Something for everyone at Vison Expo West 2011

September 1, 2011

VEW offers leading-edge advances that can help maximize patient care and practice profitability.

More than 13,000 eye-care professionals (ECPs) and students from around the world are expected to converge on the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas, Sept. 21-25, for International Vision Expo West (VEW) where they'll find access to an expanded continuing education (CE) curriculum and the latest in optical, fashion, technology, and equipment. New initiatives, programming, and discounts will help everyone from international visitors to students get the most from the event.

As interest in VEW spreads, so does the show floor, which is expected to expand to 168,000 sq. ft. from 156,000 sq. ft. in 2010. Attendees will find more than 450 exhibitors in multiple pavilions, the Galleria, and the Suites, as well as more than 388 hours of CE for every area of interest.

"Today's [ECP] demands educational tools and customized business solutions for a healthy practice and healthy patients," said Tom Loughran, vice president, Reed Exhibitions. To make it easier for attendees to customize their education strategies, the CE curriculum has been divided into four overarching topic areas:

The level of international involvement continues to rise, according to conference organizers. In 2010, 13% of attendees came from countries outside of the United States, representing 64 countries.

"This year we've noted increased participation from Korea and new government support from Taiwan and China-particularly from the Taiwan Spectacles Industry Association and the China Optometric and Optical Association-which will help Vision Expo add more international exhibitors and grow global attendance at the show," said David Tobin, director of international sales, Reed Exhibitions, in a recent press release.

The student program also has been steadily growing, Loughran noted. Optometry students will receive free exhibit hall registration as well as access to sit in on any CE courses free of charge. On Saturday, Sept. 24, the Medical and Scientific Theater in the exhibit hall will present a full day of optometry student-specific education courses that tackle real-world topics including developing a business plan; the past, present, and future of eye care; and fiscal responsibility. A total of 283 student-friendly exhibitors also have been identified for this year's show, which will offer optometry students access to information that they don't get in the classroom.

Complimentary events have been designed to help students make valuable connections with colleagues across the country. Along with daily luncheons and networking activities in the exhibit hall, students are invited to mix and mingle with peers during an exclusive Friday night party at Indigo Lounge at Bally's Resort and Casino before heading out on the town.

"We pride ourselves on being able to offer something for everyone, from the latest in fashion and trends to stellar education taught by the leading authorities," Loughran said. "Without a doubt, Vision Expo is the place to network, learn, and compare new technologies and concepts that you can immediately implement into your practice."