In a few words, tell us why it is useful to attend industry trade shows...

They are useful for team building and getting our staff excited about new products and technology. But some of the education is redundant and the speakers are sometimes lacking useful knowledge.  -Barbara Bloom, OD, Weber Vision Care, Harrisburg, PA

  • I think industry trade shows are great. But, we haven’t been for quite a while. Our reps come see us regularly. We like our equipment, our EHR, our frame lines. If that were to change, a trade show would definitely be worth it! Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • Only to see smaller vendors who don’t have full sales reps. Maxine Kobley, Metrovision, Carle Place, NY
  • Best way to see small independent frame lines who are often using cutting edge materials and technology. Andrea Salmond, The Gaze Group, Healdsburg, CA
  • I love them. I wish SECO’s Marketplace was bigger. I always learn a lot and come back with renewed passion for the industry. Michelle Wright, DePoe Eye Center, Sharpsburg, GA
  • I like to attend the larger conventions every few years to see what’s new in the industry and to meet colleagues from across the country. Amina Ebrahim, OD, D Vision Eyecare, Allen, TX
  • While I like trade shows, I feel like Expo has become a behemoth that may benefit from restructuring. Nikki Griffin, EyeStyles Optical and Boutique, Oakdale, MN
  • We find the larger trade shows are worth it if we are looking to add new frame lines. Otherwise, no. Stephanie Kuhn, Optique Vision Center, Yukon, OK
  • I think it should be a mandatory event for all opticians, if only for the seeing beyond what you deal with in your day to day; to see what is out there in terms of frames, lenses, technologies, equipment; and to mingle with colleagues. Pablo E Mercado, The Eye Gallery, Woodstock, GA
  • I used to look forward to Vision Expo. But it’s changed. There’s nothing unique about it anymore. I can see new styles from my reps rather than spend a day walking the floor.  Mitchell Kaufman, Marine Park Family Vision, Brooklyn, NY
  • Seems they are losing vendors and that cannot be good. William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • For us, no. It is a very long day and we usually only see the vendors who we deal with anyway. Candy Crone, Wayne Optical, York, PA
  • Love the NY show. I never go to Vegas. I can’t stand Vegas with a passion. I love the show because it allows me to get a lot done in a weekend and build relationships. This year, I am taking my store manager and giving her a trip to NYC! The cost is all part of owning the business and being up to date in fashion. Nancy Revis, Uber Optics, Petaluma, CA
  • I would still enjoy trade shows but the cost of travel keeps me from going as often as I would like. Monica Tracey, MED/Drs. Record and Record, Charlottesville, VA
  • I wish they had more Pop Up events across the country; something more boutique-like and streamlined. Amanda Barber, Desmone Family Eyecare, Havelock, NC
  • It is nice to  ‘touch’ and see all the different options for equipment, but for me I can do CE closer and for less money. Jeff Hayden, Vision Care Center, Brighton, MI
  • Not really. Reps from many companies come to us. We also rely on the Internet, industry publications, and our current reps to keep us up-to-date on products and trends. Trade shows are a lot of work and expensive. Diana Fleetman, The Optical @50th & France, Edina, MN
  • Nope, waste of time. Greg Kyser, Gallery of Eyewear, Marysville, WA    

This article originally appeared in the March 2018 edition of INVISION.   

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