The show will go on for Vision Expo 2021, albeit in a new time and place. The trade show’s organizers, The Vision Council and Reed Exhibitions, revealed today that VEE will take place from June 2 to 5 in Orlando, Fla., at the Orange County Convention Center.
VEE was originally planned for May 25 to 28 at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Center, but that hall has been transformed into a New York State COVID-19 mass vaccination site. Vision Expo organizers also said current restrictions on large gatherings in New York led them to move the show elsewhere. Florida has imposed fewer COVID-19 restrictions throughout the pandemic.
Organizers say masks and social distancing will be mandatory at VEE, but as trade showgoers well know, clogged convention halls and meeting rooms may make this difficult. The Orange County Convention Center has partnered with Orlando health officials and the Visit Orlando organization to offer showgoers a personalized approach to what VEE calls, “medical planning and support.”
The 2020 Vision Expo East show was canceled, as it coincided with the pandemic’s onslaught.
“It is our mission and responsibility to the vision care community to provide a platform to effectively show products and conduct business,” said Mitch Barkley, The Vision Council’s vice president of trade shows and meetings. “With strict limitations on large gatherings still in place in New York, we wanted to find a suitable location that would allow us to provide the exceptional Vision Expo experience that the community needs and deserves. Given its track record of successfully hosting more than 50 in-person events between March 2020 and December 2020, we are confident the right decision is to move the show to the Orange County Convention Center as the new 2021 host site in order to give our customers every opportunity to network and share their new products.”
“The decision to adjust the show dates and location is a positive solution in the midst of a challenging time for everyone,” added Fran Pennella, event vice president of Vision Expo at Reed Exhibitions. “As we continue our planning efforts, the health, wellbeing and safety of everyone in attendance at the show continues to be our top priority.”
Barkley invited other vision industry players to plan their own events in tandem with VEE: “In the spirit of coming together as an industry to emerge from the challenges of the pandemic stronger than ever, The Vision Council and Reed Exhibitions invite other industry organizations in the midst of planning events to consider joining us in Orlando in June. We are committed to getting back to business and growing our industry, and we are stronger together.”