We’ve just wrapped up our 13th annual Vision Monday Global Leadership Summit, the highlights of which are featured in a special report beginning on page 30.

As most VM readers know, the Summit provides an opportunity for us to examine major trends in retailing, health care and technology that are impacting the optical industry. The focus of the day-long program changes each year, depending upon current trends, but the premise remains the same: to provide senior industry executives, optical retailers, leading eyecare professionals, suppliers and other key decision makers with actionable insights that allow them to understand the opportunities and challenges facing their companies and organizations today and in the near future, and enable them to be better leaders.

Even though we’re in the business of reporting news and analyzing trends, creating a fresh and relevant Summit each year is a tough job, as you might imagine. The process begins with the first glimmer of an idea, which is often sparked by a timely article we’ve read or a conversation we’ve had with a colleague or industry source.

Then our Summit planning team researches and debates the idea, ultimately deciding on a theme we hope will galvanize our readers and bring them to the Summit. It takes every bit of our creative energies to then plan the Summit sessions, find and invite the speakers—most of whom are from outside our industry—and weave them into a dynamic program that is deserving of our audiences’ attention.

On the surface, the process is no different than that used to plan other business conferences. But because our industry spans retail, fashion, medical and tech, an unusual mix that we explored at this year’s Summit, giving attendees a meaningful takeaway is particularly challenging. When we get it right, though, it’s deeply rewarding.

As I said, it takes a lot to create the Summit. So please excuse me, I’ve got to join our team to start planning next year’s big event. I hope to see you there.