Welcome to the Big Apple
Gear up for International Vision Expo East in a New York minute with our go-to guide packed with key show intel + inspiration


The Best Education
Fresh formats + exciting tracks

The Biggest Events
Style, promos + parties

West Side Delish
Nearby eateries + Manhattan hot spots

Vision Expo East Guide


Step into the vibrant, exhilarating metropolis that is the City That Never Sleeps. And, since you may be here just for a few action-packed days to attend International Vision Expo East at the city’s buzzing Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, we curated this special show + city guide just for you.

Inside, you’ll find highlights of the very best Vision Expo East continuing education offerings, the most enticing show events, parties, and booth promotions. To serve you both on and off the show floor, we are delivering our NYC-expert-curated picks for New York City’s best new hot spots for dining, drinking, and entertainment at all price levels.

Design your best show—and aprés-show lineup—ever for you and your co-workers.

Wishing you a great show + trip to NYC!

The EB Team



Download the Vision Expo East mobile app, which offers a user-friendly experience—including an enhanced interactive floor plan—and serves as a convenient way to schedule your appointments, define your education plan, and preview new products. You can also “favorite” exhibitors that you want to visit, so that you’ll have a game plan come showtime.


International Vision Expo East serves up a plethora of new courses in specialty programs this year, totaling more than 310 hours of education for all types of roles and experience levels.

Here, we highlight a few of our favorite, must-attend programs. Keep these on your radar—and to catch the full list of offerings, which covers everything from blue light to business solutions, head to .


Ready to become more strategic and confident with frame buying? Eyecare Business proudly sponsors this popular program, which grants ECPs their Frame Buyer’s Certificate after completing eight hours of sunwear and frame inventory-centric education (over the course of one show or several). Vision Expo East offerings include:

  • Communicating Value (March 31 at 8:30-9:30 a.m.): “How do you and your patient differentiate $99 eyewear from $999 eyewear?” Score the answer in this course, led by Laurie Pierce, opticianry program instructor at Hillsborough Community College.
  • Must-Have Eyewear Trends for 2017 (March 31 at 9:45-10:45 a.m. and April 1 at 8:30-9:30 a.m.) Daynes Eye and Lasik’s Joy Gibb breaks down fashion trends from the runways to explore what’s next in eyewear.
  • Which Frame Material Is Right for My Patient? (March 31 at 5-6 p.m.) Go beyond metal and plastic with Quantum Optical’s Michael Della Pesca.
  • Increasing Your Average Sale (April 1 at 9:45-11:45 a.m.) Joy Gibb teaches ECPs how to make the most out of every eyewear sale.

Vision Expo East attendees in the Javits Center


Wrap up Vision Expo East on Sunday, April 2, with the new and highly anticipated Google Talks, sponsored by Eyecare Business and its parent company, PentaVision. Both morning and afternoon sessions are offered, and focus on marketing, branding, and more. 4ECPs President Kevin Wilhelm and Google Agency Developer Liz Austin lead the sessions, held in the new marketing stadium (booth 4977).

  • Digital Opportunity for Your Eyecare Business (10-10:30 a.m. or 1-1:30 p.m.) How are patients and customers searching for your products and services online? This session explores just that—and how your business can optimize the buying cycle.
  • Search Marketing & 5 Tips You Can’t Live Without (10:30-11 a.m. or 1:30-2 p.m.) Go on and Google. Score tips on taking advantage of buyers’ use of search engines.
  • Brand Your Eyecare Business Through a Digital Display Campaign (11-11:30 a.m. or 2-2:30 p.m.) The session helps ECPs think outside the box of traditional advertising and learn how to promote brand awareness through digital display campaigns.
  • The Unfair Advantage of YouTube (11:30 a.m.-noon or 2:30-3 p.m.) Rest assured that your videos will receive ample attention from potential patients by learning about content strategy and promotional tactics.
  • Patients on the Go—The Mobile Opportunity (noon-12:30 p.m. or 3-3:30 p.m.) Is your website appealing on mobile devices? Explore how to make sure your business excels on mobile platforms.
  • Re-Engage Through Re-Marketing (12:30-1 p.m. or 3:30-4 p.m.) Learn how to effectively retarget website visitors, translating to more appointment bookings and purchases on your site.


Get ready to celebrate, as a mix of tried-and-true and totally new events are slated for International Vision Expo East this year. Here, we break down the can’t-miss parties and presentations to add to your Big Apple agenda.

Catch the full schedule at .

The Vision Council’s Ashley Mills in the Galleria


7:15-9:15 a.m.
OWA Champagne Breakfast

Kick off Vision Expo East with breakfast and bubbly to celebrate this year’s Optical Women’s Association (OWA) award honorees: Pleiades Award honoree Kate Renwick-Espinosa of VSP Vision Care, Pyxis Award honoree Lorie Lippiatt, O.D., of the Salem Eyecare Center, and Pinnacle Award honoree Corinne McCormack of FGX International. Also, a Q&A with Dori Carlson, O.D. Reservations required. $55/person.

Location: The Kimpton Hotel Eventi—Ventana Ballroom, 851 6th Ave.


4:30-5 p.m.
Opticians on Facebook Meet & Greet

Connect IRL as Opticians on Facebook founder Colleen Galanti leads the conversation.

Location: Level 1, Galleria Lounge

4:30-6 p.m.
Visionaries Toast

Eyewear designers Coco & Breezy DJ the toast—a celebration of the highly successful Think About Your Eyes public awareness campaign.

Location: Level 3

6-10 p.m.
Eyes on New York Gala

The Optometric Center of New York, affiliated foundation of the SUNY College of Optometry, honors industry leaders Bob Colucci of Essilor and Jerry Warner of CooperVision at the 14th annual gala. RSVP by March 10.

Location: The Plaza, Fifth Avenue at Central Park South

8-9 p.m.
ODs on Facebook Party

The industry’s prominent social media group founded by Alan Glazier, O.D., links up. Looking to get involved? Head to this event and make a connection with your peers in person.

Location: B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 W. 42nd St.

9-11:55 p.m.
Bad Habits "Eye Docs of Rock”/Vision Expo Opening Night Party

Bad Habits, the industry’s Eye Docs of Rock, kick off Vision Expo with music and entertainment. Grab a free wristband for the main event from a sponsor booth, and arrive early for the open bar from 9-10 p.m.

Location: B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 W. 42nd St.


10 a.m. to noon
Optometry Student Education Program

Network with students and industry pros from across the country. Plus, you’ll score a wristband and drink tickets to attend the EyeRock benefit later that evening.

Location: Level 1

4:30-5:15 p.m.
Google Partners Connect Event

Google’s Liz Austin leads the highly anticipated networking reception where eyecare professionals will learn how to master the tools to retain existing customers and appeal to new ones on the web. Invitation only.

Location: Level 1, Medical & Scientific Theater (Booth #4977)

4:30-5:30 p.m.
Corporate Optometry on Facebook Reception

Co-hosted by Corporate Optometry on Facebook founder Maria Sampalis, the cocktail reception gathers more than 100 corporate O.D.s and their staff. Join in the fun and make an in-person connection.

Location: Level 3, OPTImum Lounge

4:30-6 p.m.
Visionaries Toast

Location: Level 3, All lounges and multiple pop-ups on Exhibitor Floor

6-8 p.m.
OWA Star Awards

The Optical Women Association’s invitation-only cocktail reception honors Kate Renwick-Espinosa of VSP Vision Care, Lorie Lippiatt, O.D., and Corinne McCormack of FGX International.

Location: Le Parker Meridien, 115 W. 56th St.

7-9 p.m.
Optometry Student Party

The EyeRock pre-party, courtesy of National Vision, offers views of the city and an open bar. Note: Open to the first 150 optometry students (21+) to RSVP.

Location: Sky Room, 330 W. 40th St.

8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Rock out for a good cause. Musicians in the optical industry hold a benefit concert for New Eyes for the Needy. Optometry students will get a wristband at the end of the Student Education Program for free entry.

Location: Hard Rock Café, Times Square


11-11:30 a.m.
Pop-Up Talk: Spring’s 5 Biggest Eyewear Fashion Trends

Eyecare Business Editor-in-Chief Erinn Morgan leads a fun and interactive talk that breaks down what your patients and customers will clamor for this spring.

Location: Level 1, Galleria Lounge

1:30-2 p.m.
Pop-Up Talk: Fashion Happens at Every Price Point

The EyeDoctors’ Jordan Edwards discusses fashionable choices at all budgets for your patients.

Location: Level 1, Galleria Lounge


Score the lowdown on spring’s BIG eyewear trends

What’s in for spring?

Eyecare Business Editor-in-Chief Erinn Morgan presents the five biggest eyewear trends for spring to make sure that your business is prepared with the product your patients will crave.

Stop by the Galleria Lounge on Sunday, April 2, at 11 a.m. for her interactive pop-up talk that tackles the most tantalizing frame trends.

Eyewear designers Coco and Breezy DJ the Visionaries Toast on Friday



BOOTH 2543

Email and book an appointment during Vision Expo East for a chance to win two tickets to Broadway’s “Wicked.” Stop by the A&A Optical booth for a free Jimmy Crystal New York lanyard.


BOOTH 1267

Alternative & Plan “B” Eyewear offer $50 Visa gift cards to purchasers of 12 or more frames from one collection at Vision Expo East (applicable to all 12 in-house designed lines; Vue product requires a 24-piece purchase to qualify).


BOOTH 2400

Stop by the Costa booth for a chance to win a trip with the OCEARCH team on their boat in New York this August. OCEARCH is a nonprofit organization of explorers and scientists dedicated to researching the movement, biology, and health of sharks.

Attendees can also meet OCEARCH’s founding chairman and expedition leader Chris Fischer during a booth happy hour on both March 31 and April 1 from 4-6 p.m.

OCEARCH’s Chris Fischer at Costa


BOOTH 1509

Tura welcomes celebrity stylist Kate Young to Vision Expo East on Saturday, April 1, from 1-3 p.m. Contact your Tura sales consultant to request a one-on-one frame styling session with Young at the Tura booth and learn about the opportunity to score a personalized Kate Young for Tura frame.

Separately, Tura offers a Ted Baker porcelain rose cosmetic bag to those who book an appointment in advance of Vision Expo East.

Stylist Kate Young at Tura


BOOTH 2221

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Wiley X offers show specials based on quantity purchases, with the ability to earn free product, free in-store displays, free shipping, and Rx program benefits.


  • Stop by the New Designer Gallery in the Madison Square Park Lounge (conveniently located on the main aisle adjacent to The Galleria), a curated hub where up-and-coming designers will showcase their latest products. Designers include IMD SRL, Groover Spectacles, Crossky International, Hillman, Eyevan 7285, and 35/139 Tokyo.
  • Check out new show floor destination the Optical Profit Center (booth 1135) to catch opportunities on how to generate additional revenue for your optical business. This year’s new hot spot is a collaboration of industry leaders including ClearVision Optical, Fashion Optical, Santinelli, Smart Mirror, and Super Optical.

NYC Après-Show Guide


Ask a New Yorker, “What’s your favorite restaurant?” and you aren’t likely to get a straight answer. There are charming old New York restaurants, the latest buzzing hot spots, and outstanding food hidden in plain sight (not all pizza slices are created equal). The following picks all pass the “Ask a New Yorker” test—here’s where I would send my friends looking for a bite after a day at the Javits Convention Center.


7 quick fixes near the Javits Center

A quick bite in New York City doesn’t mean fast food—for a restaurant to succeed in Manhattan, it must be fast and serve quality grub. Check out our lineup here of easily accessible quick eats near the Javits Center.

Carefully sourced ingredients are the foundation of Friedman’s ($$, 450 10th Ave.), an all-day spot with a gluten-free menu, antibiotic-free meats, and local produce. Try the breakfast sandwich on sourdough or the avocado toast in the morning, or sample the tandoori chicken wings, kale Caesar, or fish tacos alongside a local craft beer in the evening.

The ultimate quick fix in New York is the classic slice of pizza, but not all slice joints serve the real thing. Follow in-the-know locals to Pizza Suprema ($, 413 8th Ave.), an unassuming pizzeria opened by an Italian immigrant in 1964. There are booths in the back for savoring your perfect pepperoni slice hot from the oven.

When variety is required, explore Gotham West Market ($, 600 11th Ave.) in Hell’s Kitchen. This food hall gathers a range of tastes under one roof, including Mexican at Choza Taqueria and hearty bowls of ramen at Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop. For a small pick-me-up, the hall is also home to Ample Hills Creamery for ice cream straight out of Brooklyn.

At Rocket Pig ($, 463 West 24th St.), slow-smoked, spice-rubbed pork shoulder is king. It is the single focus of this casual spot, piled onto a ciabatta roll with red onion jam.

Lines gather outside many New York restaurants, with hungry diners waiting in any weather for their favorite bites. Totto Ramen ($, 464 West 51st St.) is one of these places—Japanese expats line up outside before the restaurant even opens. To slurp the legendary noodles without waiting in the long lines, stop in after theater once the crowds have thinned. The best seats in the house are at the counter, where you can watch your bowl of ramen being assembled while sipping on an Asahi draft beer or some sake.

For a quiet coffee break, kick back at the Intelligenstia High Line Coffeebar ($, 180 10th Ave.) in the lobby of the historic High Line Hotel.


One tasty option is the Great Northern Food Hall ($, 89 Vanderbilt Ave.) in Grand Central Terminal on 42nd Street. Run by Danish chef Claus Meyer, this sleek food hall brings Nordic flavors from Copenhagen to Manhattan; try the smørrebrød (open-faced sandwiches) or anything from the divine bakery.

Rocket Pig
Photo credit: Nitzan Rubin

Photo credit: Intelligentsia Coffee

Gotham West Market
Photo credit: Daniel Krieger

NYC Après-Show Guide


Advance reservations are essential for the tasting menu experience at Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare ($$$, 431 West 37th St.), a restaurant holding three Michelin stars. Communal counter seating offers a view of all the action in the kitchen.

Some days call for a big steak and a martini. When this craving strikes, head to New York classic Keens ($$$, 72 West 36th St.), a wood-paneled steakhouse dating back to 1885. Begin your meal with some oysters or a wedge salad with blue cheese before a T-bone steak or porterhouse-for-two.

Chef Mario Batali and partner Joe Bastianich (of Babbo fame) have struck gold again with La Sirena ($$, 88 9th Ave.), their first new restaurant in New York in almost a decade. Located in the Maritime Hotel, this polished restaurant serves divine pastas like bucatini with spicy octopus or cavatelli with braised spare ribs; don’t miss the Italian-inspired cocktail list.

The bold flavors of India are on offer at any time of day at Pondicheri ($$, 15 West 27th St.), a sleek restaurant that draws food lovers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In the evening, start with some goat and lentil samosas before tucking into the thalis, or traditional sampler platters; don’t forget an order of garlic naan bread on the side.

The coziest tavern in the coziest ‘hood of Manhattan is the Spotted Pig ($$, 314 West 11th St.) in the West Village, a corner institution with two levels of tiny tables piled high with draught beers, deviled eggs, and a signature burger with Roquefort cheese and shoestring fries.

It’s worth the trip downtown to SoHo for dishes straight from the wood-fired oven at Pasquale Jones ($$, 187 Mulberry St.). Try the littleneck clam pizza with garlic, lemon, and cream followed by wild halibut from the wood oven.


Pasquale Jones
Photo credit: Robyn Lehr

Photo credit: Hamzeh Zahran

La Sirena
Photo credit: Kate Previte

Le CouCou
Photo credit: Corry Arnold


One of the hottest tables of the moment is at Le CouCou ($$$, 138 Lafayette St.), a restaurant from Chef Daniel Rose of acclaimed La Bourse et La Vie in Paris. Reservations are essential for this white tablecloth, candlelit dining room; let experienced servers guide you through the classic French cuisine.

NYC Après-Show Guide


You can certainly order a Manhattan in Manhattan (New York bartenders make a mean city-signature cocktail), but part of the imbibing fun in the Big Apple is seeing what creative bartenders have up their sleeves.

Cocktails are the star at Porchlight ($$, 271 11th Ave.), a bar with southern-accented snacks opened by Danny Meyer—of Shake Shack, Gramercy Tavern, and Union Square Café fame—on 11th Avenue. Choose your poison from a cocktail category: Guzzlers (light and easy), Sippers (Not for the Weak of Heart), Classics, or Nerdy (Late Night Experiments That Worked).

Beer is brewed on-site at Death Ave. Brewing Company ($$, 315 10th Ave.), a Chelsea bar with a big courtyard and more than a dozen wines available by the glass. Cocktails like the Older Fashion (aged bourbon, orange twist, cherry, and bitters) are served alongside domestic and international craft beers, plus the brews made in the downstairs brewery.

For a drink with a view, head to the rooftop Vu Bar ($, 17 West 32nd St.), an indoor/outdoor watering hole with an unpretentious vibe and stellar skyline views (it’s on top of the La Quinta Inn and Suites). This sky-high bar is one of the best deals in town, offering an affordable happy hour on Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. and all day on Sunday (many bars offer happy hour on weekdays only).

The Happiest Hour ($$, 121 West 10th St.) brings a retro vibe to the West Village with its “wish you were here” 1950s Florida-inspired decor. Expect quality renditions of the classics like a sazerac or a daiquiri, plus fun signature cocktails like the Belle of the Ball with red pepper, lemon, habanero shrub, and your choice of mezcal, tequila, or gin.

The Ear Inn ($, 326 Spring St.), located in SoHo, dates back to 1817. It’s a contender for oldest bar in Manhattan and continues to charm with pints of Guinness, juicy burgers, and Sunday night live jazz sessions.

Sandwiched between the many theaters of Midtown West, The Rum House ($$, 228 West 47th St.) is a wood-paneled cocktail den that attracts a sophisticated crowd. Just grab a seat at the bar and watch the dapper bartender make your Negroni Leoni (a twist on the Italian classic with Santa Teresa 1796 rum, legal mezcal, sweet vermouth, and Campari).


The Rum House
Photo credit: Paul Wagtouicz

The Happiest Hour
Photo credit: Nick Vorderman

Death Ave. Brewing Company
Photo credit: Death Ave. Brewing Company


Cocktail enthusiasts will want to make the pilgrimage to the Financial District for a drink at The Dead Rabbit ($$, 30 Water St.), a ground-floor saloon and upstairs cocktail parlor that, among many accolades, was deemed the World’s Best Bar in 2016.