Plan your purchasing success

February 15, 2011

International Vision Expo East, March 16 to 20 in New York City, will showcase exhibitors from around the world and provide the opportunity to touch, learn about, and experience firsthand the many products and services available to the optical community.

With more than 500 vendors, the event will let you do a year's worth of learning and purchasing in just a few days.

This guide will assist in taking the guesswork out of making purchasing decisions and will help with organizing and planning your strategy for buying at a trade show.

Know your market.

Know your numbers.

Pre-flight the show.

Set appointments by aisle. Set manageable goals each day and spread appointments over the entire 3 days.

Have questions prepared. In addition to product, what other advantages are there to doing business with this vendor? What will it do to support and assist in the sell-through of the product? What is unique about this product/vendor? What are the show-only specials?

Divide and conquer. (Bring your entire practice and assign each sections of the show to cover.)

At the show

Work your plan.

Rene D. Soltis, FNAO, is senior director of meetings and education for The Vision Council, Alexandria, VA. With more than 34 years of experience as a dispensing optician, Soltis also serves as a liaison to the conference advisory board of International Vision Expo.