Held Sept. 26-29 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas, the annual eyecare and eyewear conference and exhibition attracted 12,579 ophthalmic professionals from across the globe, a sizable increase compared to 2017, when 11,790 attended the event.
The show’s attendance increased in nearly every category, particularly in Opticians and Optometrists, as well as in Independent OD and MD practices, multidisciplinary practices, chains/superstores and laboratories, according to show officials.
The conference portion of Vision Expo West was also robustly attended, with more than 4,500 participants taking advantage of 233 leading-edge educational sessions covering key industry topics including contact lens, business solutions, optical technology, retail strategies and clinical concepts.
Starting at registration and extending throughout the exhibit hall, 422 exhibitors created unique experiences and memorable environments for attendees seeking to discover trends, interact with new technologies and access innovative products and services.
According to show officials, heavy foot traffic was evident throughout showfloor, including at BLOCK and NEXT, new exhibit hall neighborhoods that featured new exhibiting companies and standing-room-only fashion shows and panel discussions.
“Both teams at Reed and The Vision Council worked collaboratively to emphasize marketing programs that would cultivate excitement in the community for the show and the several new initiatives we launched, including new exhibit hall neighborhoods,” explained Joanne Mohr, event director for Reed Exhibitions, which co-owns Vision Expo with The Vision Council.
She continued, “We focused on marketing that allowed us to expand our reach by providing specifically tailored content to third-party databases as well as a dedication to increasing media placements and boosting social media impressions.”
Those efforts resulted in Vision Expo’s social channels garnering more than 3.8 million impressions, an 11 percent increase from the year before, according to show officials.
Exhibiting companies also enjoyed their fair share of accolades, including Europa Eyewear/STATE Optical Co., which won Best Brand Activation in the show’s Best Booth Awards with its 3D virtual experience that provided attendees with an inside look at their manufacturing process, and Costa, which took home the Best Booth Award for Most Creative Booth Design.
The winners of this year’s Vision Choice Award, in which attendees can view and vote for the best product featured in the Product Gallery, included first place winner, Miraflex; second place winner, Lunette and third place winner, Mó Eyewear.
OptiCon @ Vision Expo, a dedicated program for opticians and contact lens technicians, experienced a successful debut at the show by selling almost 700 packages and experiencing record attendee turnout at its welcome party and OptiCon Hub, a dedicated showfloor space that offered pop-up talks, networking, social events and access to special resources and vendor partners.
Throughout the show, a variety of other events and celebrations combined networking with education on and off the showfloor to provide attendees with plenty of opportunities to connect and collaborate.