We will always need trade shows so we can meet face-to-face in order to conduct business, socialize, network and learn. A few years back, one of the established electronic marketing firms in optical launched a virtual trade show, where seminars were presented online and exhibitors and attendees had the opportunity to interact in real time.

After a couple years trying this, the virtual trade show didn’t gain any traction and quietly faded away. Because even in this era of predominantly electronic communication (such as in the article about sms on page 86), there’s need for a specific time that the entire optical industry sets aside for in-person interaction.

The success of the Vision Expos East and West reflects this. Twice a year, every year, the industry’s participants are busy preparing for, participating in and following up on these two annual events. This year is no different as we gather to discuss where we are and where we are headed with our businesses.

Of course, Vision Expo facilitates this by providing the educational sessions and exhibit floor that comprise the event’s foundation then builds upon that with new initiatives each year. This year, of particular note are some new electronic tools to assist attendees with their educational plans. These include the new Interactive Education Brochure to help attendees find the classes that matter most to them by searching keywords, creating bookmarks and reading course descriptions, all in one location.

Available along with the Education Brochure is the newly launched Education Concierge to help attendees select the best education options based on individual needs, navigate the registration process and efficiently schedule for the show. To further coordinate their learning opportunities at the show, attendees can also access the new Education Highlights section of to customize the continuing education information they receive from show organizers.

Also new this year,  VEW will host three days of digital marketing discussions in the new Google Partners Lounge led by a Google campaign strategist.

For further show planning, in this special Vision Expo West 2017 issue of VCPN you’ll find Expo Buzz detailing many of the specials, promotions and company events planned at the various exhibitors’ booths throughout the show.

So here we are, another September and another Vision Expo West, with these new tools at your fingertips to make it your most effective and efficient show yet.

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