International Vision Expo West: Healthy, Energetic and Vibrant

September 14, 2012

Norwalk, CT (September 14, 2012) – International Vision Expo West, the complete eyecare event, wrapped up on Saturday, September 8 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas. Preliminary unaudited attendance figures indicate that 12,077 eye care professionals (ECPs) attended the event. Opening on the heels of the Labor Day weekend, exhibit hall attendance came in at 8,209 and was on par with last year’s attendance records. The education program delivered 350 hours of education and drew 3,868 eye care professionals during the four-day event. A complete, third-party audit of International Vision Expo West will be available approximately six weeks after the show.

“International Vision Expo West is a healthy, energetic and vibrant event, and the number of loyal and satisfied visitors in attendance at this past week’s event was a true testament to that,” said Tom Loughran, vice president for Reed Exhibitions. “We remain committed to providing the entire ophthalmic community with a convenient location to network, hold meetings and source the best in products, education, innovative solutions and business-building tools for the health of their practice and their patients.”

Dozens of strategic partnerships were formed at this year’s event between a diverse, global network of optometric associations, professional organizations, alliances and buying groups. The Optimum Program, comprised largely of million dollar practices, Vision Monday’s Top 50 Retailers and boutique optical buyers, grew by 22 percent and 11 new professional groups joined Vision Expo’s Partner Program, bringing the total number to 38. In addition, the growth of the Optometry (OD) Student Program enticed several organizations to host meetings at the show, including the Association of Practice Management Educators (APME) and Student Optometric Leadership Network (SOLN).

A record number of show specials, new products, lines and launches were also key drivers at this year’s event. Nearly 475 exhibitors from around the globe offered more than 600 show specials and 5,000 brands, covering all aspects of eyecare, eyewear and accessories.

“We are ecstatic with the outcome of [International] Vision Expo West. Not only did it exceed our expectations, we hit company goals and achieved record breaking results overall,” said Milena Cavicchioli, vice president of marketing for Luxottica North America. “Following the success of [International Vision Expo East] earlier in the year, we have continued to see a remarkable increase in the demand for our brands and have kept the momentum going ever since. The show was another excellent opportunity for us to spotlight the new collections as well as update guests on the latest company news and brand initiatives, including Ray-Ban’s 75th Anniversary.”

Mike Hundert, CCO and CEO for REM Eyewear, agreed. "This year's [International] Vision Expo West was the best show ever, with orders up 25 percent over last year, a clear sign of optimism and enthusiasm. It was a great environment in which to make the west coast debut of our latest brand, Tumi. Plus, Vegas provides everyone with abundant restaurants and endless entertainment, making it the most convenient and enjoyable show on the planet."  

For some exhibitors, International Vision Expo West presented the opportunity to showcase their products and their business acumen. “[This] was one of our most successful shows to date,” said Joseph Tallier, vice president of Global Sales for Ogi Eyewear. “…the amount of traffic in our booth was up considerably; giving ECP’s a chance to see for themselves what it’s like to work with a successful company. We had a full appointment book, and were busy selling product. Vision Expo West is a great opportunity to see who is doing things right in today's economy.”

Dick Russo, executive vice president for Safilo, added, "The show was very productive for us…those attendees who visited our booth were very engaged and anxious to conduct business, which resulted in extremely productive meetings."

In addition to reporting strong sales at the event, many exhibitors were optimistic about the industry’s growth potential for the remainder of 2012. “Marchon continues to gain momentum and market share as we launch spectacular product season after season,” said Lloyd Gittler, vice president - retail division for Marchon Eyewear. “From Michael Kors to Lacoste to Fendi, we have maintained our position as a leader in the industry and an innovator in product, design and marketing. We also had a nice response to the launch of Valentino men's eyewear. Life is good post-[show]."

For attendees, the benefits of attending International Vision Expo West extend well beyond the exhibit hall and classroom. “It's not just what you learn at Vision Expo, it’s what you do with it when you get home that matters,” said Jessica Rodriguez, office manager for Weslaco Vision Source in Weslaco, Texas.

Next year, International Vision Expo West will be held October 2-5 in Las Vegas, before returning to its typical late September timeframe for the next seven years. For more information about International Vision Expo West, including event highlights, images and videos, please visit www.visionexpowest.com.

International Vision Expos, the worldwide conference and exhibition for eye care and eyewear, are trade only events which draw more than 30,000 eye care professionals each year. Co-owned by Reed Exhibitions and The Vision Council, International Vision Expo gives back to the entire ophthalmic community. Proceeds from International Vision Expo are used by The Vision Council to educate consumers about the importance of vision care and the options in eyewear and other related products. In 2011, The Vision Council reached millions of consumers with its messages through marketing materials, public relations outreach and strategic partnerships.


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