Social Media Gains Bigger Role at International Vision Expo West 2012

The Optical Journal - Optical News With Independent Views

Norwalk, CT (August, 2012) – International Vision Expo West has tapped a number of industry experts, on and off the show floor, to help eye care professionals harness the power of the internet at this year’s event. Held September 5-8, 2012 (Education: September 5-8, Exhibition: September 6-8) at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, the show has dedicated 12 hours of its conference program to courses tackling social media and internet marketing, and scheduled meet ups for online forum groups to connect.

The Conference Advisory Board has added a hands-on workshop, interactive teaching and live online reviews of existing websites and Facebook pages to help guide eye care professionals through the process of developing, setting up and using social media along with other web tools.

On Wednesday, September 5, beginning at 7:30a.m., Eyefinity will host “FOCUS 2012: Embracing the ‘i’ Craze” in the Eyemax Theatre, Room 503. The four-and-a-half hour session will explore how today’s optometric practice is being transformed by new mobile technology, while providing insight into how to leverage this mobile revolution. Daniel Kraft, MD, a Harvard- and Stanford-trained physician-scientist, will provide the keynote address, “The Future of Health: Where Can Technology Take Us?” and a panel discussion will focus on the growth of mobile technology throughout the optometric industry.

Outside of the classroom, attendees are invited to a party at LAVO on Friday, September 7, from 6:00-7:00p.m. Sponsored by Europa International and Cinzia Designs, Vision Expo has teamed up with Alan Glazier, OD, founder of ODs on Facebook, to host a happy hour event for eye care professionals to grab a drink and connect. Join the ODs on Facebook group at

“After teaching, blogging and lecturing on using social media for business for several years now, ODs on Facebook became a place to practice what I preached,” said Glazier. “Now the most popular, not to mention most active modern social media thread in our industry, I’m proud to partner with forward thinking organizations like Vision Expo and Europa International to raise awareness of this awesome resource.”

Like-minded professionals from optical forum groups such as Single Vision Express, California Optical Professionals and Northwest Optical Professionals have also planned a Funky Glitter, Hat and Shoe Party at Margaritaville on Thursday, September 6, from 7:00-10:30p.m. The Best Dressed will receive “Buy One, Get One Free, Margarita Coupons.”

Show management has been actively engaged in social media leading up to Vision Expo West, utilizing Facebook (, Twitter (, LinkedIn and YouTube ( to post videos, answer questions, and promote hundreds of show specials, contests and parties. In addition, Vision Expo continues to share information from the entire ophthalmic community on topics such as fall trends, product and technology advancements in the industry and business-building tips.

Onsite, Vision Expo West will post photos to its Facebook page and will be actively tweeting exhibitor specials (twitter handle #visionexpo) and news directly from the show floor. Show management will also be filming videos on a daily basis for its official YouTube Channel, which will feature perspectives from guests, special events, celebrity appearances and new products and technologies as they are unveiled in the exhibit hall.

Over the last few years, Vision Expo has stepped up its social media presence in an effort to keep attendees up-to-date on the latest show and industry news. With more than 59,000 fans, followers, connections and video subscribers, the show has brought the global eye care community together online.

“Social media continues to be one of our key communication channels; allowing us to stay connected with the vision community year-round,” said Tom Loughran, vice president for Reed Exhibitions. “Neilson’s 2012 Social Media Report disclosed that social networks and blogs reach nearly four out of five active U.S. Internet users—that’s almost 80 percent! With numbers like that we know it’s becoming increasingly important for us to stay engaged.”

For more information or to register for International Vision Expo West, please visit



International Vision Expos, the worldwide conference and exhibition for eye care and eyewear,
are trade-only events which draw more than 30,000 eye care professionals each year. Co-owned by Reed Exhibitions and The Vision Council, International Vision Expo gives back to the entire ophthalmic community.  Proceeds from International Vision Expo are used by The Vision Council to educate consumers about the importance of vision care and the options in eyewear and other related products. In 2011, The Vision Council reached millions of consumers with its messages through marketing materials, public relations outreach and strategic partnerships.