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Expo Records Record Attendance, Buying Choices

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International Vision Expo & Conference concluded on September 20 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas following four days of product-launches and a robust education program, proving that the event is the industry’s top choice for learning and is the preferred buying event. 

Preliminary attendance reports indicate the event attracted over 12,500 attendees, following 2013’s record-breaking 25th anniversary year. More than 450 brands were showcased in an exhibit hall spanning the length of three football fields, and attendees were introduced to more than 400 hours of new and popular Continuing Education developed by a conference advisory board representing the breadth of the field.

International Vision Expo is the eyecare profession’s largest destination for learning and discovery and, most importantly, fulfilling needs to purchase the newest products and technologies.

The annual New Product Showcase, one of the event’s biggest attractions, unveiled the next generation of frames, sunwear, optical technologies and designer trends. This year’s winners: Amphibia Sports, LLC (1st place), Avantek Eyewear by Hoya (2nd place), and Specs of Wood (3rd place) represented attendees top picks for 2014, and helped to spur interest in the variety of innovations found throughout the exhibit hall.

“I come to Vision Expo every year to buy frames and [take advantage of] good show specials,” said Phuong Quach, O.D., Castaic Optometry. “I get some classes in, but I mainly go to the exhibit hall. This is the one time I make big purchases that will last the whole year.”

Notably, over 4,200 eyecare professionals participated in Continuing Education for Vision Expo West 2014, taking advantage of courses that focused their content around hot 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.

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“Vision Expo is at the forefront of providing education that directly addresses the questions that eyecare professionals’ are receiving from their patients and customers,” said Tom Loughran, group vice president, Reed Exhibitions. “This year’s new Wearable Technology track is an example of how our education program is evolving based on ongoing attendee feedback that tells us they come to Vision Expo to see new products and the latest technology that is resonating with informed consumers, and that is shaping the future of the profession.”

To enhance the education experience, Vision Expo launched an interactive education format called crowd sourced learning to rave reviews. Crowd sourced sessions put the attendees in control of driving the content they want and need the speakers to cover. By pairing dynamic and diverse speakers with the technology to deliver this new learning platform, the Conference delivered memorable programs that will set the bar for learning in the future. Moreover, the investment in these tools reinforced the influence new technology is having across all aspects of the Vision Expo Experience.

“The dynamics of the eyecare industry are changing rapidly and Vision Expo is at the epicenter of those changes, delivering education and exhibiting opportunities that instill knowledge, passion and foster new ideas,” said Deborah Castor, vice president, Shows & Meetings for The Vision Council. “Vision Expo brings together visionaries from every corner of the eyecare community. The event is the most vibrant platform for showcasing the business, technical and healthcare innovations that are revolutionizing the industry.” 

International Vision Expo & Conference conducts a detailed, third-party audit of attendance at International Vision Expo West. Verified figures by a third-party auditor will be available in November. For more information about International Vision Expo West, including event highlights, images and video recaps, visitwww.visionexpowest.com, or connect on Facebook (www.facebook.com/visionexpo), Twitter (@VisionExpo), Instagram (intlvisionexpo), and YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/IntlVisionExpo).

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Eyemart Express Announces as Senior Vice President of Store Operations

He will focus on executing the optical retailer’s new store growth goals, driving customer service, and ensuring associate development.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Eyemart Express, a leading national value optical retailer and the fastest provider of quality prescription eyewear in the industry, announced the hiring of Bill Butler as senior vice president of store operations. Mr. Butler will focus on executing the optical retailer’s new store growth goals, driving customer service, and ensuring associate development. He will work closely with executive and store leadership teams to refine Eyemart Express’ store operations procedures — ensuring the optical retailer’s 203 stores nationwide optimize retail and lab productivity and deliver a world-class customer experience.

“We are pleased to welcome Bill to our executive team,” said Michael Bender, Eyemart Express CEO. “His proven track record in operations, along with his team-centric leadership style, aligns with our growth goals and cultural values. He will be a great asset to our team as we continue to provide our customers with access to affordable, high-quality prescription eyewear through our unique and convenient same-day business model.”

Mr. Butler formerly served as vice president, operations at CVS Health, where he oversaw operations in both the West and Midwest regions. Prior to that, he held a variety of roles at Omnicare, Ardent Health Services and Deloitte.

“I am delighted to join the Eyemart Express team as it grows and enhances the customer experience in stores nationwide,” said Mr. Butler.

Learn more about Mr. Butler and the Eyemart Express leadership team at: https://www.eyemartexpress.com/about#leadership.

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Pearle Vision and NEXCOM Partner to Bring Optical Stores to Naval Bases

They will open between late August and September.

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(PRESS RELEASE) MASON, OH — Pearle Vision and the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) have partnered to bring national optical retail centers to naval bases in Virginia Beach, VA, San Diego, CA, and Groton, CT, with the opportunity to expand to additional bases in the future. This is Pearle Vision’s first partnership with a military organization and NEXCOM’s first partnership with a national optical retailer.

“Pearle Vision’s partnership with NEXCOM represents a win-win opportunity for both our brand and for the patrons served by NEXCOM,” said Alex Wilkes, general manager for Pearle Vision. “We are pleased to be able to create this new, alternate channel with exciting potential for growth, and we also are proud to support NEXCOM’s commitment to providing valuable, quality products and services to the military personnel at these three naval bases.”

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NEXCOM brings a breadth of goods and services to naval bases to enhance the quality of life for active-duty military, retirees, reservists and their families. The Pearle Vision partnership complements NEXCOM’s strategy to provide value to its patrons through partnerships with national brands such as Wendy’s, Chili’s, Apple, Pandora and UPS.

“This contract with Pearle Vision will support our mission to enhance the quality of life for our military members and their families stationed at these Naval bases,” said Greg Thomas, senior vice president, store operations, NEXCOM.

The three corporately owned Pearle Vision EyeCare Centers will open between late August and September. The EyeCare Centers on base will be open to those with a military ID, and online eye exam scheduling will be available at pearlevision.com.

The new Pearle Vision EyeCare Centers will feature a selection of premium eyeglass frames and contact lenses.

Following the Pearle Vision model of having eye doctors and retail under one roof, the centers will have optometrists on-site. The EyeCare Centers will accept Tricare and other national insurance plans.

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Modo Americas Names CEO

The appointment takes effect Sept. 1.

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Rebecca Giefer

(PRESS RELEASE) Following a 15-year tenure at Modo, Rebecca Giefer has been appointed as CEO of Modo Americas, effective Sept. 1.

Giefer started at Modo in 2004 as a customer service representative and quickly rose through the ranks, achieving the position of chief operating officer five years ago.

According to a press release from the company: “Over the past 5 years, Rebecca has overseen significant growth for the company across various sales channels. Last year, Rebecca was awarded equity in MODO as a reward for her incredible work ethic and contributions to MODO’s outstanding results and achievements.”

Within the industry, Giefer has also spread her influence, speaking on various panels and participating in different groups within the Vision Council, on which she is a current board member.

“I am very proud today with this announcement of Rebecca being made CEO of MODO Americas,” said Alessandro Lanaro, Modo’s founder and main shareholder.

“Many years ago, I jokingly told Rebecca that I should watch my chair, and sure enough she did it! Naming Rebecca CEO of MODO Americas was for me a very natural decision. I personally have never met a person that is so committed and has such an incredible work ethic. Together with Giovanni Lo Faro, CEO of MODO International and Tara Montanari, Director of M Factory, we form a formidable team that is so well-aligned to create the opportunities of our constant growth. I will assume the newly created position of Global CEO of our Group that consists of several companies.”

Giefer said: “I’m thankful for Alessandro’s vision and leadership and I’m thankful to have such an amazing team in New York and throughout the Americas. This step in my career at MODO is a very special one and I hope that my story will be an inspiration to members of the team. Last but not least, I’m thankful for the customers that have been on this journey with us. Being an independent eyewear company in the U.S. requires us to constantly reorient ourselves to the ever-changing landscape of the industry.”

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