2012 Vision Expo East Makes a Splash

2012 Vision Expo East Makes a Splash
ByPaddy Kamen

You’ve got to hand it to Vision Expo East (VEE). The biggest optical show in theU.S., held in the Big Apple every March, does nothing in a small way. But then, why should they? Americans know how to make a splash and VEE did it again this year (March 22-25) at theJavitsCenter. Amazing prizes, cash giveaways, draws, discounts, gifts and…dancing girls (well, no)…made VEE one of the most exciting shows on the planet.

A show record was set with the number of attendees exceeding 16,300. Exhibitors numbered more than 575, including 132 new companies. Together, they presented the latest trends in eyewear and advances in eyecare technology to eyecare professionals (ECPs) and buyers from 23 countries around the world.

And get this: three new luxury car leases were given away over the course of the show to attending eyecare professionals!

“Last year we celebrated our 25th anniversary inNew York with parties, iPad giveaways and contests,” said Deborah Castor, vice president of shows and meetings for The Vision Council, co-sponsor of the show along with Reed Exhibitions. “Now we’re revving up for the next 25 years of unprecedented success and kicking off our show with a luxury car sweepstakes.”

Over the course of three days, 48 ECPs received a $100 instant cash prize. Each day, one lucky cash prizewinner won the ultimate grand prize – a lease on a Mercedes Benz C Class.

“This year’s exhibitors unveiled an unbelievable number of new product lines and technologies, along with enticing show specials, giving attendees even more reasons to stop by their booths,” said Tom Loughran, vice president for Reed Exhibitions. “Each day the list of show specials grew to include even more great offers.”

More than 230 exhibitors offered show specials from their booths, with many of them planning multiple specials.

“The Show Specials Program is an excellent resource for our company and brands, providing coverage and generating traffic to our booth,” said James Shyer, chief operating officer for Zyloware Eyewear. “The exposure it offers is very beneficial in making connections with buyers and targeting our audience.”

The VEE show team gave special support to new exhibitors, helping them to have the best show experience possible. In addition to providing information on important deadlines, free marketing and public relations opportunities, and general tips for a great show, the program offers access to a new exhibitor ambassador and a complimentary “How To” online course.

New exhibitors also had a special decal identifying them on the show floor. It was great to see them in virtually every area of the show, including Eyewear and Accessories, Low Vision, Lenses and Processing Technology, Medical and Scientific, the Galleria and a special section dedicated to the French connection.

It’s no secret that the French have an esteemed past and an exciting present in the eyewear industry, and this year at VEE they were highlighted in a new area, known as the French Loft. Showcasing the latest in French design were 10 high-end exhibitors with unique products. Exhibitors included Pierre Eyewear, Histoire de Voir, Jeremy Tarian, French Vintage Lunetier, Glance of Lens, Bruno Chaussignand, Struktur, Jacques Durand Lunetier, Lotho and Waiting for the Sun.

VEE continues to be the only show to present more than 60 hours of exclusive, business-focused education courses for the optical profession, such as Visionomics™, Boot Camps and E-technology, Frame Buyers Certificate, and Social Media and Internet Marketing. Back by popular demand, these courses are designed to help professionals manage the business end of their practices while increasing efficiency, improving practice management, and providing comprehensive and engaging patient care.

Learning, buying, selling, winning: VEE had it all in a show not to be missed. The 2013 exhibition and conference will take place from March 14-17 inNew York City. Mark your calendars now.