Jack Schaeffer
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Jack Schaeffer, OD, president and CEO of Schaeffer Eye Center refers to trunk shows as “brand shows” or “brand days,” and describes them as more like miniature trunk shows. “They have really become part of the presentation and culture of Schaeffer Eye Center. Patients are used to us showing them the depth of each collection and teaching them about the product,” he said.

Schaeffer told
VM he started organizing shows 15 years ago “when they came into vogue.” He sees today’s shows quite differently though. “We’re much more organized, more brand specific and we focus on a single company,” he said of his group’s near-monthly events.

On occasion, the 15-location practice will collaborate with a local business in presenting a brand to patients. For example, a David Yurman brand show this fall partnered with a nearby jewelry store that sells the designer’s pieces. “They brought the jewelry and we featured the glasses,” Schaeffer said.

Amy Bailey (l) of MyScoop and Jack Schaeffer, OD, (r) at a
Tag Heuer sponsored event which Schaeffer Eye Center
put on with Bromberg's and MyScoop.

While the focus is precise, the events themselves are more relaxed. “There’s no set time, we just look at our calendar and see when there’s a break—we make sure we take different times around the year.” Schaeffer added, “We actually don’t spend a lot of time advertising; we do it more internally by calling the people we know who like and wear that collection and inviting them in.” Recent shows have featured Oliver Peoples, Tag Heuer, Robert Marc, Lunor, Sama, l.a.Eyeworks, Chrome Hearts and Sean John. 

The shows usually start in the afternoon, when staff members learn about the brand from the sales representative, and continues into the evening as guests and employees from other offices join the hosting office in what doubles as a staff education for them.

“It’s not about increasing business or selling a lot of frames. The impact is three-fold: we’re training our staff on the products, educating the patients about the brands and showing off key frames to people who like that brand,” Schaeffer said. “Over the years, having the shows has evolved into part of our genetic makeup.”

—  Delia Paunescu, Assistant Editor