In 3 weeks, Vision Expo East kicks off in Orlando, Florida. This will be the first Vision Expo meeting since Vision Expo West in September 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Both Vision Expo East and Vision Expo West were cancelled in 2020.
Vision Expo East 2021 will take place at the Orlando County Convention Center June 2-5.
According to Ashely Mills, CEO of The Vision Council, interest in the meeting is high with more than 5000 attendees expected and more than 200 exhibitors confirmed.
“We are on track to have 5,000 attendees at the show,” she says. “We see pickup every day, and we are thrilled. We are still seeing momentum 3 weeks before the show. We think attendees are very deliberate about their intentions to come to what might be their first meeting since last spring.”
Nearly 60% of registered individuals are new to Vision Expo since the last show in New York City in 2019, according to The Vision Council. Many are from Florida who may not have attended a previous Vision Expo.
Says Fran Pennella, vice president of Vision Expo at Reed Exhibitions: “I think it’s because it addresses a need in Florida. And there are new attending companies who haven’t been to a Vision Expo before.”
New this year is a redesigned show floor with neighborhoods. These include:
• The Focus is the new home for lens and medical technology.
• The Park is the exhibit hall’s anchor pavilion.
• The Seen is located in The Park and houses the Innovation Stage. Eye2Eye Series panels and the Career Zone will take place here.
• The River highlights collections that shape the future of eyewear.
• The Springs features emerging talent in eyewear design.
• The Union showcases the newest in independent design.
“Vision Expo East 2021 will be a safe event for those who choose to attend,” says Mills.
The meeting will feature:
• Health and safety protocols
• Mandatory face coverings
• Social distancing
• Increased sanitation
• Temperature checks
• Safety concierges on the floor
“All masks will be required,” says Penella. “We have safety stewards who will approach anyone who is violating to wear them. We anticipate there may be instances where some people have health issues who can’t wear masks, and we are trying to navigate how to handle those. Perhaps a wrist band or something on their badge to indicate they can’t wear masks. Masks will be provided if people don’t have them.”
Food and drink will be permitted in the café that features socially distant tables with a maximum of 3 people per table. Select lounges will offer coffee service, and exhibitors will not be able to have food at their booths, says Penella.
At the meeting, 122 sessions and 168 hours of continuing education will be offered. Some of those sessions will be virtual, with more details to come.
Vision Expo East 2021 launches ShopVision in Orlando. ShopVision is a B2B global 360 marketplace platform which has been in the works for 9 months.
Also new for this year is VisionExpo+, a 3-day virtual extension of Vision Expo East Orlando. VisionExpo+ is available June 3-5
Says Penella: “People will be able to visit online showrooms, take part in education with live simulcast events, and check out the ShopVision Lounge for attendees and exhibitors to learn about and demo ShopVision.”
Other events taking place at Vision Expo East 2021 include:
• Prevent Blindness Swing for Sight golf tournament
• Professional Opticians of Florida
• National Optometric Association hybrid and in-person regional meetings
Also, Mills confirmed that Vision Expo West will take place in Las Vegas September 22-25, 2021.