An Insider’s Guide to Transitions Academy 2018

This was the second year that I've had the opportunity to attend Transitions Academy (TA). I was invited as a returning Transitions Change Agent -- and also as a new speaker this year!

Truthfully, I had never heard of Transitions Academy prior to becoming a Change Agent. For my first year, I went not knowing much about it, or what to expect. Now that I have two years under my belt, I figured it was time to give others the inside scoop of what Transitions Academy is for those who have never heard of it, are curious about it, or are planning to attend it in the future. It's a wonderful event with ample opportunities to learn how to better serve your patients, to network with other ECPs, and to gain insight on how to grow your practice.

Photo credit: Transitions

Want to find out more about Transitions Academy, or how to land an invite to attend next year's event? Keep reading...

Related Post: "Transitions: Changing Light and Consumer Perceptions"

Transitions Academy

Transitions Academy is held in Orlando, Florida during the month of February. In recent years it has been held at the Walt Disney World resort's Swan hotel; however, the hotel location is proposed to change in the future.

The conference spans a total of four days; however, the main events take place over the second and third days. The first day comprises of registration and a welcome reception that evening, followed by two days of education and events. There aren't any events scheduled on the final day, as it is set aside for departure.

What's Included In Registration

- Hotel accommodations

- Complimentary food and beverages during education hours (note: two days of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks are provided; excludes meals on the day of arrival and departure.)

- Education

- Receptions and Awards Celebration Party

Photo credit: OptomEyesLife

What's Included in Education

Attendees hear from experts on marketing and industry trends, learn from their peers at panel discussions, participate in professional development seminars, and learn more about Transitions products in technology workshops. The

During registration, you are able to select three different courses and workshops to attend. This year's course offerings were as follows (with course descriptions included):


Eyecessorize is The Vision Council’s campaign to increase awareness of the fashion and lifestyle aspects of eyewear. By sharing the latest in eyewear trends, advances in technology and advice from eyewear experts, you'll learn how to be a fashion and lifestyle expert, offering a service your customers can't find just anywhere else.

Speakers: Lindsey Ruhe of The Vision Council, Dr. Amanda Rights of OptomEyesLife, and eyewear designers Coco and Breezy.

Engage, Amaze and Convert

Finally, a seminar that gives an in-depth glimpse into the new frontier of technologies being used to engage the consumer pre-, during, and post-visit. Learn how to apply best in class technologies that make people feel connected and engaged in your optical environment and watch how quickly patients become enthusiastic customers. Attendees will learn technology essentials that will help them thrive in today’s highly competitive environment and leave with an action plan designed to create positive change in patient interactions.

Speaker: Bill Gerber of OMG! Optical Marketing Group

Learn to Dominate Digitally

Join us at the ultimate workshop for active training on what your eye care business needs to do to dominate digital marketing. Whether you’re an independent eye care professional, an industry supplier, an optical lab or publication, you will take away immediate tips you can apply to start working on an enhanced digital presence. Grow your brand, your revenue, and your exposure. Ready yourself for a future where your digital presence can make or break your business.

Speakers: Trudi Charest and Kevin Wilhelm of Marketing4ECPs

Jump Starting Social Media Marketing

Marketing is the key business activity to driving traffic to your practice. We’ve all used word of mouth as our single most important advertising strategy, but social media has allowed word of mouth marketing to make an impact larger than ever on independent businesses. This course will explore how to enhance social media for an optometric business and tips for maximizing the return on investment.

Speakers: Dr. Darryl Glover and Dr. Jennifer Lyerly of DeFocus Media

Spotted! OEL featured in Defocus Media's social media presentation.

Leading and Facilitating Effective Meetings

Wish you could better plan for that next meeting? This course overviews what to do before an upcoming meeting (setting up the structure), how to best deliver and facilitate a meeting while keeping participants engaged, and what to do when the meeting ends (agreeing on next steps and setting clear goals).

Speakers: Rob Pennacchini and Ed Ramos of Dale Carnegie

Present Your Ideas with Confidence & Charisma to Win Over Any Audience

Whether you are delivering a sales presentation to a small group, trying to motivate and inspire your team, or facilitate an educational workshop, it is important that you present your idea with enthusiasm, poise, and confidence. This course shows you how to quickly design persuasive presentations that are more interesting and interactive, and that your audience will absolutely love.

Speakers: Doug Staneart of The Leader’s Institute

Bright Side of Kidz

Childhood is a critical time in the development of the eye and when good and bad eye care habits are formed. Many vision problems – such as trouble seeing up close or far away – first develop during childhood. While these problems are not life-threatening, they need to be corrected early in order to avoid both short- and long-term consequences that can follow children in to adulthood. This course will address all of these topics and provide insight on how to better understand and treat this patient group and their unique eye care needs.

Speakers: Dr. Christopher Lievens of The Eye Center at Southern College of Optometry, and Anna Young, ABOC of Vision Care Consulting

Myths and Misperceptions and the Future of Photochromic Technology

Learn the truth behind the different myths and misperceptions that exist about how and where photochromic lenses work and where the technology can go. This course will explore how to debunk and overcome the old myths and the misperceptions about the future potential of photochromic technology, as well as how to educate and train others on photochromics.

Speakers: Charlotte Hamel, Chris King, and Laura Askew of Transitions Optical, and Mark Hinton of eYeFacilitate

Highlights from the 2018 Transitions Academy

Did you miss out on Transitions Academy 2018? Here’s a recap of the event, with photos of some of my favorite highlights.

Welcome and Future Ready General Session

The 2018 theme was “Future Ready.” This year, Transitions made some groundbreaking and much anticipated product developments, such as the introduction of new color options and flash mirror coatings! They also revealed their new logo and tagline, changing from "adaptive lenses" to "light intelligent lenses."

Photo credit: OptomEyesLife

New Transitions Logo

Transitions Signature lenses will be expanding their color portfolio from three to seven colors! In addition to the gray, brown, and graphite green, there will be four new colors available: amber, amethyst, emerald, and sapphire.

New Signature Lens Colors

Transitions XTRActive lenses will be available in a flash mirror – which is the hottest lens trend around right now. With an expansive color profile of ten options to choose from, the fashion possibilities are endless.

Photo credit: OptomEyesLife

New XTRActive Flash Mirror Colors

Official release dates for the new colored and mirror lenses are pending, so stay tuned for updates!

Through the Generational Looking Glass

Jason Dorsey of The Center for Generational Kinetics returned again this year to give us an update on his newest generational research, sponsored by Transitions Optical. Should you ever have the opportunity to attend one of his live speeches, you will not be disappointed; he is an incredibly informative and engaging speaker -- let's put it this way: he can capture the dwindling attention span of Millennials. Yes, he's that good.

Here are a few key takeaways from the study:

  • Eyeglass wearers feel intelligent, confident, or mature when putting on their glasses.

  • Across generations, wearers consider their glasses to be a part of their style, especially Millennials.

  • Style is the top thing that others weigh in on, when eyeglass wearers are deciding which glasses or lenses to buy.

  • Most Millennials put off going to the eye doctor.

  • ECPs are the most influential person to recommend (and discourage) a patient when it comes to lens technology… they’re even more influential than the patient's spouse!

All information courtesy of Jason Dorsey of The Center for Generational Kinetics and Transitions Optical.

Trendspotting 101

During this session, a panel of eye care professionals discussed current and near future trends we're seeing in our work and home lives.

Spotted! Photos by OEL were featured twice during the Trendspotting presentation.

Facebook Live with Eyecessorize

After the Eyecessorize course, the speakers and models joined together for an unscripted, casual chat about eyewear trends and technologies -- think “Real World: Eyecessorize.” Featured cast: Lindsay Ruhe of The Vision Council, Dr. Jennifer Lyerly and Dr. Darryl Glover of DeFocus Media, celebrity eyewear designers Coco and Breezy, Dr. Amanda Rights of OptomEyesLife, and Sheena Taff of Optician About Town. Brought to you by Transitions Optical and DeFocus Media.

Click below to watch the Facebook Live video:

Transitions Lenses: Healthy Sight Professionals' live video on Eyecessorize.

Keynote: Better & Faster: The Proven Path to Unstoppable Ideas

Jeremy Gutsche of, the #1 trend-spotting site in the world, was the keynote speaker this year. He taught us to be better innovators by showing us the common "innovation traps that block successful people from realizing their full potential," and the six patterns of disruptive innovation opportunity.

2017 Transitions Innovation Award Winners

The following individuals and groups were awarded a Transitions Innovation Award for their dedication to the brand in 2017:

  • Transitions Brand Ambassador (individual-only): Dr. Jennifer Lyerly of Triangle Visions Optometry (Raleigh, North Carolina)

  • Best in Marketing: Opto-Réseau (Brossard, Quebec)

  • Best in Training: 20/20 Visions (Plymouth, Wisconsin)

  • Retailer of the Year (US): Costco Optical

  • Retailer of the Year (Canada): Greiche & Scaff (Quebec, Canada)

  • Eyecare Practice of the Year: Pacific EyeCare Port Orchard (Port Orchard, Washington)

Evening Celebration Party

Held at Universal’s City Walk, this block party included an outdoor DJ and dance floor, interactive photo booth, and karaoke on stage with a live band.


How You Can Attend

Transitions Academy is an invitation-only event for industry professionals. If you are interested in attending the Academy, there are five different ways to land an invite:

1. Attend as a Guest of Your Lens Supplier

If you are an industry professional who would like to register for Transitions Academy, contact your Transitions lenses supplier, specifically your sales representative. Many lens suppliers are providing opportunities and promotions for customers to attend as their guests. Registration costs and other fees may apply.

Photo credit: OptomEyesLife

2. Request a Spot or Nominate Someone to Attend

Transitions Academy is an invitation-only event, but Transitions is reserving spaces for industry professionals from North America as they become available. Upon submitting a request to attend, individuals will be notified of details regarding cost and arrangements if there is availability.

3. Join the Speakers Bureau

Qualified industry speakers interested in attending can consider applying to become part of the Transitions Speakers Bureau. Contact Transitions customer service ( to learn more and inquire about Transitions Academy benefits.

4. Become a Transitions Change Agent

Transitions Optical is recruiting millennial eye care professionals or professionals with mostly millennial patients to help change the conversations their peers and patients are having about Transitions lenses. You can apply to become a Change Agent here.

Photo credit: Daniel Brunson of Hicks Brunson Eyewear

2018 Transitions Change Agents

Photo credit: Daniel Brunson of Hicks Brunson Eyewear

5. Become a Transitions Innovation Award Finalist

The Transitions Innovation Awards are open to optical industry professionals, educators, regional retailers, optical laboratories, and independent eye care professionals and practices. The categories include: Transitions Brand Ambassador (individual-only), Best in Training, Best in Marketing, Retailer of the Year (US), Retailer of the Year (Canada), and Eye Care Practice of the Year. Enter a nomination here.

Photo credit: OptomEyesLife

Transitions Innovation Awards Finalists

The next Transitions Academy will be held February 3rd - 6th, 2019. I hope to see you there next year!

Share your thoughts in the comment section below for others in the community to read, and connect with OEL on Instagram @OptomEyesLife and #OptomEyesLife.

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