This April, join more than 1,000 of the top private-practice optometrists in the country at The Vision Source Exchange® for leading education, inspirational speakers, hand-picked vendors, and business insights that can make 2023 your most successful year yet. This year, the Exchange will be held in San Antonio, Texas from April 19th-22nd at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.
Much more than another optometry trade show, Vision Source Exchange is the largest gathering of private practice optometrists in the country. Unlike other events where you might feel like you have to compete against larger practices, Vision Source Exchange is a collaborative four-day experience dedicated to independent optometrists. You’ll leave inspired for the year ahead with curated continuing education on the biggest issues affecting your practice, exclusive pricing, staff training, and a spirit of camaraderie you won’t find anywhere else.
“The atmosphere at Vision Source Exchange is different from any other industry trade show,” said Talin Amadian, OD, Woodley Optometry. “This is a place to find vetted resources and vendors committed to excellence, and the feeling of camaraderie is unparalleled. It’s less of a competition and more about talking to people across the country who want to help you succeed.”
While the Exchange is a complimentary benefit for all Vision Source members, it’s open to any private practice optometrist looking to advance their practice and gain fresh insight on patient care, clinical protocols, equipment, and business management strategies.
“The Exchange is so powerful because Vision Source members are United in Purpose—in a way that no other group is,” said Laurie Sorrenson, OD, Vision Source’s administrator and advisory board member. “We are all here to find a way to run our businesses better so we can take better care of our patients. When we walk that path together, we get there faster, stronger and with better results.”
Who is Vision Source?
Founded in 1991, Vision Source is North America's most extensive network of independent optometrists, consisting of more than 3,100 member practices with 4,500 optometrists. The clinicians in the Vision Source network enjoy access to newly evolving patient channels, a wide range of innovative technologies, practice management tools, strategic marketing, and purchasing power.
“What makes Vision Source unique, and what we believe has led us to be North America’s premier network of private practice optometrists, is that we share values and a common purpose,” said Amir Khoshnevis, OD, chief medical officer of Vision Source. “Every single Vision Source member is committed to providing the best possible patient care, and being united in this purpose has brought and will continue to bring immeasurable success to Vision Source practices.
Vision Source crafted the event to celebrate what it means to be an independent private practice owner, including leaning into innovation, creating a legacy of best-in-class care, and putting the patient at the center of everything the practice does, according to the organization’s announcement. The event also “honors member’s entrepreneurial spirit and unwavering commitment to ensure private practice wins.”
What makes Vision Source Exchange different from other trade shows?
At the heart of Vision Source is a commitment to helping independent optometrists reach their full potential—both in their clinical skills and practice success.
“I joined Vision Source when I started a second practice location because I knew these doctors are the best of the best,” said Todd Brantley, OD, Lone Star Vision, who has attended the Vision Source Exchange for 10 times! “They run their practices in a way I respect, have wonderful teams, and a lot of knowledge they are willing to share. I couldn’t be happier with the Vision Source leadership, the team, the administrators—all of them work so hard to make the Exchange just a wonderful event. We bring our staff, and all of us look forward to the training, gaining new knowledge, and returning to our practice with huge savings. The Exchange helps us be as successful as we can be and help our patients achieve optimal vision health.”
Part of what makes Vision Source special is the Vision Source Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) organization that evolved out of a response to meet the needs of members following Hurricane Katrina. The Foundation has remained and continues to reach out to help optometrists in need.
In 2021, half of Dr. Brantley’s flooded when an ice storm in Texas resulted in a burst water pipe.
“For a few months, I had to scale my practice down,” said Dr. Brantley. “Vision Source really stepped up and helped me, without me even having to ask. Today, my practice is thriving and benefited from so many great things the Vision Source family offers. Now we have two locations, six doctors, and over 40 staff, so I couldn’t be happier.”
Dr. Brantley will be coming to Vision Source Exchange in 2023 for his tenth year. “It’s always wonderful to be around what we all consider to be family here at the Exchange,” he said. “You hear that multiple times because it’s genuine. Colleagues, family, friends all help support each other and want to see each other’s practices succeed and everyone has tremendous respect for all the doctors who are here.”
In addition to the Exchange serving as a nexus of knowledge and vendor connection, the event prides itself in being a way of gathering the community of private practice owners, sharing challenges and successes, and connecting on a deeper level than any other trade show can come close to.
Learning & Development Education at Vision Source Exchange
Successful independent practices share best practices and learn from each other. The Learning and Development courses offered at the Exchange are unique as they blend evidence-based clinical care with business best practices, enabling independent optometrists and their teams to achieve their full potential. Course topics include clinical and business management topics important to independent optometry. The courses are led by Vision Source members who have demonstrated expertise and success on the specific topics. Among the Learning & Development courses offered are the Vision Source Practice Protocol courses that are developed by Vision Source members for Vision Source members and offer accredited education COPE, ABO, NCLE, AOA-CPC.
Learning & Development educational courses begin Wednesday, April 19 and are offered throughout the Exchange for doctors and staff. Course highlights include:
Vision Source Practice Protocols delivering the latest evidence-based education along with protocols for implementation in the practice for diseases and conditions, including:
- Dry eye
- Myopia management
Clinical pearls and business management best practices:
- Myopia management
- Modernizing communication and boosting efficiency
- Functional testing
- Billing and coding best practices
- New technology and advances in macular pigment and nutrition
- Impact of using amniotic membrane to treat ocular surface disease
- How to stop optician turnover
- And more!
Professional learning lasts throughout the event
Vision Source culture is an inclusive, supportive environment for independent optometrists and their staff. Naturally, the Vision Source Exchange reflects these values with practical learning that pervades the four-day event. Both optometrists and staff can continue to grow their careers with thoughtful conversations and skills-based experiences like:
Learning Labs: Learning Labs are peer-led sessions designed to share best practices on topics ranging from clinical care to practice managementLearning labs are 45 minutes long and run throughout the meeting. Pre-Registration is required.
ABO/NCLE Prep Courses: Do you have staff that need additional training on optical skills or contact lens fitting skills? Vision Source members have exclusive access to education from both The American Board of Opticianry (ABO) and the National Contact Lens Examiners (NCLE) at The Exchange at no additional charge. This education can be taken as individual courses where the staff need specialized training or can be taken as an entire track of learning. The education will begin on Wednesday morning, April 27.
Whether it is Ophthalmic Optics for the optician or Pre fitting and Dispensing Contact lenses for the technician, staff that join are guaranteed to get that more specialized training to go back into the practice and be more effective.
These courses are great education to prepare staff to sit for the national ABO Exam or NCLE Examinations or the courses provide a great review for staff wanting to gain additional training on these topics.
Staff Development Studios: The Staff Development Studios are hands-on workshops specifically designed for staff. Each year we hear how important it is for Vision Source to provide training and education that will help elevate the skills of staff across categories be it in the optical, a technical skill or customer service & sales. These courses will take place on Wednesday concurrent with continuing Education. Each session will be 50 minutes long with 10 minutes of transition time. Staff should come ready to learn and engage with participating vendors. Topics include:
- Staff: The most important advocates for eyecare hygiene and product implementation
- Maximizing multiple pair advantages
- OptiLight tech certification
- Working smarter not harder: Utilizing emotional intelligence
- The gold standard of customer experience
- And more
Can I access special pricing in the Vision Source Exchange Exhibit Hall?
A distinctive advantage of Vision Source membership is that it unlocks access to top vendors and exclusive pricing not found anywhere else. As expected, the Exhibit Hall at the Vision Source Exchange is highly curated with leading vendors and industry partners who have had long-term relationships with Vision Source. As a result, independent optometrists can take home the latest equipment and solutions for their practices at prices that make sense—and significantly impact profitability.
“For those who are considering attending Vision Source Exchange for the first time, don’t think twice, because this is the place to get the best resources in the industry and return to your practice and implement new techniques,” said Dr. Amadian. “All the vendors are hand picked—from frame vendors to instruments and equipment. All of them have the success of your practice as their goal. It’s very easy to walk around the exhibit hall and have a very clear idea of what you want to bring back to your practice, what you want to upgrade, and what you want to implement.”
Can I connect with other independent optometrists like me at Vision Source Exchange?
While most private practice optometrists will say that they attend Vision Source Exchange for the education and Exhibit Hall, what keeps them coming back year after year is the atmosphere, camaraderie and fun.
“It’s hard to describe how special the atmosphere is,” said Dan Novak, OD, Premier Vision, who attended his first Vision Source Exchange after being a Vision Source member for only four months. “The energy and people here? You can really tell everyone is in it together, trying to support each other. It’s not just about individual doctors and their offices. It’s truly an exchange of information, an exchange of ideas, and an exchange of opportunity.”
After a day packed with learning, the Exchange also offers plenty of time for networking, connecting with peers, and unwinding with a calendar that includes:
Wednesday April 19th—Welcome reception at The Espee in the heart of downtown San Antonio. Enjoy food, drinks, and meeting your colleagues.
Thursday April 20th—Browse the Exhibit Hall while enjoying drinks and a buffet dinner.
Friday April 21st—Make the most of the Exhibit Hall for breakfast and cocktail hour to meet with vendors, ask questions, and network with your peers.
Saturday, April 22nd—Don’t miss the final Fiesta at the Grotto to celebrate a wonderful few days of learning.
“If you haven’t experienced a Vision Source Exchange meeting, you should absolutely come and see it first hand,” said Dr. Brantley. “They pick the best sites, the best cities, and deliver first-class hospitality. Vendors come with their top-notch products and launch the latest strategies for our optometrists. Plus you’ll get savings and vendor specials you won’t get at other meetings. Can’t wait to see you there!”