The recent Vision Expo East fair in New York was apparently well-attended, against the backdrop of a relatively buoyant U.S. market, although the attendance figures are still being compiled. Visitors indicated that it was easy to navigate, but their motivations seemed to go beyond the purpose of placing orders and to make new contacts with alternative suppliers.

When asked for what purpose they were going to Vision Expo East, one-fourth of respondents to a poll conducted by Vision Monday before the show said they were going for networking with peers or suppliers. Another 23 percent of people polled said they would attend the show to purchase products, followed by 20 percent who said they would be looking for the latest trends. The next 17 percent said they were going to Vision Expo East to win prizes and obtain ?freebies,? and the last 15 percent said they are going to the event for the educational courses offered.

Attendees at this year's Vision Expo East were able to register to win several prizes, such as tickets to Broadway shows, iPod Nanos, certificates to leading New York restaurants and other prizes by attending the opening ceremony of the show. Registrants' badge numbers were automatically entered for a chance to win one of three grand prize shopping sprees. Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, has declared the week of March 26 to Apr. 1 ?Vision Awareness Week,? coinciding with the fair.