Once you have decided to attend Vision Expo East in New York City, and have registered and arranged travel and housing accommodations, it is now time to plan for the actual event itself.
A large part of your planning is going to depend on what you hope to achieve at Vision Expo.
I personally attend Vision Expo for three main reasons:
- Continuing Education
- Immersing myself with new and established industry players
Possibly one of the most important things you can do at Vision Expo, if not any major conference. Optometry is a very small profession and a tight community. You never know who you are going to meet at these events, and that person may open up career changing doors, or provide you with a life changing perspective.
One of the best ways to network is to get involved.
Not sure where to start?
The Young Professionals Club is the perfect way to get started as a recent graduate. Register here. It’s 100% FREE!
When I first graduated I did not know very many people, and thought I would be isolated as a new optometrist. Joining the Young Professionals Club (YPC), not only connects recent grads with eachother, but with other major optometric icons and companies.
This year’s YPC Events include:
- YPC Lunch | April 15, 2016 from 12:00pm – 1:00pm
- YPC Evening Party | April 16, 2016 from 7:00pm – 9:00pm at Sky Room NYC, Fairfield Inn, 330 W 40th St between 8th & 9th Ave
These events are not only a ton of fun, but a great way to meet your colleagues and form new connections!
Outside of the YPC events, there are many other receptions, parties, and events for attendees to network and have fun at. Here are some that you should consider attending:
Friday April 15th:
- ODs on Facebook Party at B.B King Blues Club & Grill from 8:00pm to 9:00pm
- Bad Habits “Eye Docs of Rock” Party & Vision Expo Opening Night Party (Must pick up tickets onsite at sponsoring booths)at B.B King Blues Club & Grill from 9:00pm to 12:00am
Saturday April 16th:
- Alumni Receptions
- Eye Rock at Hard Rock Cafe, Times Square from 9:00pm to 1:00am
These are great ways to meet and get to know your colleagues in a fun relaxing environment.
If you really want to take things to the next level, be sure to stop by the NewGradOptometry booth and join us as we interview and talk to some of the most influential and brilliant minds in our profession!
Maybe we can even get you on camera if you want to say a few words!
There is nothing I could possibly write that could capture the magnitude and abundance of quality continuing education topics and speakers at Vision Expo East. All of the best speakers in our profession are lecturing at Vision Expo East.
As a member of the Young Professionals Club, you can obtain up to 6 FREE continuing education credits!
Vision Expo is always the place I can acquire enough CE to meet glaucoma certification requirements. I highly recommend you check out the official education program, but here are some of the highlights!
As you’ll quickly realize, classes are offered at all times and all days throughout the conference catering to anyone’s busy schedule. You’ll find me in the glaucoma courses! Come say hello!
As a member of the Young Professionals Club, attendees are not only given access to free CE, they are also admitted to the exhibit hall for free.
The exhibit hall is so large and encompassing, it is almost intimidating!
All of the major ophthalmic companies have a presence at Vision Expo East, and so do new and upcoming companies.
Visiting vendors in the exhibit hall is not only a great way to learn about the companies we utilize on a daily basis, but make new and impressionable connections with our industry partners.
I highly recommend you keep a copy of the Floor Plan accessible or have easy access to it from the mobile app on your phone. You can even build your personalized floor plan route and start connecting with industry representatives now!
All new optometric start-up companies attend Vision Expo East as well. What better way to stay up-to-date with the latest technology and advancements in our profession than talk to, meet, and demo the products these companies are producing?
Technology is changing the way we practice, it is essential for you to keep up!
The exhibit hall is also a great way to immerse yourself in the latest and greatest of eyewear!
From mainstream brands to niche designers, there is always plenty to see and choose from if you’re considering upgrading the eyewear your practice provides!
The truth is, there is too much to do and see in New York City, it is impossible to do it all in a few days. I lived in New York City for four years, and failed to see and do everything the city has to offer.
You can look at countless guides for recommendations, but I’ll share with you my Top 5 things to see and do, and Top 5 places to eat (which is going to be wildly bias towards Asian cuisine.)
5 Things to Do:
1) Top of The Rock
Most people think that going to the top of the Empire State Building is the best way to get candid shots of the New York City Skyline.
Not only is it more expensive and a much bigger hassle and wait to go to the top of the Empire State Building, the view is not as good! Top of the Rock will allow you to get fantastic views of the NYC skyline WITH the Empire State Building in view!
2) The High Line
Take a leisurely stroll down the High Line to the Chelsea Markets and enjoy the lush green gardens. You’ll appreciate all the street art along the way!
3) The Lion King on Broadway
The most amazing show I’ve ever seen on Broadway.
Your mind will be blown.
You hear a lot about Wicked. Don’t waste your time. I had front row center seats for Wicked and was completely underwhelmed. I had almost back row nosebleed seats for the Lion King and was absolutely mesmerized.
If you are thinking of a Broadway show, look no further than the Lion King.
4) Times Square at Night
I personally hated going anywhere near Times Square, but if it’s your first time to NYC, you have to take a stroll by during the night. Check out the M&M factory, you won’t be disappointed!
5) Financial District
The hidden gem of NYC. There is a lot to do in the financial district. Take a stroll down Wall Street, visit the iconic Charging Bull, take a walk to Battery Park and see our Lady of Liberty in the backdrop, and stop by the 911 Memorial. All within walking distance of eachother. Its a great way to see some of the best NYC has to offer.
5 Places to Eat:
1) Peter Lugers
This is a place for steak lovers. It can be accessed by the NYC Metro, but for first timers to NYC, it might be better to take a cab. If you don’t fancy a trip to Brooklyn, I highly recommend Keens.
2) Get A Bowl Of Ramen
No, not the dry packets that every college kid lives off of, I mean a real bowl of ramen. It is difficult to recommend one place, but I can tell you no matter which of these places you go, you’ll probably end up waiting in a line for a while.
You can’t go wrong with any of my top 3 choices:
- Totto Ramen
- Hide Chan Ramen
Be sure to get an order of pork buns as well!
3) Luke’s Lobster
It is a fantastic spot for lunch. Do yourself a favor and get the lobster roll. You will thank me later. It is a small place, and common to have to wait in line, so be prepared for that.
4) Joe’s Shanghai
You have lots of food options here, but you must order some soup dumplings. If you’ve never had them before, brace yourself. Every next trip to NYC you take will involve a stop to one of their locations. I suggest visiting their location on W. 56th Street as opposed to their other two locations in NYC.
5) Get A Bowl Of Pho
Just like ramen, it is a noodle soup, but belongs to the Vietnamese. There are many places to get a bowl of Pho in NYC, and most of them are fantastic; however, I highly recommend stopping at Sao Mai. Simply put, I’ve eaten many bowls of Pho in my time in New York, and this place is second to none.
There are many menu options and choices, but Pho Thai is all you need. (Off the top of my head I think its #27)
Have any questions about what to do at Vision Expo, or what to see and eat in NYC? Comment below and I’ll be happy to answer any questions!