Vision Expo East Illuminates Javits Center With Successful 2022 Edition
New York’s Javits Center buzzed with activity as vision care professionals converged at Vision Expo East 2022, held March 31-April 3. As the first Vision Expo to take place in New York City in three years, the annual four-day conference and trade show brought together thousands of enthusiastic eyecare and eyewear professionals from across the U.S. and the globe to reconnect with their peers, conduct business and take advantage of plentiful education and engaging programming.
“Following Vision Expo’s successful return to in-person shows at Vision Expo East 2021 in Orlando, and keeping the momentum going at Vision Expo West 2021 in Las Vegas last September, it was incredible to finally bring the vision care community together again in New York City for the first time since 2019,” said Fran Pennella, vice president, Vision Expo, at RX, which co-owns and organizes Vision Expo East and its annual sister event, Vision Expo West, alongside The Vision Council.
She continued, “The success of Vision Expo’s return to New York would not have been possible without the support and commitment of all our attendees, exhibitors and partners—we are truly grateful to each and every one who participated in this year’s exciting event.”
From new showfloor offerings and a dynamic education program to a vibrant line-up of special events and experiences, the show provided attendees with an extensive array of avenues to connect, learn, celebrate and grow, Pennella added.
Presented under the banner of VisionEd, Vision Expo’s industry-driven education program offered 167 sessions led by 81 speakers covering relevant topics ranging from the latest business strategies and fashion trends to patient care and cutting-edge innovations, while the continuing education program featured more than 100 hours of clinical education delivered by leading eyecare experts.
The 2022 show also marked the return of the OptiCon@Vision Expo program and hub, an education program and exhibit hall experience for opticians, contact lens practitioners and ophthalmic allied professionals, optical assistants and office managers, frame buyers and lab technicians that hosted networking, social events and access to representatives and resources from a comprehensive range of industry associations and vendor partners.
At The Bridge, the show’s main stage destination, the EYE2EYE Series offered a robust schedule of special events, panels and presentations, and housed the Innovation Stage, dedicated to groundbreaking content and state-of-the-art products and services revolutionizing the vision industry.
Not to be overshadowed by the vast array of conference sessions and showfloor education, the show’s bustling exhibit hall showcased the latest trends, technologies and innovative products and services presented by more than 360 exhibiting companies across several distinct neighborhoods.
Among the many exhibitors commenting on how pleased and excited they were to be back in New York to meet in-person with fellow eyecare professionals and industry colleagues was Jens Boy, president North America for ZEISS Vision Care.
“We had very good engagement with attendees this week in our booth as we celebrated the launch of ZEISS PhotoFusion X,” Boy said. “Attendance was much stronger than last year’s show in Orlando and a testament to the industry’s continued recovery and improvement that we have seen over the last 18 months. We are looking forward to exhibiting in Las Vegas for Vision Expo West 2022.”
Making its debut in the expo this year was the show’s newest neighborhood, The Atelier, an exclusive showcase and lounge housing a limited group of sought-after independent designers, and NOW by Vision Expo, a new eyewear trends showcase featuring curated selections of eyewear from more than 80 exhibiting companies.
“We created NOW by Vision Expo to highlight where our industry stands today and spotlight the trends to focus on for the year ahead,” explained Nico Roseillier, creative director of Europa / State Optical Co. / American Optical. “It was gratifying to see it all come together and hear the feedback of attendees. NOW will be back next year with even more to offer.”
The Career Zone-Student Lounge, a destination where students could connect with optical companies that are actively recruiting and exploring career resources, returned to the show on April 2, buoyed by exclusive registration benefits including free exhibit hall admission and unlimited education access that was offered to up-and-coming eyecare professionals this year.
Several award ceremonies and special events provided ample opportunities for attendees and exhibitors to network and socialize on and off the showfloor, including the OPTImum Retail Award, the second annual Vision Expo Global Talent Search, the Vision Choice Award and the Prevent Blindness Person of Vision Award fundraising event benefiting sight-saving programs.
In an effort to accommodate members of the global vision care community who were unable to attend the show in person, Vision Expo East also offered Vision Expo+, a free digital extension of the show experience, through April 8. Featuring online exhibitor showrooms and recorded content, the platform was delivered through global sourcing platform ShopVISION.
While show participants had the option to go maskless, Vision Expo adhered to and offered access to its comprehensive set of health and safety guidelines, policies and resources, VisionSAFE. Designed to support a safe show experience and updated in accordance with New York City and State public health requirements, as well as the guidelines set in place by the Javits Center, it included details on all on-site health and safety protocols as well as specific guidelines for exhibitors, travel tips and resources and frequently asked questions.
“As co-owner of Vision Expo, The Vision Council’s mission is to provide a platform for our members and the industry to showcase their products,” explained Mitch Barkley, vice president of trade shows and events at The Vision Council. “We delivered on this mission at Vision Expo East 2022, and were thrilled to see so many of our members in-person — doing business, learning, forging new relationships and connecting with longtime peers.”
He continued, “The success of this show directly impacts The Vision Council’s ability to fulfill its mission of growing the industry through education, advocacy, research and consumer education, so by coming together in New York we were all helping to elevate the greater industry.”