An Energetic Vision Expo West 2021 Sets Sights on a Brighter 2022

October 27, 2021

Held Sept. 22-25 at The Venetian Expo and Convention Center, Vision Expo West, the annual trade show and conference for the eyecare and eyewear industries, brought together thousands of ophthalmic professionals, who perused more than 280 exhibiting companies and took advantage of cutting-edge continuing education and engaging programming. 

Presented by co-owners RX and The Vision Council, the bustling event attracted motivated attendees focused on conducting serious business, facilitating transactions and establishing meaningful business connections, according to RX officials.

“We are delighted that we were able to bring the vision community together for a vibrant, productive and safe show,” said Fran Pennella, vice president, Vision Expo at RX. “We are very grateful for the support of all attendees, exhibitors, partner associations and organizations who made this show successful and are already looking forward to bringing the industry together again in 2022.”

Among the show’s highlights were The Suites, which offered attendees access to established luxury fashion houses and the latest exclusive upmarket boutiques in an intimate buying experience across the Venetian and Palazzo Hotels, as well as OptiCon@Vision Expo, which offered an exclusive education program and exhibit hall experience for opticians, contact lens practitioners and ophthalmic allied professionals.

Presented under the banner of VisionEd, Vision Expo’s conference portion offered more than 190 hours of quality education, ranging from the latest business strategies and fashion trends to patient education tactics and cutting-edge innovations. 

New to the event, The Seen served as a main stage destination and a hub for collaborative learning as the host venue for the EYE2EYE Series panels, an educational program of interactive panels featuring industry experts in discussion on topics ranging from fashion trend forecasts to tactics for refining patient care. This new show feature also housed the Innovation Stage, a showfloor destination dedicated to expert content and state-of-the-art products and services.

Additionally, the Career Zone-Student Lounge enabled students to connect with optical companies that are actively recruiting as well as explore career resources. 

Vision Expo 2021

In the exhibit hall, many exhibitors said they were pleased with the vibrant energy and strong foot traffic on the showfloor, along with the meaningful connections they were making with buyers seeking new trends, technologies and innovative products and services. 

“This is the best Show we have ever experienced in the course of attending Vision Expo for the past five years,” said Brad Sultan, CEO and founder of Kids Bright Eyes. “The customers that came to the Show were strictly here to buy, and we can’t wait to visit Vision Expo next year.”  

Additionally, Vision Expo West 2021 brought together key industry groups and supporters. These included Prevent Blindness, the leading U.S. volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight, which hosted its Person of Vision event in conjunction with the show, from which all proceeds went to supporting its sight-saving programs. 

Vision Health Alliance, The Vision Council’s new consumer education initiative, in partnership with EyeCare4Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to providing professional eyecare to low-income, visually- impaired children and underserved families, provided valuable resources to local Southern Nevada schools through several on-site and off-site activities.  

Together, the two organizations conducted a mobile eyecare clinic at a local Las Vegas-area elementary school; assembled 500 emergency eye care kits at Vision Health Alliance’s booth at the show; and hosted a panel discussion at The Seen covering the importance of early childhood access to routine, comprehensive eye exams. 

For eyecare professionals unable to attend in person, the show once again presented Vision Expo+, a free digital extension of the live experience that debuted at Vision Expo East 2021. Available Sept. 27–Oct. 3, it featured online showrooms from Vision Expo West’s exhibitors and recorded show content. 

“It was fantastic to see Vision Expo West come to fruition in a safe and comfortable manner conducive to doing business, making new connections and learning,” said Mitch Barkley, vice president of trade shows and events at The Vision Council. “We’re thrilled to have delivered a show that offered impactful experiences on and off the show floor.” 

Vision Expo East is set for March 31–April 3, 2022 at the Javits Center in New York City, while Vision Expo West will return to The Venetian Expo and Convention Center Sept. 14-17, 2022.

 

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Partner Voices

As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: