THE NEW Neighborhoods


The River Logo

March 26-29, 2020


Opening one day earlier than the general exhibit hall, The River boldly plants a flag for what an exhibition can be a celebration of an industry steeped in innovation, discovery, and deep relationships that will ensure its prosperous future. Committed to leading the vision industry into its next decade, Vision Expo is paving the way with our new home for the most innovative designers and retailers in the business. The River is your dominion, a beautiful laboratory for your unique community to explore and sculpt the future of vision. As an exhibitor in The River, you are a part of this leap forward.

As a River participant you will enjoy:

  • A community of the finest distinguished independent exhibitors
  • A curated selection of like-minded retailers
  • Opening day Thursday March 26th, one day prior to the general Vision Expo exhibit hall
  • Dedicated communal storage for River participants
  • An exclusive buyer-focused boutique shopping experience
  • VIP opening breakfast reception for Thursday, March 26 from 9:00am – 10:30am. Breakfast will be available beginning at 9:00am for River Exhibitors and OPTImum buyers and at 9:30am for all other attendees
  • Complimentary lunch from 12:00pm to 2:00pm served each day for River Exhibitors and OPTImum buyers shopping The River. Exhibitors will also receive special badge stickers to share with their personal guests for access to the complimentary lunch.
    • For designers participating in The River
    • For OPTImum buyers shopping The River
    • Additional passes will be provided to each exhibitor for distribution at your discretion
  • Complimentary all-day barista espresso service
  • Complimentary enhanced WiFi providing a faster connection for your basic browsing needs
  • The River Lounge, powered by Thélios, featuring curated content and a gallery-style Thélios pop-up installation

Criteria for admission

  • Design-led ateliers dedicated to artisanal product
  • Brands with a unique culture and respected industry position
  • Limited distribution via Tier 1 optical retailers and own channels
  • Collections appropriate for neighborhood and adjacent exhibitors
  • Application required for companies not currently exhibiting in the Underground. A list of current and prospective retailers will be requested. Samples and additional information may be required by The River Committee. The River Committee is a select group of leading designers and buyers who advise Vision Expo staff on The River experience, including input on applications.

Opening Times and Access

A Vision Expo badge is all an attendee needs to gain entrance to The River.

Date Time

Thursday, March 26

9:30am – 6:00pm

Friday, March 27

9:30am – 6:00pm

Saturday, March 28

9:30am – 6:00pm

Sunday, March 29

9:30am – 5:00pm

The River Event schedule

For more information about events at The River, click here.

Thursday, March 26

9:30am – 10:30am

Opening Breakfast Reception

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Conversations at The River: The Art of the Collab

5:00pm – 7:00pm

Vision Expo 2020 Talent Search Reception, supported by the edCFDA, please RSVP here  

Friday, March 27

11:00am – 11:45am

Thélios presents “The Evolution of the Luxury Consumer”

5:00pm – 6:30pm

OWA Annual Star Award Cocktail Reception & Networking Event

Saturday, March 28

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Conversations at The River: The Next Generation of Retailers Speed Dating (invitation required)

For more information on participating at The River, please contact Cathrine Wolden at or by phone at +1 203-840-5383.

Thierry Lasry Booth

Exhibitors Include

The River Exhibitors

March 27-29, 2020

An evolution of our dynamic Galleria, The Union is the ultimate shopping experience for the industry's hottest collections, each with an unforgettable point-of-view. A discerning edit of eyewear from the exclusive, hip, and fashion-forward lifestyle brands we know and love comes to life in these aisles. Explore The Union to discover new launches, pop culture inspired collaborations, and "talk-of-the-show" trends in this energetic showcase.

As a Union participant you will enjoy

  • The company of eclectic, iconic brands
  • A robust attendance of like-minded retailers
  • Newly designed exhibit spaces that amplify the energy of this stylish neighborhood
  • Adjacency to The Bridge, featuring notable speakers, seating, music and complimentary refreshments or bring your custom booth.
  • Complimentary exhibit hall WiFi
  • Home of the new Springs neighborhood

Criteria for admission

  • Wholly independent brands
  • Recognizable boutique or premium lifestyle brands
  • Mid-scale distribution
  • Application required
  • Samples and / or retailer recommendation may be required

For more information on participating at The River, please contact Jason Maczuba at or by phone at +1 203-840-5685

The Union Booth

March 27-29, 2020

Committed to leading the vision industry into its next decade, Vision Expo is paving the way with our new home for the newest and most innovative designers in the business. The Springs is their home, a beautiful laboratory that will begin to sculpt the future of vision.

As a Springs participant you will enjoy

  • A community of visiting retailers dedicated to emerging talent
  • Adjacency to other groundbreaking designers
  • A newly designed neighborhood that will be a show highlight, nestled in a community of iconic brands
  • Adjacency to The Bridge, featuring notable speakers, seating, music and complimentary refreshments
  • Complimentary exhibit hall WiFi
  • One Year complimentary membership with The Vision Council

Criteria for admission

  • Up to 5 years in business
  • Non-USA companies: 0-5 years doing business in USA
  • Limited distribution
  • Application required. Samples and recommendation from a retailer will be requested.

For more information on participating at The Springs, please contact Fran Pennella at or by phone at +1 203-613-8848

  • The Springs Booth
  • The Springs Booth

Exhibitors Include

Exhibitor Logos

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