Give me a quick rundown on Vision Expo.
You’re likely already familiar with it, but …
VEE and Vision Expo West (VEW) are trade conferences and exhibitions combined with medical education (COPE CE and ABO/NCLE) hosted each year by The Vision Council and RX for ophthalmic professionals.
Each conference intertwines eyecare with education, fashion, and technological innovations, featuring an Exhibit Hall show floor to showcase industry leaders and encourage growth—all with the ultimate goal of enhancing overall patient care.
Now Vision Expo East.
For the last 38 years, Vision Expo East has been held in New York City, New York, at the Jacob K. Javitz Convention Center in the first half of each year, typically between February and March.
To note, VEW is held toward the end of September at The Venetian Convention Center & Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Gotcha. So where is VEE headed?
Orlando, Florida, at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), beginning in 2025.
February 19-22, 2025, to be exact. Note the Thursday-Saturday dates, which will reportedly be a pattern for the next few years.
Also! These dates are confirmed to not conflict with any other industry-related show (click here and scroll down).
According to The Vision Council, the move is the result of, “extensive consideration and feedback from various stakeholder groups,” like The Vision Council Board of Directors and Vision Expo Show Planning Committee.
“The industry has changed dramatically over the past few years, and these changes reflect a commitment to support the evolving business landscape and customer interests,” The Vision Council stated in an FAQ.
Ok, but really—why Florida?
First thing to know is this: Florida is the third-highest state for eyecare professionals (ECPs) in the country:
- Florida optometrists: 2,000
- Florida opticians: 3,910
- Total: 5,910
- New York optometrists: 2,170
- New York Opticians: 3,590
- Total: 5,760
Second, The Vision Council describes Orlando as, “well-equipped to facilitate Vision Expo’s unique trade show logistics, ensuring a seamless transition for exhibitors and show attendees.”
The council added that all components of the conference—show and special event venues, hotels, meeting spaces—will also be within walking distance, supporting a more connected and “community-like experience.”
Real question: how close is the venue to the airport?
The Orlando International Airport (MCO) clocks in at about 13 miles (according to Google Maps, that is).
What do the hosts have to say?
Mitch Barkley, vice president, Trade Shows, The Vision Council, stated that the opportunity to make a venue change is in alignment with the future of the industry.“We strongly believe that hosting (VEE) in Orlando will attract our existing loyal audience as well as expand audiences from the robust Southeast and international markets, re-engage legacy partners, and ultimately support growth for everyone involved," he stated.
Gotcha. So what can we expect from the 2024 VEE?
The final New York show will kick off March 14-17, 2023 with 460+ domestic and international exhibitors plus a few highlights:
The debut of EYEnovate, a new content series on “emerging leaders and their technologies,” as well as a new fashion show series titled, “Flaunt the Frame.”
Where can I go to register?