The 32nd annual Vision Expo East is in the books, and according to organizers it was a success in both attendance and energy from new events across all four days.
Buying activity was reported strong on the exhibit floor, which featured 715 total exhibitors—192 of them new to Vision Expo East. Attendance growth was seen in multiple key audience categories, including buyers, optometrists, opticians, and contact lens technicians.
Vision Expo East 2018 saw a 22% increase in opticians and contact lens technicians, many of whom were on hand for the new OptiCon @ Vision Expo programming. OptiCon @ Vision Expo included a full lineup of Pop Up Talks, celebrity appearances, and social events in the debut OptiCon @ Vision Expo Hub, as well as a new slate of education sessions designed specifically for these audiences.
Of the estimated 715 companies filling the bustling Exhibit Hall with the launch of new designs and product lines, 27%—192 exhibitors—are new to the show this year. Additionally, an expanded and sold-out New Designer Gallery—now in its second year—presented exhibiting designers with the opportunity to distinguish themselves in a fresh environment.
The show debuted the new OPTImum Retail Award, a program celebrating independent boutique retailers by showcasing their products, storefronts, visions, and their stories. The winning retailer, Todd Rogers Eyewear, was selected by a panel of industry judges.
For the first time at Vision Expo East, attendees voted for their favorite exhibitors in two categories. The winner in the category of “Most Creative Booth Design” was De Rigo REM. The winner in the category of “Best Use of Technology” was Kuusoft Corporation.
Outside of the Exhibit Hall, the optical industry was fully engaged with the show via social media, with 5.36 million impressions from the show’s accounts and many more interacting with attendees and exhibitors directly. Adding another 70,000 social impressions was Vision Expo’s partnership with Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) for a panel, Eye on Design: An Exclusive Talk with Influential Eyewear Designers, featuring leading creative visionaries in the eyewear industry.
Eyecare Business was proud to be a part of that social media engagement. EB streamed several “Facebook Live” interviews with exhibitors and from the before- and after-show events. EB’s ever-evolving Instagram (@eyecarebusinessmagazine) story let followers stay up to date with new products we were shown.
As Vision Expo East 2018 came to a close, Trade Show News Network (TSNN) announced that the Show has been once again named to their list of Top Trade Shows in the United States for 2017. Up two spots from 2016 to #76, Vision Expo East competed with a wide range of industries to make the list, including gift and home furnishings markets, aircraft, retail, commercial real estate, construction equipment, and automotive special products.