ORLANDO, Fla.—Partnerships and business expansion were among the key themes as more than 650 industry professionals from North and South America gathered here at the Swan Resort in late January for Transitions Optical’s 21st annual Transitions Academy.

During the two-day event—themed “My Light”—attendees took part in professional development and product technology workshops; heard from experts and educators on marketing and industry trends; and learned from their peers and partners.

José Alves, general manager, Americas, set the tone for the meeting with his opening remarks, in which he called for building upon and strengthening the partnerships between Transitions Optical and its ECP customers.

“At the heart of our company is the strong partnerships we share and Transitions Academy gives us valuable time to talk about innovative technologies and the sharing of new perspectives and ideas with everyone in the channel,” he said. “With this year’s ‘My Light’ theme, we are asking attendees to think about what drives them to reach their goals, in life and at work.”

Darragh O’Connor, Transitions’ recently named vice president of global marketing, and Patience Cook, director of North America marketing, followed up on Alves’ comments with a presentation that included the debut of the 2017 marketing campaign for the Transitions brand, which is designed to broaden the base of consumers who are attracted to Transitions lenses.

The new consumer campaign for 2017 is themed “Live the Good Light,” and television spots bring a revitalized focus on engaging and attracting a younger generation of single-vision wearers to the photochromic lens category.

The new campaign also will continue to engage the brand’s core customers, O’Connor said. “[Our] team is laser-focused on growing the brand,” he said, and noted that the single-vision wearer is “an amazing opportunity” for Transitions.

O’Connor told Vision Monday in a subsequent interview that “what we have tried to do with this campaign is to show young people in their everyday life [with Transitions lenses].” The ads show a variety of people and lifestyles in both social and professional settings, all comfortably enjoying the light with Transitions lenses.

The new campaign, which runs through October in the U.S., includes a significant digital component built around social, search and online video, O’Connor noted. The broadcast ads then break in Canada, Brazil and other key markets.

One of the elements Cook highlighted for ECPs is the connection the new marketing draws between science and style. “When you show style, you get some interest from wearers and others,” she said. “But really the reason to believe and to know why our product is the most innovative and the performance has improved beyond what they had thought, is because of the technology.

“We want to show how advanced the technology is and, also, that the Transitions lens is very updated,” Cook explained. “It’s not what they might be thinking of from five to 15 years ago.”

The event concluded with a dinner and awards presentation hosted by Drew Smith, director, North America channels. Smith led the presentation of the 2016 Transitions Innovation Awards and introduced the winners and finalists to attendees.

The five category winners were:

Value Optical of Trinidad was named Best in Marketing, an award bestowed upon an individual or company that employs creative and strategic marketing tactics to effectively promote the Transitions brand or family of products among customers or within their communities.

New Look Eyewear of Quebec, Canada, was named Best in Training, an award that honors an individual or company for employing creative and strategic marketing tactics to effectively promote the Transitions brand or family of products.

Professional VisionCare of Westerville, Ohio, was named Best in Patient Experience, an award that celebrates an individual or company for developing a forward-thinking approach to consistently dispense Transitions lens products.

Pacific EyeCare of Port Orchard, Wash., was named Best in Growth Achievement, an award presented to an individual or company that has demonstrated a strong commitment to Transitions Optical.

Optician Sheena Taff of Roberts & Brown Opticians in Vancouver, British Columbia, was named the 2016 Transitions Brand Ambassador, an award that celebrates an individual who best showcases their dedication to being an influential advocate of the Transitions brand.