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100% Optical countdown

OT  finds out more about the organiser’s plans for the 2016 100% Optical show

100% Optical display

Popular optical trade show 100% Optical returns to the capital next February for a third consecutive year. Organisers of the three-day event, Media 10, has promised that the show will be even 'bigger and better' in 2016, building on the success of this year which saw more than 6,000 visitors attend the show.

Sharing plans for the 2016 event, a number of new and returning initiatives, designed to recognise and respond the needs of the profession, have been unveiled.

New to the show

New for 2016, organisers will launch a hosted buyer programme which aims to offer exhibitors and visitors alike one-to-one interaction with decision makers in the international market. 

Buyers will have the opportunity to take part in a bespoke programme of supplier meetings, seminars and networking events, which have been designed specifically to help attendees meet their immediate and long-term goals. Alongside this, suppliers will be able to host face-to-face meetings with buyers working on live projects. 

Commenting on the new programme, a spokesperson for 100% Optical explained: "By delivering a hosted buyer programme, we aim to create highly targeted business meetings that will aid the development of immediate and long-term relationships between buyers and exhibitors." 

Organisers will also be encouraging delegates to use the show as a networking opportunity with their industry peers. As a result, a number of interactive breakfast briefings, lunch and learn discussions, as well as meet the speaker opportunities will be hosted throughout the show. 

Maintaining a focus on industry, 100% Optical is currently developing a database of companies which are looking for agents and distributors for their new brands in the UK. The aim of the database is to aid brands which are trying to enter the UK market. Those interested in being added to the database should email [email protected] 

Returning element

Introduced at this year's show, the 'Ask an expert' platform proved so popular that it is being extended in 2016, returning to the show as its own feature. 'Ask an expert' provides delegates with the opportunity to book free 30-minute one-to-one consultations with a wide range of experts offering advice on everything from financial planning, legal advice, marketing strategies and independent practice support, to careers, training and education guidance. 

"The 'Ask an expert' platform was so popular that it is being extended in 2016"

Also returning for 2016 is the show's visual merchandising competition. Anticipating increased entries from a range of young designers, this year entrants are asked to design a unique window display based on the latest trends in eyewear. 

100% Optical will select four winning designs and the designers will be invited to showcase their ideas at the event, providing practitioners with inspiration to take back to practice when creating their own window displays.

DADA for design

Bespoke eyewear designer Tom Davies will bring the DADA design competition back to 100% Optical 2016 for a second consecutive year. The competition was initially launched in December 2014 and called up on opticians across Europe to design a frame "without limitations," with the aim of "setting free the creative juices to see what masterpieces of art and beauty can be produced."

The competition is based on Dadaism, a European avant-garde art movement from the early 20th century. This year the competition has been extended to outside of the profession, with the establishment of two categories. The first category is open to opticians around the world who have a TD Tom Davies account, while category two is open to everyone else. 

Speaking to OT about why he launched the competition, Mr Davies explained that it is something which he has hosted unofficially for fun with employees and clients over the last few years.

"I learnt about DADA as an art student and I have been interested and fascinated by it ever since." 

"Culturally, DADA was a real movement at the turn of the century," he told OT when speaking at 100% Optical 2015. "I learnt about DADA as an art student and I have been interested and fascinated by it ever since." As a result, Mr Davies would regularly ask people passing through his offices, such as journalists, catering staff and the cleaners, to design a frame. "Asking people to be creative when they don't think they are creative brings out these really great results," he said. 

As a result, Mr Davies would regularly ask people passing through his offices, such as journalists, catering staff and the cleaners, to design a frame. 

“Asking people to be creative when they don’t think they are creative brings out these really great results,” he said.

Last year’s winner was Dutch optician, Clyde Nobibux, for his ‘superhero’ frame.

More than 100 design entries were received for last year’s competition, which boasted the prize of co-designing a capsule collection of frames with the company’s founder Mr Davies. Entries were shortlisted to 14 frames that were then produced in-house by Tom Davies’ studio team on a budget of £300 per frame.

Throughout the event, more than 1,000 visitors voted for their favourite design, and following a catwalk which showcased the shortlisted frames, Mr Nobibux’s entry was revealed as the winner. 

Entries for the 2016 competition must be received by October 23 and a shortlist will be announced in November. Mr Davies and his team will then make the designs of those shortlisted in both categories and these will be on display during 100% Optical.

Visitors to the trade show will once again be asked to vote for their favourite design during the three-day event, and the winner will be revealed at the show.

Practitioners interested in entering should email [email protected] for further details.