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The coolest, of-the-moment hot spots for eats + drinks


Glitter City.

International Vision Expo West comes to this sparkling, vibrant town Sept. 26-29 at The Sands Expo Center & Convention Center. To help you get an action plan in place to maximize your time at Vision Expo West—and in Vegas—we put together this show guide just for you. On these pages, discover highlights of the best Vision Expo education, events, and a covetable roundup of Vegas hot spots.

Wishing you a great show!

The EB Team

+ Insider Tip:

Be sure to download the Vision Expo mobile app so that you can stay connected before, during, and after the show. The interactive platform lets users send messages, view and save exhibitors, schedule events into a personal agenda, and more. Plus, attendees can vote for their favorite booths through the app. One voter each day will be selected to win a $500 American Express gift card!



International Vision Expo West offers eyecare professionals more than 300 hours and 23 specialty tracks of groundbreaking, commendable continuing education opportunities—the new OptiCon @ Vision Expo partnership (which launched at Vision Expo East 2018) helped the show gain recognition as a Trade Show News Network Awards “Best of Show” finalist this year.

Here, we highlight a few key programs to keep on your radar. For a full list of courses + access to interactive education brochures: .


With courses like “Double Your Sales in One Week” and “Answering the Challenge of Online Eyewear,” this comprehensive program (featuring both education and exclusive special events) is bigger and better than ever for Vision Expo West, offering 15 hours of CE, two lunch vouchers, access to the exhibit hall, and discount rates at a dedicated hotel.


It’s the topic du jour—EB’s own ocular aesthetics column by Bridgitte Shen Lee, O.D., launched this year. Learn how to incorporate aesthetics into your practice with this fresh and fruitful track.


This track (covering four key areas: clinical, technical, fashion, and sales) is celebrated as an essential staff cross-training tool, featuring courses like “Eyeglass Repair Hacks You Need to Know” and “How the Eye Works.”


Ever wanted to know how to coordinate a trunk show or achieve an on-trend interior design look for less? This track’s programs will help your business stand out from competitors and stay ahead of the curve in today’s competitive retail landscape.

Parties & Presentations
There’s a lot to celebrate at this year’s Vision Expo West.

It’s the 30th anniversary of the show, and more than 60 of the approximately 430 exhibitors expected at this year’s gathering have been holding down the fort since Vision Expo West’s inception in 1988. Here, we’ve curated a lineup of the top events in store, so that your parties and presentations agenda is prepped before you arrive.

For a full list of events: .


9:30 a.m.
» Vision Choice Awards Voting Begins

Stop by the Product Gallery to vote for the best new product and be entered to win a $500 exhibit hall shopping spree. Location: Sands Expo, Product Gallery

Noon to 1:30 p.m.
» OWA Connection Series Presents: “Earning It” Author Joann Lublin

The Optical Women’s Association hosts Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Joann Lublin to discuss her book “Earning It: Hard-Won Lessons From Trailblazing Women at the Top of the Business World.” EB’s Erinn Morgan moderates an interactive Q&A. Register by Friday, Sept. 21, at ($35 for OWA members, $40 for nonmembers). Location: Venetian Level 3, Room 3005

2 p.m.
» Trends Talk: FW18 Eyewear Fashion

EB’s Erinn Morgan presents the upcoming season’s eyewear and fashion trends. A model will sport sought-after styles to keep your assortment on-trend. Bring your questions! Location: OptiCon Hub

2:30 p.m.
» Cynthia Bailey Eyewear Fashion Show

Model, actress, and “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Cynthia Bailey hosts a fashion show featuring eyewear designs from her namesake collection. Location: The BLOCK in the Galleria

8-10 p.m.
» OptiCon @ Vision Expo Party

Meet + mingle with fellow ECPs taking part in the OptiCon @ Vision Expo package. As part of your registration, you are eligible for a complimentary pass to the event. Location: Public House at the Venetian

8 p.m.-midnight
» Vision Expo Opening Night Party

Your badge gets you free entry and complimentary drinks from 8-9 p.m. The Bad Habits band, the official Eye Docs of Rock, will rock the stage. Location: Brooklyn Bowl, 3545 S. Las Vegas Blvd.

Coco + Breezy


The BLOCK is an extension of the Galleria’s celebrity-influenced and independently designed urban eyewear. The new space will feature several events, including a daily BLOCK party deejayed by designers Coco + Breezy, panel sessions, and fashion shows emceed by each brand’s celebrity designer.


11:30 a.m.
» KIDRAQ Children’s Fashion Show

Get a closer look at KIDRAQ, the new luxury eyewear collection from Beyoncé’s stylist, Raquel Smith. The collection is inspired by fashionista Blue Ivy Carter, daughter of Jay-Z and Beyoncé. Location: The BLOCK in the Galleria

1:30 p.m.
Trends Talk: FW18 Eyewear Fashion

EB’s Kerri Ann Raimo leads an interactive talk on fall’s eyewear + fashion trends. Location: OptiCon Hub

4 p.m.
» Vision Choice Winners Announced

Stop by to see which companies will take home the coveted Vision Choice awards. Location: Sands Expo, Product Gallery

6-7:30 p.m.
» OWA Networking Reception & Raffle

Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails at the Optical Women’s Association annual event + raffle. Admission is free and open to all. Register by Sept. 21 at . Location: Venetian Level 3, Room 3004

6-8:30 p.m.
» ODs on Facebook Party

Take the thought-provoking conversation offline and make an in-person connection with the industry’s prominent social media group, founded by Alan Glazier, O.D.
Location: TAO Nightclub, Venetian


4-5 p.m.
Best Booth Contest: Winners Announced

Cast your vote via the Vision Expo mobile app for Most Creative Booth Design and Best Brand Activation. One voter each day will be selected to win a $500 American Express gift card. Location: TBA


In addition to the Optical Women’s Association’s in-person raffle at its networking reception, the OWA is taking its annual auction to the web, allowing for bidders to make an offer on items within the comfort of their homes! The auction will run from Wednesday, Sept. 26 to Friday Sept. 28. Registration begins Sept. 7 and is open to the public:


EB editors Erinn Morgan and Kerri Ann Raimo are leading interactive trend talks at Vision Expo West! Swing by the OptiCon Hub (Booth #16093 in the Eyewear + Accessories pavilion) on Thursday, Sept. 27, at 2 p.m. and/or Friday, Sept. 28, at 1:30 p.m. for informal modeling of the upcoming season’s most on-trend eyewear styles.

An Insider’s Guide to the Best of Las Vegas


Bazaar Meat
Photo courtesy SLS Las Vegas

Beyond the casino floor, there are more options than ever before for entertainment in Las Vegas. Exclusive restaurants, cocktail bars overlooking the skyline, and dynamic stage productions all vie for your attention along the Strip. Here’s a handy guide for where to go when you’re hungry, thirsty, and in search of spectacle.

6 Hot Eateries & Quick Fixes Near the Sands Expo

From tasting menus to 2 a.m. French toast, there’s a restaurant for every craving in Las Vegas.

Much more than a typical steakhouse, Bazaar Meat by José Andrés ($$$, 2535 S. Las Vegas Blvd.) at the SLS serves an extensive raw bar and Spanish-influenced plates like croquetas de jamón in addition to wood-fired meats. It’s one of the only restaurants in town serving genuine Kobe beef alongside other carnivorous options like suckling pig and beef rib steak cooked in a fire pit.

The first Chinese restaurant in the United States to earn a Michelin star is Wing Lei ($$$, 3131 S. Las Vegas Blvd.) at the Wynn. Choose between a mix of Cantonese, Szechuan, and Shanghai-inspired dishes, including spicy chili prawns and Peking duck carved tableside.

Overlooking the dancing fountains at the Bellagio, Lago by Julian Serrano ($$$, 3600 S. Las Vegas Blvd.) is a sleek Italian restaurant with a varied small plates menu. Sample widely, including seafood salad, focaccia with ricotta and honey, and cannelloni with braised short ribs (don’t miss its brunch, one of the most decadent three-course options in town, complete with a pastry basket).

For Italian flavors in a more relaxed setting, choose between several styles of pizza at Pizza Rock ($, 201 N. Third St.). Different ovens with different temperatures churn out Neapolitan, Roman, and classic American pizzas alongside hearty antipasti like fried calamari or a salami and cheese board.

Timeless and unfussy, Peppermill Restaurant ($, 2985 S. Las Vegas Blvd.) serves breakfast including giant omelets and pancakes 24 hours a day. Quick eats from quesadillas and buffalo wings to a Cobb salad are quality examples of its classic diner fare.

Wing Lei
Photo courtesy Barbara Kraft


No Las Vegas adventure would be complete without a little spectacle. One of the most visually impressive shows in Las Vegas is Le Rêve – The Dream ($$$, 3131 S. Las Vegas Blvd.) onstage at the Wynn. The aquatic stage has a capacity of 1 million gallons of water; liquid features prominently in the show with high divers and synchronized swimmers.

Le Rêve – The Dream
Photo by Tomasz Rossa

BEYOND THE STRIP: Vietnamese flavors, craft cocktails, and affordable prices are drawing food lovers to Black Sheep ($$, 8680 W. Warm Springs Rd.). Try the braised pork belly with glass noodles or lemongrass duck confit with dandelion greens.

6 Best Places to Imbibe

Photo by Francis George Photography

From glamorous cocktail lounges to casual craft beer bars, Las Vegas has a watering hole for every thirst—and every budget.

Choose between frozen or on the rocks for your margarita at El Segundo Sol ($$, 3200 S. Las Vegas Blvd.), a lively bar and restaurant on the Strip. In addition to flavored margaritas, sangria and draft beers are served in the dimly lit bar or on the relaxed terrace.

When the day calls for a finely mixed cocktail in a sleek space, pull up a plush stool at Rosina ($$$, 3325 S. Las Vegas Blvd.) in the Venetian. Push the “Champagne Call Button” to refill your flute or sip classics like martinis, negronis, and whiskey sours in the art deco setting.

For craft beer, live music, and a big outdoor patio, check out Beerhaus ($, 3784 S. Las Vegas Blvd.) at the Park. An afternoon happy hour offers select draft beers for $4 until 6 p.m. daily.

The breezy spirit of the Caribbean is the inspiration for Rhumbar ($$, 3400 S. Las Vegas Blvd.), a cocktail bar and cigar lounge in the Mirage. Kick back beneath palm trees on the spacious terrace or watch the bartenders at work at the bar.

Stacked 64 stories above the Strip, Skyfall Lounge ($$$, 3940 S. Las Vegas Blvd.) in the Delano offers 180-degree views of the skyline. This is the place to try innovative tipples like the Dust Storm with rum, Campari, passion fruit, and lime.

Downtown Cocktail Room
Photo by Krystal Ramirez

Photo Courtesy of The Venetian Resort Las Vegas


Comedians, acrobats, and dancers join Criss Angel on stage for Criss Angel Mindfreak Live ($$, 3131 S. Las Vegas Blvd.), a next-level magic show. All rules of the traditional magic show are broken during this innovative production featuring pyrotechnic displays, animated LED lighting, and hard-to-believe illusions.

BEYOND THE STRIP: For drinks off the strip, follow the locals to Downtown Cocktail Room ($$, 111 S. Las Vegas Blvd.). All drinks, including the Seagull Sweets (tequila, tamarind, Champagne), are half off before 7 p.m. —J.C.C.