A Newcomer’s View of Vision Expo West 2016

I’m a former stuffy corporate lawyer who thinks the way to fit in with the Vision Expo West 2016 crowd is to offer cheesy eyecare metaphors. My first insight into the wide view of eyecare came into focus at Vision Expo East in NYC this past April. And wow, what a sight .

Being a native New Yorker and thus naturally talkative and fashionable, it did not take long to realize that Vision Expo is a mecca for showcasing the newest eyewear trends and meeting old and new eyecare friends.

Lights, cameras, stylish frames, and action… the three-day conference went quicker than a New York minute.

What can I expect at this year’s, 2016 Vision Expo West? Well, besides high fashion, high energy, high profile eyecare professionals, and little to no sleep, the following should keep me busy:

Meeting that Special Someone

I know what you’re thinking – and no, I’m not talking about the drive-thru chapels in Vegas.

  • I’m talking about CovalentCareers.com, one of the coolest new technologies that Vision Expo is supporting. With the Vision Expo partnership, attendees who are hiring staff or optometrists will be able to click one button and see who’s who currently at Vision Expo West and searching for a job.
  • For job seekers who are looking for a job, you will be able to click one button and see employers who are currently at Vision Expo West. All of this is possible right from your smartphone and can help to create some new employment opportunities!


Employers and job seekers alike are excited to meet informally and greet each other with convenience at the conference. Are you looking for a job? Gainfully employed but amenable to employment courtship? If yes, then this is for you.


Attend for Vision Expo West (for free) Now

Young Professionals Club (YPC)

The Young Professionals Club is the must-join, FREE group of new graduates and young professionals in eye care. The group is a must for optometrist, who have graduated within the last five years. Also the group is open to opticians, dispensers, and office managers who work in a practice under 35 years old. Lastly, if you are an industry professional under 35 years old, you are invited to join the group.

Here are the YPC Benefits:

  • FREE Exhibit Hall Entry to International Vision Expo East and West, a $300 value
  • Six FREE hours of Education at International Vision Expo East and West, a $594 value
  • Exclusive member events at Vision Expo East and West and around the country
  • Young Professionals Club member discount for Think About Your Eyes Doctor Locator listing.
  • Resource lists including over buying groups, consultants, blogs and more
  • Discounts with Think About Your Eyes
  • Partnership with First Financial Group – Guardian to help you realize your vision and objectives to successfully grow and maintain your business; and protect you and your family’s current lifestyle, wealth and financial security.
  • Eyecessorize Spring and Fall fashion kits sharing the latest in eyewear trends, advances in technology and advice from eyewear experts.
  • Subscriptions to Allergan OPTOMETRY JUMPSTART®, New Dispenser, NewGradOptometry.com, New OD magazine, and Vision Voice
  • Social networking

vision expo west

For new graduate optometrists, you can’t underestimate the savings of joining the Young Professionals Club. Let’s do some quick math.

  • 1 hour of CE = ~ $44.00 (this # is derived by considering average industry prices and AOA member and non-member costs)
  • 50 hours of CE required per 2 years = $2,200
  • 6 hours of free CE at Vision Expo East Value= $273
  • 6 hours of free CE at Vision Expo West Value= $273
  • Total Value of CE Thanks to Young Professionals Club Per Year = $546
  • Total Value of CE Thanks to Young Professions Club over five years = $2,730
  • % of Money Saved by Joining Young Professionals Club = 47%
So there you go. You save $2,730 over five years, which is a 47% discount for continuing education. Thanks, I am going to take that money and put it towards my 6.8% interest loan and save another $1,000 in interest over five years. So that’s a total saving of $3,630 thanks to Vision Expo.

What a great way to meet like-minded colleagues and have some fun doing it.


  • Friday, September 16, from 12pm-1pm at Vision Expo West Grand Lux Cafe at the Palazzo Hotel


  • Stay tuned for time and location, Expo is working with cool properties, hotels and venus to find the best place.
  • New this year, there will be a special YPC area within the ODs on Facebook party at new, bigger section of TAO on Friday, Sept 16th from 6-8pm

Stay tuned for information on new features like morning coffee and afternoon happy hour pop-up talks focused on topics that keep young professionals up at night for free on the show floor.


  • Academy 2016
  • Anaheim – Time, date, location TBD

“For me, Vision Expo is very different than what it is for other people especially with the Young Professionals Club. Vision Expo keeps me busy networking, in business meetings and is a place to really tap into the amazing network of people that come to connect and build relationships with new graduates. In summary, Vision Expo for me is the ultimate destination to advance myself in the world of eyecare. It’s a great place to not only get meetings or to get business done but to really create personal relationships that last a lifetime.” – Matt Geller, Optometrist, Lakeside Eyecare, ‎Co-founder & CEO CovalentCareers.com – ‎NewGradMedia, LLC and founder of OptometryStudents.com

Attend for Vision Expo West (for free) Now

Other Awesome Events at Vision Expo West 2016

Other than YPC, the following events are sure to be fun and functional:

Thursday, September 15

  • The Suites’ Buyer Bellini Toast
  • 3pm-5pm at The Venetian Hotel, Levels 35 & 36, The Suites


  • Breton’s Canadian Party
  • 5pm-7pm at The Venetian Hotel, Level 1


  • Vision Expo Opening Night
  • 9pm-12am at the Hard Rock Cafe

Friday, September 16

  • The Suites’ Buyer Bellini Toast
  • 3pm-5pm at The Venetian Hotel, Levels 35 & 36, The Suites


  • ODs on Facebook Party
  • 6pm-8pm at The Venetian Hotel, TAO Nightclub


  • The VSParty at Vision Expo West sponsored by: Marchon, VSP Optics Group, Eyefinity at Altair
  • Paris Hotel Pool on Fri from 9 pm  – 1am

Education at Vision Expo West 2016

You’ll want to attend the education courses, recommended by fellow new graduate optometrists, to learn from the experts while you’re at Expo (oh, and you can knock off some CE hours while you’re at it)!

Check out what’s scheduled this year and plan your day accordingly using this interactive floor plan of VEW 2016

Here is some of the top education you will want to catch

  • Anterior Segment (24 Hours)
  • Glaucoma (19 Hours)
  • Hands on Workshops (9 Hours)
  • Pharmacology (9 Hours)
  • Pediatrics, Systemic Disease and Neuro (14 Hours)
  • Scleral Lens Track (5 Hours) NEW
  • Contact Lens (16 Hours)
  • Surgery (10 Hours)
  • New Technology (6 Hours)
  • General Optometry (8 Hours)
  • CAB Chairman Top Picks (19 Hours) NEW
  • Global Contact Lens Forum (4 Hours) FREE
  • Ocular Surface Disease & Wellness Symposium (3 Hours) FREE

Free Lunch at Vision Expo West 2016

Talking about free – you shouldn’t have to lose your shirt while in Las Vegas for Expo. Visit the NewGradOptometry.com lounge at any time to collect a free lunch ticket.

Location and Travel at Vision Expo West 2016

And last, Vision Expo has worked out discounts on hotel and travel accommodations while you’re in town. Be sure to take advantage of them so you have a little extra coin to have fun at night with friends, old and new!

Best Restaurants to Try at Vision Expo West 2016

Being at Vision Expo isn’t all continuing education, networking, and seeing the latest and greatest. Let’s face it, Vegas is a truly amazing place, especially when the conversation is around the culinary arts. Here are some of the top restaurants that you should consider trying out while you’re in Vegas. Might just catch me and the NewGradOptometry team there!

Here are some of the top restaurants, recommended by Vision Expo West, that you should consider trying out while you’re in Vegas. Might just catch me and the NewGradOptometry team there!

Here are other top restaurants in the area

Beauty & Essex – A sophisticated, jewel-toned spot with vintage decor offering New American plates, drinks & wine.

3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 737-0707

SW Steakhouse – Elegant Wynn steakhouse offering entrees for both carnivores & vegans, plus open view of water show.

3131 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 770-3325

Andrea’s – Hotel eatery serving Pan-Asian cuisine & drinks in a slick, luxurious space with modern fixtures.

3131 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 770-5340

I look forward to seeing you at the NewGradOptometry.com / CovalentCareers.com lounge during the day or at the ODs on Facebook party at night! Viva Las Vegas!

Attend for Vision Expo West (for free) Now

About Matt Geller

Matthew Geller
Dr. Matt Geller is a technology entrepreneur with a track record of developing successful online platforms to solve problems in the healthcare space. Matt is an optometrist in San Diego and is the founder of OptometryStudents.com, NewGradOptometry.com and the co-founder of CovalentCareers.com!

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