100% is coming

100% Optical returns to London on 6–8 February 2016

People entering the doors at 100% Optical 2015

Returning to London’s ExCeL Exhibition Centre for a third consecutive year on 6–8 February, organisers of the show have promised a “knock-out experience at Europe’s fastest growing optical trade event.”

Registration has opened for practitioners wishing to attend 100% Optical in 2016. 

Returning to London’s ExCeL Exhibition Centre for a third consecutive year on 6–8 February, organisers of the show have promised a “knock-out experience at Europe’s fastest growing optical trade event."

Well-known optical industry names such as De Rigo Vision, Hoya, Charmant and Specsavers will boost the exhibition hall, having been confirmed as first time exhibitors. 

Head of professional recruitment at Specsavers, Victoria Taylor, commented: “With Specsavers offering fantastic careers worldwide, 100% Optical is an exciting opportunity for us to meet more people who are interested in working at Specsavers – both in stores and in partnership locally and across the globe.”

Abigail Gavin, trade marketing manager for De Rigo UK, said: “As a business we are growing on a global scale and in the UK our portfolio is stronger than ever.

"We're really excited to be 100% Optical's charity partner for the 2016 show – it's a fantastic opportunity to raise the importance of eye research"

“It is important for us to reach the right people showcasing our sought-after brands to all relevant buyers and opticians that share a passion for beautiful eyewear; therefore we are extremely excited to bring our house brand of Police, as well as a selection of our stunning licensed brands to 100% Optical.”

Organisers Media 10 will again use its tried and tested exhibition layout, dividing the floor into four areas: Eyewear, Equipment and Machinery, Lenses and Business Services. A Contact Lens hub will also be established this year, with organisers adding that visitors should expect “new and exciting fashion shows,” as well as a revamped central bar so visitors can make the most of networking opportunities. 

Equipment suppliers Carl Zeiss and Heidelberg Engineering are just some of the names returning to the show, as well as British eyewear companies Dunelm Optical and William Morris London, which has exhibited at the event since it launched. 

Managing director of William Morris London, William Morris told OT: “As an independent British eyewear brand, 100% Optical gives us the perfect platform to showcase our great British collections to an audience that brings us back to the roots of our brand born in London.

“As a firm supporter of 100% Optical, we have found that the last two years exceeded our expectations for appointments, walk on introductions and most excitingly, we hit all of our company’s objectives by the Sunday of each year.” 

Fight for Sight has been named as charity partner of the show for a second year, with the return of the awareness and fund raising #BlinkWinkThink campaign returning.

Commenting on the partnership, Fight for Sight’s director of fundraising, Catherine Woodhead, said: “We’re really excited to be 100% Optical’s charity partner for the 2016 show – it’s a fantastic opportunity to raise the importance of eye research and the pioneering work we fund. Together we will ensure that those exhibiting and attending are aware of and are giving the opportunity to engage with creating a future that everyone can see.”

Speaking about the 2016 show, 100% Optical event director, Nathan Garnett said: “We’re really excited for the third year of 100% Optical. The vibe last year was incredible and we’re going bigger and better in 2016, so visitors can make the most of the weekend’s education and business opportunities whilst also having a great time.”

He added: “100% Optical is very much designed for the profession, and that strategy has worked a treat.”

Education, education 

Continuing in its capacity as official UK partner for 100% Optical, the AOP is designing a comprehensive education programme to run throughout the three-day show. 

Organising the education programme for a third consecutive year, in the past the AOP has delivered more than 100 hours of seminars across eight themed streams. Last year a total of 121 CET points were suitable for optometrists, 118 for dispensing opticians, 14 for contact lens opticians and 28 for independent prescribers. 

Discussing the 2016 offering, head of education at the AOP, Dr Ian Beasley told OT: “The AOP will once again stage an engaging programme of education delivered by high profile speakers with content suitable for all practitioners across a broad range of subjects.”

Past show success

Established in 2014, 100% Optical has already made its mark in the optical calendar, attracting more than 6,000 delegates to the event earlier this year. 

In its second year, visitor figures were up 25% on the 2014 event. Delegates attended the show from far and wide, with figures recording 85% attending from the UK, and 15% from the rest of the world. In addition, a breakdown of delegate numbers showed that 63% of attendees came from the independent sector and 10% from the multiple sector. 

Past delegate, optometrist Iveta Celherte, who travelled to the London show from Latvia, said: “If you are looking to source something different for your practice, 100% Optical is the place to visit.”

Speaking about the show, independent UK optometrist and AOP Council member, Francesca Marchetti, said simply: “An excellent event. Fun, frames, friends, fellows and CET, the perfect combination.”

Organisers hope to build on the show’s success even further next year, confirming that it expects to attract more than 8,000 UK and international visitors in 2016. 

Mr Garnett concluded: “There’s simply no other show like 100% Optical. Guests get access to unrivalled expert advice, a hosted buyer programme, an exciting line-up of interactive seminars with CET points available, a visual merchandising competition and ultimate networking opportunities.

“It’s the place to be seen in 2016.” 

To register, visit the 100% Optical website