marketing people and get a lot more accomplished besides just buying frames. It helps to build and foster relationships between suppliers and retailers. As an owner, what I appreciate is I get to understand the businesses out there. Within three days, I can meet with scores of retailers and get a better sense of what their needs are. We have our product people here for the same reason. They are not developing product, they are listening to what customers have to say about our product. Everybody wins here. It is a learning experience, a buying experience and a relationship building experience that cannot be replicated.
Rick Clemente, Executive VP of Sales & Service, Santinelli International
We have had really good energy at our booth. We are able to visit with our customers and we have had some new opportunities come our way. We have been able to talk to these new leads about new technologies we have to offer and new business solutions to help improve their profitability, and the Vision Expo provides us with a great opportunity to do that. Visiting with the new opportunities and the doctors about what Santinelli International has to offer is a major benefit of being an exhibitor at Vision Expo. Also, with the other exhibitors that are here and different alliances, we have opportunities to meet with them and accomplish a lot. I think people come into Vision Expo expecting to buy. Both Vision Expo East and Vision Expo West, they use these two events as opportunities to come and make their purchasing decisions. Both shows are strategically located and timed very well for people to make these decisions. As an exhibitor, we have a captive audience of people who are here looking to make great investments in their businesses.
Kevin Cross, Director of Sales, Schneider Optical Machines Inc.
It has been a great show. We have seen quality attendance and foot traffic has been great, so we are really happy. Vision Expo allows us to see everybody in one place. It gives us a chance to have our suppliers, customers, friends and partners all under one roof; it is truly invaluable. Customers, buyers and other purchasing executives have a chance to see everybody in one shot and meet with the core people that they may not see throughout the course of the year. Here at the show, our entire executive team is here so decisions are made on the spot. We are able to be nimble and flexible to try and put together something that gets the customer exactly what they want, but we don't have to wait and go back and forth and trade emails, voicemails or visits. We can get everything done right here at the show.
Lindsey Weening, Director of Sales and Marketing, TOMS Eyewear
It has been great so far here in the Galleria and we have a really great location that sees a lot of traffic. We have also been writing a lot of orders up in The Suites. Vision Expo is a great way for us to gain awareness and let people that we also have eyewear now.
James Bashant, Director of Sales, Topcon Medical Systems
For Topcon this has been an excellent show. Vision Expo presents us with a lot of doctors looking to buy products, which is the most important thing for us. Vision Expo allows us to show and demonstrate our products to a lot of good doctors. There are other venues where optometry organizations present us with buying doctors, but it is not as effective. The Vision Expos have been best for us.
Keith Kamalich, Executive Vice President, Tura
It's been a great start to Vision Expo West. We've seen great traffic all day and it has been very consistent. It's been a positive day all around. We're looking forward to three more full days of sales. Not only do all of our current accounts seem upbeat and optimistic, but we've seen lots of new business – more new buyers than we've seen in previous years.
John Slaney, Regional Sales Manager of West Region, Walman Optical
Vision Expo has been really exciting. The second day was just fabulous and we are looking forward to another fabulous day today. Vision Expo gives us the opportunity to see clients that we would normally not see, and that is the biggest benefit for us. We want new business and clients. Vision Expo allows all clients and vendors to see what is happening in the marketplace and what is available in the marketplace. It is really a one-stop shop; that is what makes it really easy for everybody.
ODs on Facebook Reception 9/19/14:
Alan Glazier, Optometrist, CEO Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care, founder of ODs on Facebook
ODs on Facebook is a real community and real time social media. A lot of groups and places are in social, but they are unfriendly and they have agendas. We get together online, but we have real life connections as well. ODs on Facebook has a low barrier to entry and we would love for all ODs to become members of our community.
New Grad Perspective Program:
Carey Reynolds, Senior Marketing Manager, Allergan
We really feel that the Allergan Optometry Jumpstart Program, Young Professionals Club and NewGradOptometry.com have the perfect partnership. We all share the same goal – to engage and provide value to newly graduated optometrists.
Matthew Geller, Optometrist, SUNY Optometry Class of 2013
Founder of OptometryStudents.com and NewGradOptometry.com
Complete Family Vision Care, San Diego
New graduates are a group of individuals who probably don't get the attention they deserve when it comes to professional and optometric success in practice and NewGradOptometry.com is there to fill that void. We plan to cover tonight how to really get started, from start to finish in medical based optometry. There is a road map that new grads don't know that we'd like to deliver to them based on our personal experience. We're not saying this is the way, but here's something to think about and focus on. We're going to go from the beginning to the end. Your first optometry job is not your last, so here's how to get that next job. Medical optometry is a hot place to be looking for that, so here are the steps to take to get that medical based position. And once you have that what do you do with it? How do you actually bring in patients how do you bring in income, how do you code and bill, how do you do it all in a way that's compliant and up-to-date and then we'll throw around some tips and our own experiences. This is my 6th year at Vision Expo; I go to both East and West. Vision Expo is valuable because it's who you know, not what you know. It's all about networking and optometry is small enough to do that. Young Professionals Club offers you six hours of free CE for five years. I've done some calculations on student loan interest and you save a total of about $6,000 there. Vision Expo is a great place to meet people. You'll have a great time here and advance your career and have fun.
If you haven't been, you're missing out. If you want someone to show you the ropes contact me or the team and we'll meet up and do a couple of rounds around the exhibit hall and help you out.
Kathryn Dugan, Optometrist, Temecula Creek Optometry
I have been to Vision Expo three times, but this is my first time here as a doctor. While I was in school, Vision Expo was more about the education and the exhibit hall. Now, with the Young Professionals Club, I receive six free hours of education so I had more of a desire to attend this year. I signed up for the Young Professionals Club in June because of the six free hours of education, the publications I would receive and the Allergan Jump Start program. I was also really excited to receive the free samples and for Eyemaginations- I have been dying to use that. I also hope to get to meet people my own age who also share similar interests.
Antonio Chirumbolo, Optometrist, Complete Family Vision Care
The networking opportunities that the Young Professionals Club provides are great. They bring people together, and you get to meet all kinds of different people that you may not have typically had the opportunity to meet under normal circumstances.
Courtney Dryer, Optometrist, 4 Eyes Optometry
I find the major benefit of being in the Young Professionals Club is the free CE. I love coming to Vision Expo, I think it is the best tradeshow for optometry. You get to see all of the new products and latest frame lines; it is just a great opportunity all around. I look forward to it every time it comes around.
Accessories Council Hall of Fame Induction of 20/20 Magazine at TAO:
Karen Giberson, President, Accessories Council
The Accessories Council is always excited to have events around the optical industry, as we have a number of members in that industry. We feel that glasses are the most visible accessory – whether sun or prescription. It is amazing to look back at the fashions of glasses over the past 40 years and see all of the changes that have taken place. We are celebrating and recognizing the industry and excited to honor 20/20 Magazine tonight.
Deborah Castor, Vice President, Shows & Meetings, The Vision Council
The Vision Expo community is brewing with excitement on every level. This morning's continuing education program opened with the State of the Industry Address which was standing room only, proving a healthy introduction to the days ahead. With more than 15,000 attendees and exhibitors and our buzzing social media audience of more than 55,000 eye care professionals, the entire industry is actively tapped into the news, products and events that debut only at Vision Expo.
Tom Loughran, Group Vice President, Reed Exhibitions
Everyone here has an insatiable appetite for learning about and seeing the next big thing in eyewear. Our new product showcase, for example, is one of the biggest attractions at Vision Expo. This year especially, we're hearing about all the ways those innovations are energizing attendees for the classroom and driving buying activity on the exhibit floor. Halfway through the show there's still so much to do and to absorb, from early morning CE sessions to late night receptions, the energy level this year is remarkable.
Innovation is at the core of everything we have to offer this year, generating a dynamic blend of networking and excitement that really adds to the energy level. With such a high caliber of continuing education, new products unveiled on the show floor and community building opportunities, the next few days at Vision Expo West will provide a platform for new ideas and new perspectives that will drive the optical industry forward.
Miscellaneous quotes from Exhibit Hall and Education | The How? Behind the Wow! at retail | GCLF | Ocular Surface Disease & Wellness | State of the Industry | The Suites' Buyer Bellini Toast | Optimum Members | Job Link | YPC | Students
Miscellaneous quotes from Exhibit Hall and Education
Nina Levy, Practice Manager
I like to come to Vision Expo to see new products, what’s on the market and what’s being shown. You’ve got everything under one roof, so I think that really helps.
Dr. Lori Bende, Optometrist, Golden Triangle Optometric Center
I’m excited to see new products and network with other professionals.
Dr. Holly Stebel, Optometrist, Boise Mountain Eye Care
I’m getting all of my continuing education here. I am taking a couple of Practice Management classes that I haven’t necessarily done before, so I am kind of excited about that. We’ll be going up to the tradeshow and I am excited about that too. We are looking at some new frame lines and maybe some new equipment. I hope to learn some new things in the class and take it with me to look at some new equipment. [Vision Expo] is the biggest show nationally, so I go to a lot of meetings. It’s state-of-the-art, latest and greatest, everything that you’ve ever wanted to know about eyes, eyecare and equipment all here all at once.
Tammie Hoover, Insurance Specialist, Miller Family Eyecare
The classes, and all of the information that you get in them, is exciting. [Vision Expo] is a great place to network with other people and be able to hear speakers and get information that you normally wouldn’t get in your hometown.
Dr. Anh-Thy Huynh, Optometrist, Lexann Optometry
I’m excited to look at the diagnostic equipment. [Vision Expo] is a place where I can compare the products in one location. For this specific trip I am looking for a retinal fundus to buy … I have two in mind and I also want to see what is new out there. I am sending my manager to buy frames.
Dr. James Engstrom, Optometrist
The quality of the education and conference facility are exciting. I just get information about what is available in terms of technology and bring it back to the higher ups and update our equipment.
Dr. Mike Bell, Optometrist, Parker Vision Specialists
To me, [it’s exciting] to see new equipment and new technology that is available. Everybody is here; all of the companies are here, so it is a large expo. The education to me is more clinically applicable, so I take it back to the practice.
Dr. Dawn Rakich, Optometrist
We are doing a lot of shopping this time. We are looking for some frame lines and I have my staff here with me so everybody is excited about seeing everything. [in terms of CE] they are taking practice management, the opticians are taking frame styling, so I am sure they are going to take some of that away with them].Everything is here. So if you are looking for something a little different or something that nobody in town has where we come from, then this is a great place to find it.
Dr. Monty Banks, Optometrist, Texas State Optical
I’m excited for the variety of subjects in the lectures. I like the nutrition class I just took.
Dr. Lance Ough, Optometrist
I like the CE surrounding new innovations.
Dr. Chris Eiler, Optometrist, Eye Care Associates
[I like] interacting with colleagues, learning from their perspectives to see what I can take back to my practice.
I’ve taken several courses. This one I just finished up on dry eye management, the gentleman talked about the psychology of dry eye which was a new perspective that I had not considered before, so that will definitely make it back to our practice.
Jamie Johnson, Opticianary Assistant
I just got here this morning and these are my first classes. I went to one class for dispensing and it was pretty helpful.
Ashley White, Optometric Technician, Layne R. Christensen
I’ve actually really enjoyed the education. We are going to go see the exhibit later today so I am excited for that. It’s my first time at Vision Expo and I am enjoying it. I am looking forward to [Implementing Disney Management into your Practice]. [The Best of the Worst Ocular Urgencies and Emergencies] was really interesting. Those are probably going to be my two favorite.
The How? Behind the Wow! at retail
Aubrey Turmel, buyer/ABOC Optician
I have been doing this a long time, so the classes are kind of like refresher courses [but I go] to get new ideas. It’s nice to go see the new products, new ideas and what’s coming out.
[Ann Marie Luthro] was talking about how merchandising doesn't start at your door, you have to think outside the box. Which was interesting, I liked it.
Dr. Phillip Andrus, Optometrist, Focus Eye Center
I learned about a broad spectrum of contact lens availability, what’s new and how it is used. The course will help me assimilate the information that is practiced in general to the practice I have.
Dr. Laura Winkel, Optometrist, Grandridge Eye Clinic
I have been in practice for quite a few years and [the Global Contact Lens Speakers] were even able to teach an old dog some new tricks. On the show floor I am now going to look at some of the contact lens manufacturers about scleral lenses.
Dr. Kelley Basinger, OD, Optometrist, Stahl Vision
I have only been to one GCLF session so far, we did a lot of talk on myopia and stopping myopia as the children are younger using the atropine drops and contacts. That was probably the most interesting so far.
Dr. Brian Blake, Optometrist
I learned new updates in myopia management. On the show floor I plan to look at different suppliers and see what contact lens options there are that I wasn't aware of before.
Ocular Surface Disease & Wellness
Dr. Eliza Salvo, Optometrist, Makar Eyecare
I think the [Ocular Wellness education course] changes your mind about the patient, thinking more proactively than just trying to treat the symptoms. I’m going to take back what I learned to my practice, just the way I look at patients and seeing them a little bit differently.
Rick Vendsel, Area Director, TearScience Inc.
Quite frankly I am not quite sure all my OD colleagues understand the medical nature and how important it’s going to be to the future of their businesses. Far too many people are relying on insurance, and insurance isn’t going to be where it is today five years from now. We’re all wise to be looking for medically-oriented offerings that we can bring to our patients that are preferably cash pay.
Diana Karen, Optician, Lic Optician
I learned all about contact lens practice, how to improve your business, how to talk to people in a better way, how to get more patients and this past hour was a lot about your staff. A lot of people don’t realize that they are very important for your contact lens practice and ODs in general. When I get back we are going to review everything we’ve seen, and review what the staff is saying and doing. In my case, I am in mostly sales not so much in contacts but more in glasses, it was really helpful for me, as a professional, taking charge. You are the professional; you are supposed to tell them what they need. Not just taking rejection for an answer.
Cynthia Seeman, Optician, Design Vision
I am a new practice, two years old, and I have learned great concepts [in education] on how to grow our contact lens practice and how to take it to the next level. So many best practices, so many great ideas. All in all, it’s going to affect my patients and make it a better experience for them. I am looking for equipment so it is wonderful to ask other doctors in other parts of the country what kind of equipment they have and why they chose it, so that gives me a nice short list to compare. On my flight back home, four hours, I’ll make a to-do list of all the ideas and try to prioritize them.
State of the Industry
Lori Martin, Finance Manager
The industry is changing rapidly. A lot of consumers are looking at pricing online; they have a lot more information as consumers than they did in the past. Therefore, when they come in to purchase, they already know a lot about pricing and the competitors. We have to be able to react to that and make sure we are meeting their needs. We didn't have to do that before technology and the millennials came on board and all the digital aspects of people’s lives.
The Suites' Buyer Bellini Toast
Carmen Spinelia, Partner, Spinbar Design Lab
Companies coming from all over the world, being in one place, and having the opportunity to view all the different products in one place.
I was excited about seeing more products manufactured in the USA.
Samantha Hunter, Supervisor, Ni Optical, Optimum Member
You have everything here, everything in one location. I know it’s big, but everything you need or want is here. It’s is great. I’m excited to see frames, new styles, seeing which direction they are going. I look at new styles and see where they would fit in my location.
Cindy Webster, Owner, Epon Optical Group
I own a buying group so I am looking at vendors to see if there are any vendors I want to add to my buying group.
I like the new, smaller vendors, in the Galleria and the [Suites].
Jennifer Cameron, Operations Manager, Framesdirect.com
It’s great for our business to get our hands on the product, get the look and feel of the product, so you know exactly what you are purchasing and how to market it and sell it to your consumers. That is probably the biggest benefit, you can really feel the quality of the frames – it’s fantastic.
[There are] so many [shows], and a lot of it is the same, but it really is great getting to meet with the frame vendors and getting to see everyone you don't get to see on a daily basis. So everyone that you work with throughout the year, you finally get to see face-to-face. And you really get to look at the new product launches. It’s really intriguing to see the new launches. Especially with the big name brands, the quality of the frames is extraordinary so it is really nice to get to put your hands on it, really get to feel it and get to see everybody and raise a glass, toast to a great past year and look forward to the next year. That’s pretty much the whole role of us coming here.
Dr. Lena Yee, Optometrist, Family Vision of Oregon
There’s a ton of buying going on. As soon as the doors opened, there were people at the appointments for frame vendors.
I’ve only taken one class so far, it was a glaucoma class, it was really informative so I will use that each and everyday with all of my glaucoma patients.
The Optimum program, at this show they are doing something new where they are encouraging all of the Optimum members to go to a lot of different vendors and collect a signature or something like that. My staff plans to do that in order to get some sort of rebate. It will encourage them to go to a lot of different vendors because it is their first time here.
Analisa Siemsen, graphic designer, Kaiser Permanente
I have been exploring the Galleria area, really seeing the new frames and seeing what is cool at the booths.
I am learning that the different treatments, frames and shapes are pretty standard over the years, but there are new applications where they are doing a lot of wood. I saw some vinyl on the front and acetane on the back, so just kind of ways to bring new materials to frames.
Matthew Tolar, Certified Optician, Shamir Insight
I am walking around, I am a lens representative so I love seeing a number of different things ¬– frames, new lens technologies, surfacing technologies – you are never limited to what you will see.
I am learning how big a factor the insurance is in the optical world these days. I am trying to talk to smart people that are figuring out ways to navigate it. One of the biggest things I am trying to is just learn. Learn the insurances.
Jacques Lecavalier, Sales Director, OSI
I am mainly looking for new manufacturers for this year and new products and frames as well.
Within the couple of CE seminars I attended, it was interesting to grab three or four ideas I can implement on Monday morning.
The Optimum program is good value, excellent value. Especially this year that we have a free lunch for our members, we are a group of 150 people. We really appreciate it.
Terri Huber, Optician, Dr. Jeff Frank
I am frame buying. You get to see everyone; you get to look for new companies that you maybe never get to see. It’s nice to be able to stop here and see them instead of asking them to come to your office. It’s nice just to check out things and see what you like.
Dr. Gary Kjome, Optometrist, Gary Kjome, OD
So far, I’ve mostly been to practice management [courses];just trying to get our office more streamlined.
[The Optimum program] has given us a number of benefits with the vendors.
Clay Connolly, Student, Michigan College of Optometry
It was a great experience – just being able to look at what the general population is looking for and what they want out of an employee, how they interview and how the interview process goes which I really didn’t see before because I’m in school and they don’t teach us about how to get a job, they teach us about how to do the job.
Jane Semel, MD, Semel Vision Care, El Segundo, California
I enjoyed interviewing the students to get an idea of what they’re looking for and what kind of curriculum they have. It helped me reinforce the idea that I would like to hire an optometrist.
Nancy Lopez, Optician, The Optical Laboratory, North Hollywood, California
Vision Expo is to network, network, network. You get to learn from others’ experiences. With CE [continuing education], you can learn about new products and gain knowledge. This show, I’ve been taking advantage of Job Link and practicing my interviewing skills.
Kristina Woenser, Optometrist, Guam SDA Clinic, Guam
Being on Guam we don’t hear as much about new products. At Vision Expo, we’re able to network and talk with the exhibitors who are helpful with showing us [the new products].
Yee Choi, Optometrist, Desert Vision and Eye Care, North Las Vegas, Nevada
It’s been great to have the availability of the exhibitors at the show. I’ve also enjoyed learning about 3D printing – which is the way of the future.
Sabrina Shively, Optometrist, Bespectacled, Bakersfield, California
I’m in the process of starting my practice so it’s been great to take classes about how to start a business. This is my first time at Vision Expo and I’m looking forward to attending future shows for the practice management side.
Kyle Shively, Optometrist, Bespectacled, Bakersfield, California
I’ve been taking education on practice management, optical retail and merchandising. The Young Professionals’ Club has been great and the networking opportunities motivated me to take the trip out. There’s always something going on in Vegas. I’m also looking forward to attending [Vision Expo East] in NYC – I’ve never been there so it’s on the list.
Hunter Chapman, President, American Optometric Student Association, Optometry Student, Southern College of Optometry
This is my second time at Vision Expo West in Vegas. I’m always blown away by the fun, how many people you get to network with, how many old friends you get to connect with and new friends too. I’m always so privileged to attend this meeting – not just for the fun activities – but also for the amount of [continuing education].
Will To, Optometry Student, Western University of Health Sciences
I’ve gone to Vision Expo every year [that I’ve been in school]. This is my fourth time and it gets better every time.
Katalina Yandell, Optometry Student, Western University of Health Sciences
Vision Expo’s the best. You meet the best people. I love being here and meeting/seeing the students from all of the other schools as well as the doctors. You can’t trade the experience.