The Expo Experience

LAS VEGAS—As Vision Expo West begins to wind down, it’s been a jam-packed four days with a full list of activities that kept attendees busy. From new collections, celebrity appearances on the show floor and of course, a slew of parties planned for the nighttime, this year’s Vision Expo West can only be better than years past. Prior to the opening of the show, VMail Weekend asked a few people to speak about the various parts of Expo they were looking forward to the most. Read what they had to say.

Arian Fartash, The Glam Optometrist

I attended Vision Expo West last year for the first time. This year is exciting for me because I have worked with Expo to bring a class that I had initiated at my local Sephora store called “Make-up for Glasses” to the masses at Vision Expo West. Here, showgoers will be able to have their eye make- up done by the masters at Sephora all three days. In addition, they will learn the best tips and tricks to make their eyes stand out while wearing their favorite glasses. This will be a unique experience this year in Vegas and I’m sure everyone will take home something they learned from the demo and implement it into their daily life while wearing glasses.

West is a little more relaxed in my opinion because of its setting in Las Vegas. Vision Expo East, which takes place in the fast-paced city of New York, is a lot busier because of the energy that New York exudes. In Vegas, participants can go to the pool in between classes, or perhaps gamble a bit at lunch… whatever way people like to unwind is available in Las Vegas.

Dr. Jennifer Tsai, Dr. Jen and Juice

I am personally excited to attend Vision Expo West this year! I am looking forward to networking and connecting with the eyecare community, as well as seeing the new fashion trends for fall. I first attended Vision Expo West as an optometry student and I enjoyed attending the continuing education events then. Now I will be returning to the event a few years later as an optometrist and it will be so exciting and different. This will also be a change in perspective for me, as I will be a guest panel speaker for VSP and Transitions at Expo.

West is a little different from the East, in that they offer different dimensions to vision and eyewear. The attendees are different from each coast, and the ambiance in Vegas is more entertainment and music focused, while New York provides more fashion and vogue. Both offer an amazing variety to Vision Expo and I can't wait for the event.

Gina Kay, Cristall Opticians

The first time I attended Vision Expo West, it was in Anaheim and that was about 25 years ago. The show was very laid back and relaxed. Much less intense than Vision Expo East. I always look forward to seeing old friends and making new contacts. We found new lines last year that contributed to our success and look forward to seeing something new and exciting.

One thing I have noticed over the years is the lack of Europeans coming to West and with Silmo in Paris on the heels of Expo it is even less likely to have any European lines and influence. There is always New York but that is far away when you are curating a collection for the year. Travel is so expensive that making more than a couple of buying trips a year becomes a challenge. The Suites are a good concept, but I feel that it’s hard to get to when you are on a tight schedule. I am going to try and make a better effort to drop by the Suites this year.

My biggest dream for Expo West and Expo East is to switch dates. I wish we could do East in the fall when it is so gorgeous in NYC and West in the spring when we would all look forward to the warm desert air of Vegas. I’m not sure who is in charge of that decision, but I am sure it would be a well-received change!

Sam Marie Slipp, Makeup for Glasses

As a first-time attendee, I think that Vision Expo West will be similar to the great atmosphere at East this past year, but with warmer weather than NYC. I’m looking forward to the GlamourEYES pop-up studio event with Sephora and Glamoptometrist. As a makeup and glasses lover I will always support beauty with glasses. I think that with each Expo, it gets better and better with more exhibitors, events and people participating. I'm very excited to attend and to experience West for myself.

Autianna Wilson, The Goddess of Optix

Last year was my first time experiencing Vision Expo West. I’m looking forward to seeing “The Block” I love how Vision Expo is promoting urban eyewear designs, I believe it will bring forth inspiration and open the minds of those who stick to cookie cutter brands. I’m also really interested in seeing “frames to complete your look” and the boutique buyers panel. Both should be very beneficial to my growth in optical. I’m new to Vision Expo. I went to Vision Expo West last year and East this year—I can’t wait to see how Expo has changed in just one year.