BUSINESS: Associations Vision Expo East Opens New Pavilion in Response to Increase in Affiliate Partners By Staff Monday, February 24, 2014 12:27 AM NEW YORK— International Vision Expo will welcome more than 100 affiliate partners and alumni groups to Vision Expo East from March 26 to 30 at the Jacob K. Javits Center here. The expected huge attendance marks a significant increase in the number of professional, alumni, charity and publication affiliate partners who recognize Vision Expos as the eyecare profession's premier destination for networking, continuing education, and information exchange. For the first time at Vision Expo East, a new Education & Partner Pavilion will open for affiliate partners. The pavilion will be located in the Special Events Hall on level one, accessible through the Lenses & Processing Technology Pavilion, and will host up to 25 events over three days. A new member of the Affiliate Partner program is the Think About Your Eyes (TAYE) initiative. TAYE is sponsored by the Partnership for Vision Health, L.L.C., which seeks to educate the public about benefits of vision health and the importance of an annual comprehensive eye exam. "Partnering with the premier industry conference just makes sense as 'Think About Your Eyes' continues to grow, and as more industry partners join our effort," said Ed Greene, CEO of The Vision Council, which supports the initiative. "It provides us critical exposure to the industry and allows us to offer our member eyecare providers valuable show benefits." In addition to Think About Your Eyes, Vision Expo will welcome 10 new affiliate partners this year: The Massachusetts Society of Optometry (MSO); The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA); Commission for Opticianry Accreditation (COA); College of Vision Development (COVD); Society to Advance Opticianry (SAO); NewGradOptometry.com; Coalition for Enhanced Eye Care; EyecarePro; Society of National Associated Pearle Professionals (SNAPP); and New Eyes for the Needy. Through a new partnership with the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) International Vision Expo will also allow colleges to offer free registration and 10 percent discounts on continuing education sessions to alumni. In addition, alumni groups hosting receptions at the show will have costs offset by Vision Expo. According to Jennifer Smythe, OD, president of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO), the organization and International Vision Expo has built a strong collaborative partnership over the past two years. "International Vision Expo has gone above-and-beyond in demonstrating their support of the schools and colleges by reaching out to optometric students, faculty and alumni," said Smythe. "In doing so, it has developed effective programs to support student and faculty participation at Vision Expo East and Vision Expo West. ASCO has been impressed by Vision Expo's commitment to optometric education and we look forward to working with them for many years to come. " Opticianry and optometry alumni attending the conference are encouraged to connect with each other through the Vision Mobile App and on the website under specialty groups. For a complete listing of Vision Expo affiliate partners, visit www.visionexpoeast.com.