Speed painter Jessica Haas painted a picture of Albert Einstein and one of John Lennon at the PECAA reception on April 2.

As Expo got into full swing on Saturday in NYC, VM’s Andrew Karp, one of Vision Monday’s on-site reporters for our Expo Show Daily wrote, “A feeling of calm and well-being flowed through the Javits Center Saturday morning, as the sun streamed in through glass walls and ceiling of the atrium and Vision Expo attendees filed into the exhibit hall and classrooms. There were few signs of the pandemic and its turbulence that resulted in the show’s cancellation in New York for the last two years, save for the protective masks that some showgoers still wore to protect against COVID. In a sense, it was as if Vision Expo had picked up where it left off.”

Yet conversations with optical retailers and eyecare professionals attending Expo revealed a strong sense of purpose shaped by their experiences during the pandemic. Most were here to reinvigorate themselves and their staff with new knowledge and new products, and to refocus their energies toward growing their businesses and practices.

The four-day event, which took place March 31-April 3 at the Javits Center, marked Vision Expo’s first Show in New York City since 2019 and brought enthusiastic members of the vision care industry from the U.S. and around the globe together under one roof. Vision Expo East featured more than 360 exhibiting companies across several distinct neighborhoods and offered leading continuing education as well as engaging programming.

If you are just back from New York or were unable to attend Vision Expo East, the onsite Show Dailies are a great way to catch up on everything Expo. The full digital editions of the Show Dailies from April 1, 2 and 3 can be accessed here.

Click the image above to download a PDF of Latest News and Show Shots from Vision Expo East Day 1.

Click the image above to download a PDF of Latest News and Show Shots from Vision Expo East Day 2.

Click the image above to download a PDF of Latest News and Show Shots from Vision Expo East Day 3.

Show organizers were feeling upbeat about the first in-person Vision Expo in New York in two years. “It was an incredible few days back in New York City. We were thrilled to see so many of our members in-person—doing business, learning, forging new relationships and connecting with longtime peers,” said Ashley Mills, CEO of The Vision Council, a co-organizer of Vision Expo. “We have to thank our members and everyone in the community for lending their support.”

“It was incredible to bring the vision care community together again in New York City for the first time since 2019,” said Fran Pennella, vice president, Vision Expo, at RX, a co-organizer of Vision Expo. “The Show Floor was buzzing with activity and the energy, especially on day one, was palpable as motivated attendees and exhibitors reconnected with their peers, conducted business and engaged with the education offerings.”

Attendees were feeling the upbeat vibe as well. Brain Boddy of Dynamic Optical Solutions in Florida said, “It was great to make those personal contacts and have face-to-face interactions. As a consultant, it is my role to connect my clients with the latest technology. I have renewed a lot of business and seen a lot of new products.”

Christine Maddalein of Lawrenceville Optician in New Jersey said, “It’s always great to come to Vision Expo. It’s more toned down this year and right out of a pandemic I wouldn’t expect anything else. But it’s still worth coming.”

Angel Rosado, Caribe Optical Lab, Puerto Rico said, “I got to know the new technology and new machinery. It was good to meet with suppliers face to face and take advantage of the deals at the expo. This year has been slow so I was able to meet with customers I haven’t seen in New York.

“I was interested in sitting down with vendors and having an in-depth discussion about their brands,” said Patricia Vetri, who is the buyer for Vintage Eyewear Showroom, Westhampton Beach, N.Y. and a Vision Expo veteran. “I talked about the new styles and materials, so I could get a feel for what’s trending.”

First-time VEE attendee Jessica Hathaway of Fab Eye Care Center in Phoenixville, Pa., said she was impressed with the overall set-up of the booths at the show, which made for an easy review of the various new frame styles on offer. “I think the show was great,” she said, noting that she had heard from other attendees that Friday was “much busier” in all the aisles. Hathaway said her main intention at Vision Expo was to look more closely at a number of the lower-priced lines from frame manufacturers.

This was also the first Vision Expo for Courtney Challies, technician at Local Eyes in Orleans, Mass., and she was excited to walk the exhibit floor in search of new eyewear and equipment. “Now that COVID restrictions have been lifted, our business has returned to pre-pandemic levels,” she said. We have a broad range of customers who like everything from vibrant colors and up-to-date styles to older customers who prefer more neutral eyewear, so we’re looking at lots of different brands.”

“It was an amazing few days back in New York City. We were thrilled to see so many of our members in-person—doing business, learning, forging new relationships and connecting with longtime peers,” said Mitch Barkley, vice president of Trade Shows and Events at The Vision Council.

Show organizers reached out to several companies to get their impressions of Vision Expo East. Here’s what they had to say.

Sherianne James, chief marketing officer and senior vice president Customer Engagement, Essilor of America, and The Vision Council Board Member said, "We never stopped supporting Vision Expo because we understand the importance of this event for the industry. It is the most critical source of funding to drive The Vision Council's important advocacy, awareness and consumer demand efforts. This year, we could not have been more thrilled with the significant level of customer engagement and the validation that this event creates the impactful tentpole moment for the industry,” she said.

Steve Wright, president and chief commercial officer, Safilo USA, Inc. said, “We were thrilled to be back in person at Vision Expo East, with a renewed vigor and strength, and with an expansive and highly engaging new show presence. There was an exciting energy at our booth which was driven by attention-grabbing and well-received brand experiences, including a kate spade new york pop-up boutique, an Under Armour mini-golf activation, a Carolina Herrera shop-in-shop and Carrera l Ducati and BOSS selfie-stations,” he said

“We were excited to be back in New York and to meet in-person with eyecare professionals and our industry colleagues,” said Jens Boy, president North America, Zeiss Vision Care. We had very good engagement with attendees this week in our booth as we celebrated the launch of Zeiss PhotoFusion X. Attendance was much stronger than last year’s show in Orlando and a testament to the industry’s continued recovery and improvement that we have seen over the last 18 months,” he said.

Kara Isselee, senior director, product marketing and events, Heru said, “Vision Expo East is one of the most impactful meetings in our industry. Education is developed and led by world-class faculty with varied formats that enable optometrists to stay informed on cutting-edge developments in their field. The exhibit hall was bustling, and we got a real sense that live, in-person meetings are back in full swing. It felt great to be back in New York, seeing old friends and meeting new ones. Heru was proud to be an exhibiting company at this exceptional meeting,” she said.

“We were beyond ecstatic to be back in New York, in person and maskless, with all of our customers and industry colleagues. The show was truly successful in many facets and we look forward to continuing with the Vision Expo East momentum in 2022,” said Kelly Piotti, senior director of Sales Strategy and Planning, Hilco Vision.

Show organizers did not report any attendance information for the event and told VM that "there are no plans for attendance numbers to be reported for Vision Expo East 2022."

Click here to read additional coverage about the Show titled Vision Expo East 2022 Concludes Successful Show in New York City.

Look for additional photo coverage of the OWA’s special events, Prevent Blindness’ Person of Vision Gala, the ODs on Facebook party and Rock4Sight in next week’s VMAIL.

(L to R) EssilorLuxottica’s Ludo Ladreyt, Sherianne James, Fabrizio Uguzzoni, Alessandro Mariani, and Jessica Kozak at the company’s booth. Eyewear, lens and technology brands were showcased in a “village” environment at the EssilorLuxottica booth.

Safilo’s Carlo Bonini (l) and Steve Wright got all revved up about the debut of the global Carrera partnership with Ducati.

Eyefinity’s Kelly Balaam and Trop Eberlien are ready for a busy day at the Show.

Stevie Mitchell (l), VSP Vision talks with Dr. David Dexter and Dr. Lori Youngman of Harbor Eyes Associates, Oswego, N.Y. in the Career Zone on Saturday afternoon.

Attendees were able to tour the exhibit: “From the Archives...American Optical Through the Centuries” at the Europa Eyewear booth.

OptiCon@Vision Expo returned to Expo East with an education program and Exhibit Hall experience for opticians, contact lens professionals, allied ophthalmic professionals, optical assistants and office managers, frame buyers and lab technicians.

The ImageWear and Nouveau team was ready for another busy day on the Show floor.
(L to R) Peter Reeve, Stepper; Steve Benavides, ImageWear; Jani Burke, ImageWear; Hans Stepper, Stepper; Miguel Ramons, ImageWear; and Teri Fitz, Nouveau/ImageWear.

Dr. Contact Lens provides an easy to use platform and simplifies the contact lens ordering process. (L to R) At the ready to tell the company story are Karen Schwartz, Robin Rhodes, Jeane Shauger and Jennifer Tabiza.

US Ophthalmic’s Gustavo Lancewicki was eager to talk with attendees about the launch of a new multifaceted Dry Eye Disease (DED) diagnostic device, Sapphire by Ezer.

Stacey Winter is ready to introduce attendees to OptiLight by Lumenis, a bright solution for dry eyes.

(L to R) PECAA's Justin Manning, OD, with Keely Hoban, OD, Peak Vision Clinic in Portland, Ore., and Bryan Hoban, PECAA at the PECAA cocktail party. PECAA was the sponsor of the OPTImum Lounge.

(L to R) Shih Chun Tai, OD, Vision Light Eye Care, Queens, N.Y., PECAA's Lance Anderson, OD, Qiong Chen, Vision Light Eye Care, and Candice Meng, OD, Keith Chang, MD, PLLC at the afternoon cocktail party.

Nico Roseillier (l), STATE and Europa Optical, and Grammy-winning musician Maxwell celebrate their new sun collab at the Soho Morgenthal-Frederics store. Proceeds benefitted The Vision Council’s Opening Your Eyes Scholarship program.

(L to R) Techifeye co-founders Drs. Brianna Rhue and Jenn Tabiza with Kayla Ashlee of Spexy and Erich Mattei of Akrinos at the Techifeye reception Friday evening at the Beer Authority.

(L to R) Attending the Lens, Lab and Lens Processing networking event on April 2 are Kurt Atchison, Schneider, Michael Vitale, The Vision Council and John Corsini, Super Optical/Fastgrind.

Matt Ramlet makes sure it’s all systems go for the equipment at the Ultra Optics.

Younger Optics’ Tom Kanaplue is all prepared to meet with clients.

Attendees were happy to be back at Expo East for the first in-person Show in New York in two years.