September arrived yesterday signaling the lazy days of summer are coming to an end. And with Vision Expo just around the corner, it’s time to get down to business again. In less than a month, the optical industry will be gathering in Las Vegas for Vision Expo West, and this time around, it will have a palpable post-pandemic feel, despite the fact that COVID 19 seems to be rearing its ugly head again. (Click here to find out what some of our top docs think about the state of COVID today and what might be in store for us).

This year’s Vision Expo has a lot to offer attendees including new exhibitors, new neighborhoods on the show floor, a robust curriculum of continuing education and a spate of special events so we opti folk can do what we do best—network with our colleagues. Read on for an overview of what to expect in Vegas.

Over the last few months, The Vision Council and RX, co-organizers of Vision Expo, have been sharing details on new show features and special events planned for Vision Expo West 2023, taking place at The Venetian Convention Center & Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada from September 27-30.

The Show’s educational program, together with OptiCon @ Vision Expo, opens Wednesday, September 27, with the Exhibit Hall opening Thursday, September 28. To register for Vision Expo West, click here

Here's what Vision Expo show organizers Fran Pennella, vice president, Vision Expo at RX, and Mitch Barkley, vice president of trade shows and events at The Vision Council told VMAIL Weekend about the show. “We look forward to bringing the industry together again at Vision Expo West in just a few weeks. In addition to our energetic Show Floor neighborhoods featuring over 100+ new exhibitors, we are particularly excited to offer attendees a revamped education program, an enhanced Innovation Stage debuting EYEnovate, a new series dedicated to exploring future advancements in eyecare technology, and access to exclusive parties and events on the Las Vegas Strip.”

What’s New at Expo

The Innovation Stage will host panels featuring the industry’s most buzz-worthy topics, including a discussion about ChatGPT and the potential benefits and drawbacks of incorporating AI into your workflow.

VisionEd, Vision Expo’s world-class education program, includes 300 hours and more than 150 brand new courses of optometric and opticianry continuing education. New clinical courses covering topics such as orbital and ocular trauma and diagnosing and treating glaucoma are aimed to enhance clinical skills and knowledge in optometry.

A range of new business courses highlighting topics like company culture and avoiding legal pitfalls will also be offered to optometrists to aid them in effectively managing their practices.

New to the Vision Expo West exhibit hall, three Show Floor Avenues will provide primary navigational pathways ensuring a smooth and efficient experience for all attendees. The avenues—Park Ave, Union Ave and Focus Ave—will guide attendees seamlessly through the event.

In addition to the avenues, Vision Expo West will feature DJs at The Atelier neighborhood and the Innovation Stage and debut the Look East neighborhood, showcasing a curated collection from Asia’s leading suppliers.

The Exhibitor Product Directory will offer attendees a new, streamlined way to browse and search through the latest products showcased at Vision Expo.

Exhibitors can add products to the Directory on a continual basis to ensure a constantly evolving selection. Show attendees can explore the Exhibitor Product Directory here, and exhibitors can add to the Directory by contacting their customer success contact.

The Global Contact Lens Forum, taking place Wednesday, September 27, will provide attendees with practical, timely tips in both clinical and business processes, and new sessions will offer insights into the latest innovations and business strategies in the contact lens field.

Designed specifically for eyecare professionals, the Marketing4ECPs Social Media Bootcamp, taking place on Wednesday, September 27, will help ECPs maximize their online presence and harness the true potential of social media platforms for their practice.

EYEnovate to Tout Technology

Welcoming back Vision Expo’s Innovation Stage, the main stage destination for attendees on the Show floor, is an entirely new program that will be debuting called EYEnovate, a disruptive yet highly compelling content series highlighting groundbreaking technological innovations in the optical field.

EYEnovate is dedicated to exploring the bleeding edge of advancements in eyecare technology and will feature 15-minute talks by leaders in their respective fields, showcasing the latest breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, surgical tools, VR/AR and other emerging technologies.

The EYEnovate series kicks off with the first session on Thursday, September 28 at 9:45 a.m., and a second session will take place on Friday, September 29 beginning at 9:45 a.m. A panel of industry leaders including Ashley Mills, chief executive officer of The Vision Council, James Rosin, co-president of Rosin Optical Co., and Susy Yu, OD, MBA, FAAO, director of Business Strategy and Operations Support for Vision Essentials by Kaiser Permanente Southern California Permanente Medical Group, will judge all EYEnovate presentations.

The three judges will be present on both Thursday and Friday and will listen to all seven presentations in front of an audience at the Innovation Stage. The judges will select one participant to receive the first-ever EYEnovate at Vision Expo Ocular Horizons Award, which will be announced on Friday, September 29 at the Innovation Stage.

The winner will receive a physical award/trophy and recognition as the first EYEnovate at Vision Expo Ocular Horizon Award winner including promotion on Vision Expo social media channels and press releases.

Due to continuing programming at the Innovation Stage, there is no formal award ceremony scheduled at this time. The winner of the EYEnovate at Vision Expo Ocular Horizon Award will be announced on Friday afternoon via Vision Expo social media channels. The winner will receive a physical award and be recognized in post-show communications.

The 2023 EYEnovate participants include:

EYE-GO – EYE-GO is a Danish based MedTech start-up developing disruptive eye treatment technologies that improve the quality of life of people around the world suffering from severe and chronic eye conditions.

InflammX Therapeutics – InflammX Therapeutics is a clinical-stage company treating autoinflammation due to dysregulation of a newly discovered innate immune pathway called NLRP3 inflammasome which can impact diabetic eye disease, diabetic kidney disease and macular degeneration.

Myoptechs – Myoptechs is an ophthalmic medical device company developing a soft contact lens specifically designed to slow the progression of myopia while providing exceptionally clear vision.

SILKTEARS, Inc. – SILKTEARS is an innovative dry eye drop formulation that uses silk-derived protein to naturally lubricate and coat the eye, while providing anti-inflammatory activity for long term symptom relief.

Topology – Topology’s Touchless Optical Platform is a suite of innovative solutions that enables opticians to dispense measurements with the highest level of accuracy, both in-store and online.

UptimeHealth – UptimeHealth aims to simplify and predict medical equipment service, purchase, and compliance events for outpatient health care providers, and provide exceptional service to customers by utilizing cutting-edge technology and innovative solutions.

Yolia Health – Yolia Health is a bio-medical device company committed to helping people restore and enhance vision through non-invasion forms of treatment.

For the full schedule of Innovation Stage events, reference the Special Events page on Vision Expo’s website, filterable by date and location, here. The schedule is subject to change. On-site, attendees are encouraged to reference the Vision Expo mobile app for the most up-to-date schedule.

Read more about Eyenovate here

Special Events

Several special events and activities are planned for Vision Expo West 2023. Some of the featured events include:

Swing Fore Sight Golf Tournament – Prevent Blindness, the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight, will host the Swing Fore Sight Golf Tournament on Wednesday, September 27 at Bali Hai Golf Club, 5160 S. Las Vegas Blvd. Registration and breakfast will begin at 6:00 a.m. with a 7:00 a.m. shotgun start. For more information on the event and to register, click here.

Optical Women’s Association Connection Series: The RALLY Mentality – The Optical Women's Association will host their Connection Series luncheon from 12:00 –1:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 28. This year’s event will feature guest speaker Shannon McKain. McKain's five-step "RALLY Mentality" plan can help anyone define and defeat perceived limitations, whether self-imposed or the result of circumstances. For more information, click here

• Vision Expo West Opening Night Party –
Bad Habits “The EyeDocs of Rock,” the longtime rock band comprised of several practicing optometrists, will perform at Vision Expo West’s opening night party on Thursday, September 28. The party will take place from 9:00 p.m. until midnight at the Brooklyn Bowl, located at 3545 S Las Vegas Blvd. All Vision Expo attendees are invited, and attendee badges are required for entry. For more information on the opening night party, click here.

Vision Monday’s Most Influential Women in Optical Luncheon – Be a part of this momentous occasion as Vision Monday recognizes and honors the extraordinary achievements of the Most Influential Women in Optical on Friday, September 29 from noon-2 p.m. This special and unique luncheon event and program is an unparalleled opportunity to connect, collaborate, and build meaningful relationships within a powerful network of industry leaders. For more information and to register, click here.

ODs on Facebook Party at Drai’s Beachclub – The ODs on Facebook Party will take place from 7:30-9:30 p.m. on Friday, September 29 at Drai’s Beachclub and Nightclub. Free for all eyecare professionals, attendees are invited to attend and make in-person connections with online friends from ODs on Facebook, gaze over the strip and dance the night away. Vision Expo West badges are required for entry. For more information, click here

Send Us Your Today@Expo Information

If you are offering any discounts, giveaways, educational sessions, demonstrations or celebrity appearances at your Vision Expo West booth, VM wants to know about it. Please send us a one paragraph description and a high resolution piece of art and we will include the information as part of our Today@Expo section in the Vision Expo Show Dailies. Send your art and information to and include the words Today@Expo in the subject line.

New Exhibitors
"We are thrilled to welcome back many familiar faces and introduce an impressive number of new exhibitors to Vision Expo West,” said Ashley Mills, CEO of The Vision Council. “The richness and diversity of our exhibitor base illustrates the resilience of our industry and the excitement building for this year’s event. We anticipate a dynamic and successful show in September."

Joining other companies who are returning to the show, such as, EssilorLuxottica, Safilo, VSP Vision, Marcolin, L’Amy, Lafont, Etnia Barcelona and Carl Zeiss are new brands including:

• Zenni Optical
• Caroline Abram
• Radius XR
• Ujett

This year’s Vision Expo West will also feature new and returning exhibitor segments in Ocular Aesthetics and Audiology from companies such as:

• MAICO Diagnostics
• BlephEx
• Dejavi Innovation
• MDelite Laser
• Avologi
• Optometric Aesthetics

Additionally, within The Suites neighborhood—a predominantly appointment-based setting comprised of luxury fashion houses and located within select suites at The Venetian—a sampling of new and returning brand participants include:

• Kering Eyewear
• De Rigo REM
• ic! berlin
• Garrett Leight
• Marchon
• Studio Optyx
• Baumvision
• Morel
• Inspecs Group PLC

Read more about new exhibitors here

OptiCon @ Vision Expo
OptiCon @ Vision Expo will return to Vision Expo West with an unmatched education program and Exhibit Hall experience for opticians, contact lens professionals, allied ophthalmic professionals, optical assistants and office managers, frame buyers and lab technicians. New OptiCon sessions will feature topics ranging from proper frame fitting and celebrity eyewear secrets to discussions on stocking versus surfacing and laser exploration.

Highlights for the 2023 OptiCon @ Vision Expo programming include:

The OptiCon Hub: Offering networking, social events and access to representatives and resources from the American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners (ABO-NCLE), Opticians Association of America (OAA), National Federation of Opticianry Schools (NFOS), Contact Lens Society of America (CLSA) and vendor partners.

OptiCon General Session: Imagine your life without sight and sound. How would you live your life differently if you knew that soon you would no longer be able to see or hear? Rebecca Alexander has been simultaneously losing both her vision and hearing since she was an adolescent. Born with a rare genetic disorder called Usher Syndrome (type 3), Rebecca was told that by age 30, she’d be completely blind. Then, at 19, one year after a fall from a second-story window left her body completely shattered, she discovered she would lose her hearing as well.

Join the discussion as Blair Wong, ABOM, NCLEC catches up with Rebecca Alexander on her accomplishments, challenges and the encouragement and inspiration that Rebecca gives to others who are facing their own challenges. The OptiCon General Session, sponsored by EssilorLuxottica, will take place Thursday, September 28 at the Innovation Stage.

ABO-NCLE Patient Choice Award: This award gives the patient the opportunity to tell their story and the story of the eyecare professional that helped change their life, the life of a parent, a child, or other family member. Join us as we celebrate the winner(s) of the 2023 Optician and/or Contact Lens Technician Patient Choice Award recipient, whose passionate work, through their specialized ophthalmic knowledge and expert technical skills, are dedicated to preserving, protecting, enhancing and restoring patients' vision and profoundly changing their lives.

The Patient Choice Award will be presented Friday, September 29 at the Innovation Stage. Read more about OptiCon here

The Career Zone
The Career Zone will return to Vision Expo West on Saturday, September 30 from 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Located on the Innovation Stage on the exhibit floor, the Career Zone is a student lounge designed as a central hub for OD and opticianry students and young professionals to network with participating optical companies, all of which are actively recruiting and seeking new talent. Vision Expo West 2023 will offer students exclusive registration benefits including free Exhibit Hall admission and access to complimentary education.

“We are thrilled to offer dedicated programming for students and young professionals at Vision Expo West 2023,” said Suzanne Krauss, industry relations manager. “It is so important for us to facilitate opportunities for students and young professionals to meet with hiring companies, all of which are equally as eager to meet viable new talent. The Career Zone offers students exclusive access to practical advice, career guidance and valuable support as they navigate their professional paths.”

The Career Zone-Student Lounge’s supporting companies include:

● Elevate Eyecare
● EssilorLuxottica
● EyeCare Partners
● Marshfield Clinic Health System
● MyEyeDr.
● Vision Source
● VSP Premier
● Walmart
● Warby Parker

The Passport Program, which encourages students and young professionals to network with exhibitors in the Career Zone throughout the day, will also return to Vision Expo West.

Passports will be available for students to pick up in the Career Zone. Students are then encouraged to meet with each vendor listed on their passports. Participants who meet and receive a signature from each vendor listed on their passport will be eligible to win prizes from our Career Zone participants ranging from designer sunglasses to gift cards.

To access the Career Zone programming lineup for Saturday, September 30, click here