Transitions Academy Delivers New ‘Vantage’ Point for Participants

By Paddy Kamen

transitionsacadamyThe 16th annual Transitions Academy (Jan. 29 – Feb. 1, in Orlando, FLA) was high on the innovation scale, with the launch of their incredible new lens, the Transitions® Vantage™. This amazing lens both darkens and polarizes in response to light. More on that in a moment.

Everyone who has had the privilege of attending the Transitions Academy knows how focused it is on helping everyone improve their business. And with over 1,300 attendees from many sectors of the industry – labs, manufacturing, independent retail and managed vision care professionals – it is no small task to keep the learning relevant for everyone. To that end, channel-specific tracks were created to ensure that everyone received the most pertinent information.

The core curriculum zeroed in on ‘Value-Focused Selling’ and attendees learned a powerful method for identifying organizational priorities and achieving goals. Canadian participants were treated to a marketing breakout session designed just for them, entitled ‘What’s Possible for 2012’. There’s no doubt that attendees learned more about their customers and businesses from every angle – by discovering new trends, products and tools they can leverage in 2012.

Brantford, Ontario-based optometrist Trisha Beal won the 3rd annual Eyecare Professional of the Year award at the Awards Recognition ceremony. Beal is effusive about Transitions Academy: “This was my 7th Academy. It always wows me and I’m reenergized and refocused by the event, which is a real class act. I’m also grateful to Transitions for being the kind of company that puts so much effort into helping eyecare professionals educate patients.”

The big news about the Transitions Vantage lens took centre stage throughout the Academy. Variable polarization is an entirely new concept in lenses, changing the paradigm from one where polarization was only available as a fixed film in a sun lens to one where the degree of polarization varies, depending on the degree of UV exposure.

“We are quite literally making the impossible, possible,” explained John Ligas, director of research and development for Transitions Optical, who presented Vantage lenses before 1,300 industry professionals at the Academy. “In the past, the only photochromic variable was clear to dark. Transitions Vantage lenses not only break the paradigm that tint is the only photochromic variable, but they also challenge conventional thinking that a clear lens can’t become polarized and a polarized lens can’t become clear.”

With Transitions Vantage lenses, the darker the lens via photochromic technology, the more polarization there is. Tests of actual wearers, comparing Transitions Vantage lenses to Transitions® VI lenses, are very positive, with eight out of 10 photochromic patients satisfied with the outdoor experience, and nine out of 10 satisfied with the indoor clarity of the lenses. Wearers also prefered the polarization benefits: visual contrast, crispness and sharpness of vision when worn outdoors.

A new Transitions global communication campaign – Life Well Lit™ – will help convey the practical and emotional benefits of Transitions lenses to consumers. To this end, Canadian television advertising will increase in 2012, with the aim of driving consumers to eyecare professionals.

“We’re going to be doing even more on TV, with a solid broadcast mix of prime time, top-20 programming and other appropriate shows, reaching 81 per cent of our target audience more than 20 times each,” said Isabelle Tremblay-Dawson, marketing manager for Transitions Optical.

Transitions will also host educational events for industry professionals in seven Canadian cities during May and June. The “What’s Possible” tour will focus on helping professionals excel with Transitions products. Look for events in Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, Quebec City and Montreal.

Kudos to Transitions for another successful Academy and most of all for another groundbreaking lens product!