Vision Expo West Sparks Excitement

VEW2014By JoAnne Sommers

Exciting product launches and a robust education program highlighted the 2014 International Vision Expo & Conference at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas this September.

The event attracted over 12,500 people, who were treated to a display of 450 brands, showcased in an exhibit hall spanning the length of three football fields. The annual New Product Showcase, one of the event’s major attractions, revealed the next generation of frames, sunwear, optical technologies and designer trends. This year’s winners, as chosen by the attendees, included Amphibia Sports, LLC (1st place), Avantek Eyewear by Hoya (2nd place) and Specs of Wood (3rd place).

Attendees were also introduced to more than 400 hours of continuing education developed by a conference advisory board representing the breadth of the optical field. Over 4,200 eyecare professionals participated in the program, taking courses that focused on timely clinical and business topics such as healthcare reform, the implications and future of wearable technology, and improving the diagnosis, treatment and management of eye diseases.

To enhance the education experience, Vision Expo launched an interactive education format called crowd-sourced learning, which drew rave reviews. Crowd-sourced sessions put the attendees in control of the content they want the speakers to cover. By pairing dynamic speakers with technology that delivers this new learning platform, the conference created memorable programs that set the standard for learning in the future. Moreover, the investment in these tools reinforced the influence that new technology is having on all aspects of the Vision Expo Experience.

FabrizioGamberiniDuring the show, Martine Breton, publisher of Envision: seeing beyond magazine, met with Marcolin Eyewear CEO Fabrizio Gamberini to discuss how that company has evolved to meet the challenges presented by its acquisition of VIVA International in late 2013.

Gamberini said the integration of the two companies is now complete and that as of mid-October they are being run under one umbrella. “From the standpoint of reporting, the purchase of materials and the supply chain we now have one system.”

He also confirmed that the company is focusing its efforts on increasing optical sales for Marcolin and sun sales for Viva.

“In June, we generally invite our large, global customers to Italy and present our Silmo collection, which shows the future of brands like Tom Ford, Cavalli and Balenciaga for the optical channel. We will execute the same strategy on a smaller scale for our strategic accounts across the U.S. in sun only,” says Gamberini. “We are doing the Silmo tour in 28 cities across the country, gathering our largest U.S. accounts to show them the future of sunwear for Tom Ford, and former Viva brands like Guess. The great thing is that when you have a brand like Tom Ford that is driving the market – it’s number one or two in all the department stores – and you show people the future of the brand, you get very good attendance.”


International Vision Expo West will return to the Sands Expo & Convention Center September 16-19, 2015 (Exhibits: September 17-19; Continuing Education: September 16-19).