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“A bigger, bolder and brighter show”

100% Optical exhibitor rebooking numbers are up after the 2019 show with over 50% of exhibitors already signed up for 2020

16 Jan 2019 by Andrew McClean

100% Optical 2019 welcomed 9115 visitors through its doors over the three days of the event, which took place at ExCeL London on 12–14 January.

The trade show hosted over 200 exhibitors, with 500 eyewear brands and 100 exclusive product launches taking place across the weekend.

Event director of 100% Optical, Nathan Garnett, said: “It truly has been a bigger, bolder and brighter show this year with catwalk flash mobs wowing the crowds, kids modelling junior frames and spectacled mirrored dancers.”

“It was evident walking around the show that exhibitors had pulled out all the stops to provide a positive vibe and eye opening visitor experience with lively stands, entertainment and happy hours. This resulted in serious business being done at the show,” he added.

Mr Garnett shared that so far, exhibitor rebooking numbers are up with over 50% of exhibitors having already signed up for 2020.

Education for all

Alongside the exhibition, 100% Optical featured an education programme that is designed and delivered by the AOP, the official UK partner of the show.

Head of education at the AOP, Dr Ian Beasley, said: “Building on previous years, the programme successfully delivered education for all.”

“A mix of thought-provoking continuing education and training (CET) sessions, covering an array of topics from optical coherence tomography, myopia and the future of the profession, were complemented by continuing professional development sessions for the practice team around eyewear styles, dry eye and communication skills, as well as hands on workshops,” he explained.

The British Academy of Audiology supported the AOP for the first time at this year’s show in delivering CET for audiology.

Topics included the synergies between audiology and the optical sector, as well as introducing hearing care services to an optical practice.

Bringing the whole industry together

The AOP celebrated the achievements of the profession at its annual AOP Awards on the Sunday night. Winners included: Professor David Edgar, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award; Martin Smith Opticians, which won Practice of the Year; and Silhouette, which won Frame of the Year.

This year, 100% Optical pledged its support to charity partner, SeeAbility. Head of eye health at SeeAbility, Lisa Donaldson, said: “100% Optical has been a fantastic opportunity to highlight the eye care needs of people with learning disabilities.”

The Royal College of Art design competition also celebrated the work of six finalists, who displayed their work at the show. Annie Foo won the design competition with ‘Party on Face,’ using music and fashion as expression and making glasses light up and flash in time to music.

100% Optical will return to ExCeL London on 25–27 January 2020, with the event company Media 10 and the AOP extending its partnership on the show to at least 2022.

Mr Garnett concluded: “We now look forward to making 2020 the event that brings the whole optical industry together for a massive celebration of this wonderful sector. We have a string of announcements coming in the next few months so watch this space.” 

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