Optometry Student Program at Vision Expo West Gains Momentum

July 26, 2012

Norwalk, CT (July 26, 2012) – International Vision Expo & Conference, held September 5-8, 2012 (Education: September 5-8, Exhibition: September 6-8) at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, is pleased to announce new benefits and expanded programming for students of optometry.

“The Optometry Student Program at International Vision Expo continues to build year-after-year,” said Tom Loughran, vice president for Reed Exhibitions. “When we launched the program in 2008, our goal was to provide the next generation of eye care professionals with access to the technologies, products and education that would help them to succeed in the future. Five years later, the level of school participation has tripled, we’ve secured new industry partnerships with multiple student organizations and our list of student-friendly exhibitors continues to grow.”

International Vision Expo recently joined the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry’s (ASCO) corporate contributors program, which supports national programs and activities benefiting the schools and colleges of optometry. The growth of the Optometry (OD) Student Program has also enticed organizations to host meetings at the show, including the Association of Practice Management Educators (APME) and Student Optometric Leadership Network (SOLN).

New this year, show management will begin testing a Mentor Program. The program will target 3rd and 4th year optometry students and will match them with an OD “mentor” to prepare for the show and connect onsite.

“We’re excited to be in the testing phase for a Mentor Program. It was one of the critical pieces missing from our OD Student Program,” said Loughran. “We believe this one-on-one partnership will not only provide students with valuable career guidance but will also help to maximize their time on-site; from education to networking to hands-on experience in our exhibit hall.”

For many optometry students like Rehna Ismaily, Arizona College of Optometry, International Vision Expo affords access to information and products that extend well beyond the classroom. “After attending the Vision Expo in Las Vegas last year, I was surprised to see how many options were available for eyeglasses and accessories, and optometric equipment,” said. “I had not heard of many of these companies [and had not seen] such incredible products. After walking around and meeting with sales representatives, I learned about how the process of ordering and choosing products actually happens.”

In addition to gaining access to more than 475 exhibitors at Vision Expo West, optometry students benefit from a variety of on-site programs. Students receive free exhibit hall registration ($75 value), lunches, and entry into both continuing education courses (unlimited) and student-specific courses ($200 value). On Saturday, September 8, from 9:00 to 10:00a.m., Allergan will sponsor a student course entitled, “Key Financial Knowledge to Help You Succeed in the ‘Real World’.” Beginning at 12:00p.m., students are invited to a one-hour lunch sponsored by Alcon, with a special Q&A led by Dori Carlson, O.D., past-president of the American Optometric Association (AOA). From 2:00 to 3:00p.m., Hoya will sponsor “School of Doc – Pearls for a Smooth Transition from Student Doc to Professional Doc,” led by Alan Glazier, O.D.

Show organizers have also scheduled numerous events designed to help students make valuable connections with colleagues, and future employers, across the country. On Friday, September 7, a Job Search Meet and Greet, showcasing Vision Expo’s job search portal, Vision Jobs, will be held in partnership with Local Eye Site from 5:00 to 6:00p.m. in the Medical & Scientific Theater. In the evening, students can connect with peers during Club Marchon’s party from 9:00p.m.to 1:00a.m. at The Flamingo Hotel. Closing out the show on Saturday, September 8, an exclusive student party will be held at Margaritaville from 7:00 to 9:00p.m.

To help students get to this year’s show, International Vision Expo & Conference awarded $1,000 travel grants to one student from each of the 22 schools within the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA). Applicants submitted a 500 word essay indicating their awareness of tradeshows designed for eye care professionals, the importance of these shows in relation to their career goals, and how their attendance at Vision Expo could benefit their future career. Winning applicants were given the choice to attend International Vision Expo East in New York City or International Vision Expo West in Las Vegas. In addition, 25 two-night hotel stays (valued at $500 each) were awarded per show.

To view a complete list of travel grant and hotel stay winners, or to register for student courses and events, please visit www.visionexpowest.com/Students. For more information about the Optometry Student Program, including sponsorship opportunities, please call Client Services at 1-800-811-7151.

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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