Social Media Gains Bigger Role at International Vision Expo West

LAS VEGAS—International Vision Expo West has tapped a number of industry experts, on and off the show floor, to help eyecare professionals harness the power of the internet at this year’s event, dedicating 12 hours of its conference program to courses tackling social media and internet marketing, and scheduled meet ups for online forum groups to connect.

“Social media continues to be one of our key communication channels; allowing us to stay connected with the vision community year-round,” said Tom Loughran, vice president for Reed Exhibitions. “Neilson’s 2012 Social Media Report disclosed that social networks and blogs reach nearly four out of five active U.S. Internet users—that’s almost 80 percent. With numbers like that we know it’s becoming increasingly important for us to stay engaged.”

The Conference Advisory Board has added a hands-on workshop, interactive teaching and live online reviews of existing websites and Facebook pages to help guide eyecare professionals through the process of developing, setting up and using social media along with other web tools.

On Wednesday, Sept. 5, beginning at 7:30 a.m., Eyefinity will host “FOCUS 2012: Embracing the ‘i’ Craze” in the Eyemax Theatre, Room 503. The four-and-a-half hour session will explore how today’s optometric practice is being transformed by new mobile technology, while providing insight into how to leverage this mobile revolution. Daniel Kraft, MD, a Harvard- and Stanford-trained physician-scientist, will provide the keynote address, “The Future of Health: Where Can Technology Take Us?” and a panel discussion will focus on the growth of mobile technology throughout the optometric industry.

Outside of the classroom, attendees are invited to a party at LAVO on Friday, Sept. 7, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Sponsored by Europa International and Cinzia Designs, Vision Expo has teamed up with Alan Glazier, OD, founder of ODs on Facebook, to host a happy hour event for eyecare professionals to grab a drink and connect. Join the ODs on Facebook group at

Like-minded professionals from optical forum groups such as Single Vision Express, California Optical Professionals and Northwest Optical Professionals have also planned a Funky Glitter, Hat and Shoe Party at Margaritaville on Thursday, Sept. 6, from 7:00-10:30 p.m. The Best Dressed will receive “Buy One, Get One Free, Margarita Coupons.”

Onsite, Vision Expo West will post photos to its Facebook page and will be actively tweeting exhibitor specials (twitter handle #visionexpo) and news directly from the show floor. Show management will also be filming videos on a daily basis for its official YouTube Channel, which will feature perspectives from guests, special events, celebrity appearances and new products and technologies as they are unveiled in the exhibit hall.