Friday I attended the International Vision Expo & Conference (also known as International Vision Expo West). This show, a partnership of Reed Exhibitions and The Vision Council, welcomes all levels of eyecare professionals.
The event features education, networking opportunities and an expo filled with products that hopefully will provide ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians and their staffs with “the keys to professional growth and business success”. The Sands Expo and Convention Center housed both the Vision Expo and a dental meeting, creating very crowded aisles to and from the convention center.
As a non-professional, just a customer of eyecare services and products, I attend this show simply to look around and see “if” I can learn a thing or two. Product categories at the show include everything from eyeglass cleaners and cloths and contact lenses to designer frames and coatings and diagnostic instruments.
As the attached video shows, I did see eyewear made in Poland, sunglasses made to order, and regular eyeglasses with the possibility of engraved names or graphics. I saw a huge machine for automated production of prescription lenses, and a kind of helmet that a doctor wears to get a better look into a patient’s eyes.
Eyeglass frames come in prices (for the professionals) of $3 each up to several hundred dollars each, and LOTS of companies make eyeglass frames, so many that I would think it difficult to choose among them. A listing of designer eyewear brands in the expo booklet took a full 15 pages to list them all. Names like Oscar de la Renta, Revlon, Jose Feliciano, Jessica Simpson, Nina Ricci, Tony Hawk, Timex, Vera Wang, Disney Kids, Vogue, Ferragamo, Catherine Deneuve, My Little Pony, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and even Ernest Hemingway are eyewear brands these days.
I did see many frames for children, frames that glow in the dark, and frames onto which small cameras can be attached. I did not attend any of the educational sessions, but so much education is part of this event that a separate brochure listed them all. Many of these sessions were quite technical, such as:
The Hidden Reality of Posterior Segment Disease in a Healthy Patient Practice
Practical Approach to Advanced Segment Disease
Corneal Hysteresis, An Indicator for Glaucoma Progression
Among the titles I did understand were:
Manager’s To Do List: Customer Service
How to Get the Best Deal on Your Office Space, Whether You Buy or Lease
“I Wish This Was Taught in School” – Essential Career Development Tips for Young Professionals
The event also featured at a number of opportunities for social mixing, the presentation of Vision Choice Awards for new products, and a number of pop-up talks on the show floor.