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Knowing where to place your bets can be a gamble when you hit the floor in Las Vegas. Luckily, we’ve got the rundown on the hot tips to help you hedge your Vision Expo bets, limit your longshots and score big with these sure things.

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HIGH ROLLER SUITE

These products didn’t come to play, they came to win, and you can bet they pay off big.

All-In

Made with Japanese titanium, the Gardin from GÖTTI SWITZERLAND brings high style and character to a simple look with a ’90s vibe. The Suites

$498

gotti.ch/en

Overlay

Striking and double-take worthy, the angular model CL40105 from THéLIOS is an oversized square that includes the brand’s signature dots on the temples. The Suites

$550

Spinner

Fully automated, but also available in a standalone, manual version, the Velocity Spin Coater from COBURN TECHNOLOGIES is an industrial, hard coating system that gives ECPs a way to transport lenses from Point A to Point B. The process includes a multi-stage precleaning system, a secondary cleaning system, coating and curing, with the lens returned to the job tray. Booth #LP6075

Price upon request

coburntechnologies.com

House Edge

From Wizard mode for novices to Professional mode for the optical vets out there, the compact and multifunctional LEXCE Trend from SANTINELLI now features an on-board auto-clamping 3D tracer, high-definition CAD Blocker (for multi-function shape editing) and drill hole imaging (optical tracing with hole detection). Booth #LP11087

Price upon request

santinelli.com

Gold Standard

Designed by Shane Baum and featuring polarized CR-39 lenses with hydrophobic coating and a proprietary 12-layer anti-reflective UGR12 coating, the LEISURE SOCIETY model Oceanic (LS 121) in black with 24K gold will raise the bar for your offerings. The Suites

$1,200

leisure-society.com

 

POKER ROOM

No risk, no reward. With the eternal battle for the big pots becoming harder and harder, having these products in hand could mean doubling up on your buy-in fast.

Exotic Bet

CHRISTIAN ROTH’s Iconic Series-4001, in collaboration with Stephanie Pfriender Stylander, brings back the era-defining images of Kate Moss in Series-4001 from 1992. This style is handmade acetate with exclusive wire core. The Suites

$350

christianroth.com

A Dime

The model Studio 10.1, from MYKITA’s Studio 10 collection, flies like a butterfly with beveled edges and defined lenses. This combination frame is made from stainless steel and acetate. The Suites

$675

mykita.com

On the Lam

In keeping with the idea that Derek Lam designs reflect “luxury without formality,” the optical model 295 from the Fall/Winter 2019 collection is an 18K gold-plated, stainless steel and acetate frame with silicone covers on the nose pads. It is shown here in green mélange. Booth #19057

$450

modo.com

Payline

The ClearChart 4X Enhanced Digital Acuity System, shown here, and ClearChart 4P Polarized Digital Acuity System, both from REICHERT, now contain LEA SYMBOLS and LEA NUMBERS, which, as the standard in pediatric acuity testing, are easier for children to identify. With a software update, these are compatible with the company’s Phoroptor VRx Digital Refraction System and SightChek Digital Phoroptor. Booth #MS9043

Price upon request

reichert.com

G-Play

The official sunglass for Manchester United players and coaches, the MAUI JIM Compass is a modified aviator with dual mirror lenses. The left temple tip includes the Manchester United signature devil, and the left lens includes “MAN UTD” up top. The Palazzo, Suite #35-212

$349

mauijim.com

 

TABLE GAMES

This is where most of the action is; the bread and butter plays, if you will. These products are sure to grind out wows day after day. ECPs can crack the nut fast with these picks quickly becoming best sellers.

Color Up

The DJ5013 from Reese Witherspoon’s DRAPER JAMES is an acetate combination frame with an attention-getting stripe detail. The frame also includes the brand’s signature magnolia on the temple tip. Booth #16065

$187

altaireyewear.com

Jackpot

The square-shaped Floyd (6458/9) from GIGI BARCELONA is made with high-quality acetate and CR39 lenses.

$249

gigibarcelona.com

In on the Action

REVO returns to its roots with its double-layered, NASA-based lens technology and 1985-themed packaging. The Dexter is a large square wrap style with elastomeric nose pads, temple tips and lining. Booth #16087

$249

revo.com

Hot Streak

Named after the Florida beach town of the same name, the Flagler, from COSTA, is a masculine Monel frame with acetate temples. Booth #20065

Starting at $209

b2b.costadelmar.com

Eye in the Sky

Show patients what they need to know about the level of UV protection they’re actually getting with the C-UVProtect, from ZEISS. Lenses that offer a higher level of UV protection will appear dark if they block UV according to the World Health Organization standard of 400nm. However, lenses that offer less UV protection will have a clearer look. Booth #LP8065

$495 (VEW Special)

zeiss.com

 

PENNY SLOTS

Whether you’re a fish or a whale, you don’t need to make bank to get down with these business boosters.

Overlay

Keep those glasses in place with the model Brooks, from KOMONO (shown here on the frame model Jessie). This chunky acrylic cord has adjustable rubber grips.

$19

komono.com

Load Up

Help your patients protect their glasses while boosting your biz. The Buy the Glasses cases (item ST-BTG) from RON’S OPTICAL come in four color schemes and can be ordered in sets of eight or 24 pieces. Booth #21087

$6

ronsoptical.com

Natural

Offering protection from UV blue light, the DHA-rich formula of ProDHA Eye, from NORDIC NATURALS, encourages normal tear production as it preserves retinal and macular health. Booth #MS2059

$49.95

nordicnaturals.com

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at editor@invisionmag.com.

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SPONSORED BY REICHERT

When You’re Passionate About Eye Care, the Right Technology Matters

Lisa Genovese, O.D., strives to give her patients the very best. At Insight Eye Care’s multiple locations, Dr. Genovese provides optimal care for her patients using the Reichert® Phoroptor® VRx Digital Refraction System. In this second Practice Profile Video from Reichert’s “Passionate About Eye Care” series, take a closer look and see how this eye care professional achieved a better work-life balance with equipment that’s designed and engineered in the U.S.A.

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Here’s How Eyecare Pros Are Spending Their Advertising Budgets

The pie is getting sliced ever more finely.

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IN INVISION’S FIRST annual Big Survey, we asked more than 500 ECPs which medium accounts for the biggest chunk of their ad and marketing spending. Print is still on top, but the marketing budget pie is getting sliced ever more finely — and nearly 1 in 5 ECPs claim to be passing on the plate all together.

Which gets the largest portion of your marketing budget?

Print
13%
Community events (including sponsorships)
12%
Direct mail
10%
Other social media marketing
8%
Paid search (PPC, Google Ads, etc.)
7%
Facebook
7%
Email marketing
7%
Radio
5%
SEO
5%
Television
2%
Billboards
2%
Other
3%
Don’t advertise
19%

 

Looking at the above results, it’s seems likely the 19 percent of ECPs who said they don’t advertise are relying on word of mouth to sustain their business. Still, it appears to pay to be more active: 25 percent of the ECPs who told the Big Survey the last two years had been their worst ever also don’t advertise. That compares to just 14 percent of those who said those years had been their best ever. Also worth considering: In a separate question, we asked ECPs to name the most significant thing they were doing to drive sales five years ago that they’ve stopped doing. The top answer? You guessed it—advertising in traditional media. Check out the survey to see how your spending fits in to this complex picture.

The 2019 Big Survey was conducted from August to October and attracted responses from more than 500 American ECPs. Look out for the full results in the November/December issue of INVISION.

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Best of Eyecare

The Big Survey 2019 – The Basics

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THE BIG SURVEY 2019

Who is the American ECP? How does he or she do business? What are the main challenges they face? Our inaugural Big Survey set out to find the answers and 505 owners and managers of American vision businesses answered our call. Here are the results.

The Basics

We find it’s always best to start at the beginning … the basic stuff that makes up so much of your business’ identity. The Who, What, How and Where are all here; we’ll get into the fun stuff — like how much and what’s selling ­— later on.

1. Need to swing on chandeliers? Head to Missouri: 60 percent of stores have these fixtures.
2. They don’t take kindly to strangers asking questions in South Dakota. It, along with Louisiana and New Mexico, were the only states not to be represented in our survey.
3. Michigan ECPs are some of the hardest working in the industry: 25 percent work more than 50 hours a week.
4. Eyewear trend capital? That might just be New York where 21 percent of ECPs thought of themselves as being primarily in the fashion business (as opposed to health or retail), the highest level in the land.
5. Move over Austin. Connecticut was tops for self-declared weirdness with ECPs there giving themselves an average score of 8.2 out of 10 on our oddball scale.
6. Ohio ECPs have been listening to our sales experts – 44 percent use role-playing in training staff.
7. Florida had the most male owners and managers in our survey at 76 percent. Washington state had the most female owners at 86 percent.
8. Is there something in the water in the Midwest? ECPs in a band of states from Illinois to Ohio to Missouri were the happiest vision professionals (along with their cousins in NJ), with half or more (50-57%) ranking themselves 9 or higher out of 10 for professional satisfaction.
9. North Carolina vision businesses have among the highest turnover rates in the country, with 72 percent saying their staff stay less than 4 years.
10. Californian ECPs were the least likely to own their places of business with 82 percent renting. Must have been those pesky legal limitations…
11. Kansans were most likely to be open on Sunday with one in four stores and practices open on this traditional “rest” day.

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1. How many locations does your business have?

One
74%
Two
13%
Three to five
8%
Six or more
5%

2. Please indicate the type of location that houses your store:

Free-standing building
43%
A strip mall
22%
Business park or office building
16%
Downtown storefront
9%
Lifestyle center
3%
In a hospital/medical wing/health center
3%
The Internet
1%
Mobile practice
1%
A mall
1%
Other
2%

3. Do you own or rent your business property?

Own
39%
Rent
62%
NA (For online and mobile only businesses)
2%
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4. How well are things going in your business this year?

COMMENT: As our heat map shows, there’s very little to be blue about for an ECP right now. Note that white indicates states with statistically invalid responses. Figures in parentheses represent the number of survey responses.

5. How would you describe the market where your store is located?

Large city
15%
Medium-sized city (250,000-1 million people)
24%
Small city (25,000 to 250,000)
29%
Country town (up to 25,000)
13%
Resort area
1%
Other
1%

6. How long has your business been in operation?

COMMENT: Businesses that have been in operation for 11-20 years seem to be this survey’s sweet spot. Not only did they slightly edge out other lengths of time in business, as seen above, but those in business for that long also reported the highest proportion of revenue between $500K-$1.5M (50%).
Wondering what the rest of this group’s demos looked like? Well, 59 percent classified themselves as a private practice with a strong focus on retail, 49 percent were in the South and 39 percent operated out of a freestanding building in a small city or suburb. Forty-five percent of owners in business for that long reported salaries over $100,000 and, best of all, the majority reported their satisfaction with their professional life at an 8 or higher (66%).

7. Which description of your business do you most closely identify with?

Hospital or VA setting
1%
Medical model private practice, no retail
1%
Medical model private practice, small dispensarybuilding
22%
Private practice, strong focus on retail
53%
Corporate optometry location
3%
Eyewear boutique, employed or leased OD
10%
Eyewear boutique, no OD
9%
Mobile optician
1%

8. How big is your (main) location?

Less than 500 sq. ft.
4%
500-999 sq. ft.
10%
1,000-1,499 sq. ft.
24%
1,500-1,999 sq. ft.
17%
2,000-2,499 sq. ft.
15%
2,500-2,999 sq. ft.
11%
3,000-3,999 sq. ft.
8%
4,000-5,000 sq. ft.
6%
More than 5,000 sq. ft.
5%

9. Check the paid services you offer:

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Best of Eyecare

25 ECPs Share Their Elevator Pitches

25 ECPs put who they are and what they do for a living in a sentence or two… or three.

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OK… You’ve slipped into the elevator just as the doors are closing. The woman on your left is wearing poorly fitting frames that are totally wrong for her. The gentleman to your right is squinting as he tries to find the button for his floor. You sense a golden opportunity, but the floors are already ticking by. You’ve got until those doors open again to tell these potential clients what you do and how you can help them. It’s time to dust off your “elevator pitch.” Our Brain Squad members are rarely at a loss for a few well-chosen words, so we asked them their best pitches. Here’s what they had to say to those future customers and patients on the subject of… you.

Hi, My name is Diana Canto Sims. I am an eyeball doctor turned eyewear designer for the diverse and the bold. What do you do? — Diana Sims, Buena Vista Optical, Chicago, IL

We help you create a look that is as unique as you are. — Doreen Erbe, Snyder Eye Group, Ship Bottom, NJ

I create complete custom eyewear by hand in Glenview. This includes the frames as well as the lenses. — Kevin Count, Prentice Lab, Glenview, IL

I am the owner and doctor at an eyecare office focused on pampering our patients.  — Nytarsha Thomas, OD, Visionelle Eyecare, Zionsville, IN

I can easily knock 10 years off your look and I promise people will notice! — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY

We sell unique eyewear from all over the world.” (Then give a few specific examples of exotic materials. However, never oversell or seem pushy. Just plant the seed!!!)”  — Scott Keating, OD, Vision Trends, Dover, OH

You know the eyes are the windows to the soul right? Sometimes the windows cannot see; I help with that. I am an optometrist.” — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK

I refine one of your five senses. I give you vision and insight into your health, with a twist of style, all while having a good time in the process. — Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH

I explain that I run a practice for an eye doctor and that our goal is to make sure each patient sees well and is educated on the products and materials we wear ourselves. — Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA

I help people love their new eyewear, and owning 31 pairs of glasses and sunwear, I know I can find the right pair for you. — Kathy Maren Comb EyeCare & Eyewear, Western Springs, IL

I talk about the unique things our practice offers like sensory and vision therapy. We carry a variety of frames for the whole family. From durable kids, to the fun and funky for mom and dad. We’re not your average eye doctor.” Heather Nagucki, Brodie Optometry, Perrysburg, OH

I compliment someone on their glasses. I may ask them where they got them and always say something nice about their doctor or optician. I know everyone in town after 50 years in Sacramento. If the patient discusses a bad experience then I drop a business card.”  — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA

I help people see and look better.  — Jason Stamper Eye Care Pavilion, Davenport, IA

I tell them I try not to look like an optometrist! — Dave Schultz, OD, Urban Optics, San Luis Obispo, CA

When I meet people I always try to tell them I’m like a pharmacist for your eyeglasses. — Bob Schmittou, New Eyes Optical, Wyandotte, MI

I’m an optician. Once the eye doctor is done with you I will help you with any optical needs whether glasses or contacts. Basically, I make you look good! — Scott Felten, Fox Valley Family Eye Care, Little Chute, WI

We get to help people see to their fullest potential. It’s the best job in the world! — Caitlin Bruno, Binyon Vision Center, Bellingham, WA

I’m like a pharmacist. I fill the prescription written by the doctor. But in Michigan, your optician doesn’t have to have a license the way your pharmacist does. That’s why there are so many people walking around in ugly glasses that can’t see.  — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI

I bend light for a living. — Jon LaShorne, Kirkpatrick Eye Care, Madison, IN

I frame the windows to your soul with beauty. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South Georgia, Valdosta, GA

I have no elevator pitch. I just let people know why I love doing what I do.” — Pablo E. Mercado, Mount Vernon Eyecare, Dunwoody, GA

Nice glasses! I bet they cost you a fortune. I’m an optician. Here’s my card. Next time you’re in the market for a new pair, give me a call and I’ll save you money.” — Mitchell Kaufman, Marine Park Family Vision, Brooklyn, NY

Everyone knows what a pharmacist does … so I equate my career as a licensed optician to that. I take a prescription from a doctor and I interpret that prescription. I advise and educate the patient on how to use the prescription written. I generate a product from that prescription and then dispense that prescription as a piece of medical equipment.”  — William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA

We help people see the important things in life.” — John Marvin, Texas State Optical Inc., Houston, TX

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