From the exhibit halls to the conference sessions, International Vision Expo East attendees and exhibitors both expressed an upbeat mood and positive perceptions about the industry’s forecast during the 2010 show that was held in New York City from March 18-21.

Vision Expo East had another reason to celebrate, as initial estimates reported attendance was up by 4% compared to 2009. A final, complete, third-party audit on the show and attendance figures will be available sometime in May.

“This year’s show was truly a memorable one,” said Tom Loughran, vice president of Reed Exhibitions. “Our on-site feedback and attendance figures verified that International Vision Expo East is the optical event for the Americas. Being in the heart of New York City makes it easy for guests to get around and to take advantage of all the city has to offer.”

Additionally, this year’s CE offerings focused on a return to prosperity and a quest for new technology through two free keynote sessions on health care reform legislation and vision care, in addition to valuable education on practice management strategies.

Attendees and exhibitors alike also noticed several organizational and technical enhancements this year that helped them make the most of their conference-exhibit experience. In addition to an array of new programs and features to help address the current issues facing practices and eye care professionals this year, features like the “Map Your Show” locator system, as well as ample opportunities to connect, both on the Web and in person, influenced many ECPs and buyers to register for this year’s show.

Thomas M. Barreto, O.D., of Eyes on Broadway in Portland, Ore., noted, “We have done well during this downturn in the economy by having a good range of frames in various price points. At the show, we’ve been buying frames to fill holes in our inventory such as men’s sunglasses, men’s small frames and women’s higher-end frames,” he said.

Dick Russo, executive vice president, Safilo USA said, “In general, the mood of Expo East attendees was very positive, and I think the great weather brought a lot of people into the city to attend the show. We had the best first day of Expo I can remember in terms of the number of people in our booth and the buying activity. I think in general, retailers and ECPs are feeling upbeat about their businesses—everybody seems to have a good attitude.”

Next year, International Vision Expo East will be held March 17-20, 2011, and the exhibition will be held March 18-20, 2011, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Review thanks the staff of VisionMonday for their contributions to this article.