ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Vision Expo is launching the Virtual EYE2EYE Series, a series of virtual panels and interactive conversations inspired by Vision Expo’s EYE2EYE educational series. Launching on Wednesday, April 15, the Virtual EYE2EYE Series will take place on a weekly basis with a new topic every Wednesday and Friday. The series will feature several panels originally scheduled for Vision Expo East 2020 presented in adapted formats, as well as new, timely conversations addressing current challenges in the vision community related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During this unsettling and very disruptive time for the industry, we recognize that it is more important than ever to stay connected, to support one another, and to learn from each other.” said Fran Pennella, Vision Expo event vice president for Reed Exhibitions. “We hope that this series will serve as both an inspiring outlet that encourages creative dialogue, as well as a useful tool for members of the industry to share advice and information as we continue to adapt to an unprecedented reality that is evolving on a daily basis.”
EYE2EYE’s Coffee Talk series will take place on Wednesdays at 12:15 p.m. ET. Moderated by a different industry expert every week, the series will provide guidance and actionable business strategies to help eyecare providers protect their businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as practical insight for keeping businesses afloat while the pandemic is still developing. Topics include how to determine profitable projects that employees can work on from home to improve retail operations; engaging with employees during closure; and implementing e-commerce businesses.
On Friday, April 15 at 4:15 p.m. ET, EYE2EYE will host Happy Hour, featuring up-and-coming as well as established creatives talking about what inspires them and providing advice on how to stay creatively engaged. The Happy Hour sessions will present several highly anticipated panels originally scheduled for Vision Expo East 2020, including The Art of the Collab, featuring some of the most prolific collaborators in the eyewear industry and Independence @ The Creative Edge, spotlighting retailers and vendors known for their keen sense of daring. The Happy Hour series also will present entirely new panels, like the Definition of Avant-Garde
Happy Hour will also feature an adapted version of the Next Generation of Retail Speed Dating—one of the panels originally planned for Vision Expo East 2020—during which new and potential business owners will have the opportunity to learn from the industry’s most successful independent retailers. The adapted format will present one mentor per session for a Q&A session with audience members selected through an online application.
The Virtual EYE2EYE Series schedule is highlighted below:
Coffee Talk – Wednesdays at 12:15 p.m. ET
April 15: Keeping Your Business Going Through COVID-19
- Moderated by Trudi Charest, co-founder at Marketing4ECPs, this will be a discussion with industry leaders about different business strategies implemented as a result of the pandemic, including launching an e-commerce business; implementing telemedicine; engaging with employees during closure; and using social media to connect with customers.
- Panelists include: Gary Black, founder and president of Black Optical; Jennifer Tsai, OD, and owner of Line of Sight Vision; and Mei Flemming, OD, and owner of Luminance Vision.
April 22: What’s After COVID-19
Moderated by Mick Kling, OD, and owner of Invision Optometry, this panel will address 3 main areas of concern:
- Operational Recovery – How to bring operations back online: patients, scheduling, staffing, products, flow, etc.
- Financial Recovery – How to best manage cash flow, PPP funds, vendor accounts, and more.
- Mental/Emotional Recovery – What kind of impact might this have on a personal and professional level.
April 29: Telemedicine
- Presented by the American Telemedicine Association, this discussion will focus on implementing a successful telemedicine plan.
May 6: Secure the Bag
- Sales representatives will discuss how they are servicing and supporting their accounts during the pandemic as well as the creative ways they are generating business for themselves.
May 13: Preparing for Emergencies
- The panel will feature businesses that had set-up emergency preparation plans before the pandemic. Topics include how to manage insurance, maintaining payroll, setting up reserve funds and more.
May 20: Changes in the Office Environment Post-COVID-19
- Moderated by Justin Bazan, OD, and owner of Park Slope Eye, this panel will feature three business owners discussing the changes they will implement in their professional environments to make their patients and customers feel more comfortable including new tactics on cleanliness, social distancing, and patient and customer education.
Happy Hour – Fridays at 4:15 p.m. ET
April 17: The Definition of Avant-Garde
- Moderated by Tarrence Lackran (@theopticalpoet), director of partnerships and programming at The Vision Council, this panel will be speaking with two eyewear designers who continue to push creative boundaries. This conversation will explore the meaning of avant garde and what it means to be visionary.
April 24: The Art of the Collab
- Moderated by Tarrence Lackran (@theopticalpoet), director of partnerships and programming at The Vision Council, this panel brings together some of the most prolific collaborators in the eyewear industry for an illuminating conversation.
May 8: Independence @ The Creative Edge
- James Spina, editor-in-chief of 20/20 Magazine, along with a panel of retailers and vendors known for their keen sense of daring to break from tradition will explore the way they Do It Independently.
May 1: The Next Generation of Retailer Speed Dating – Session 1
- Moderated by Wendy Salle, experienced independent retailers will serve as mentors to new or future independent retail owners. Interested mentees should apply here.
May 15: The Next Generation of Retailer Speed Dating – Session 2
- Moderated by Todd Rogers, experienced independent retailers will serve as mentors to new or future independent retail owners. Interested mentees should apply here.
May 22: The Next Generation of Retailer Speed Dating – Session 3
To register to attend the Virtual EYE2EYE Series, visit west.visionexpo.com/virtual-eye-2-eye.
- Moderated by Gary Black, experienced independent retailers will serve as mentors to new or future independent retail owners. Interested mentees should apply here.
To pre-register for Vision Expo West, taking place Sept. 23-26 in Las Vegas, visit visionexpowest.com.