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A head start on the future

Ahead of the trade show’s return to Paris on 28 September–1 October, OT  speaks director of Silmo, Eric Lenoir, about what to expect from the 2018 show

05 Jul 2018 by Andrew McClean

How are preparations going for Silmo 2018?

The 2018 show is coming together well. We have an occupancy rate of more than 85% to date and companies are considerably increasing the sizes of their stands. We are doing everything possible to ensure that our next event is as dynamic and festive as the last.

In what ways has the show developed since 2017?

We had a very positive 2017 show, reinforced by the 50th anniversary of the event, and had a significant increase in the number of exhibitors and visitors alike. We are on the same course this year and we should benefit from the ‘Silmo Jubilee effect.’

In 2017, we established a new marketing strategy that has reinforced the attractiveness and visibility of the trade fair. We are pursuing it this year, with an ever more modern communication approach and a clear, direct slogan: Silmo Paris, Tellement plus qu’un salon (Silmo Paris, so much more than a trade fair).

What are some of the ways support is offered to practitioners attending the show?

The trade fair is a complete, coherent whole, including an exhaustive offer of frames, lenses, equipment. Including scientific training, market and trend information, as well as various forms of meetings. Each participant can and should find what he or she is looking for.

Silmo is an incredible marketplace, a sort of annual high mass addressing the entire optical and eyewear industry. Our commitment is to remain abreast of current affairs and in a state of anticipation to guarantee professionals a useful, informative visit. 

What is being covered at Silmo Academy this year?

The theme of Silmo Academy 2018 is the visual development from childhood to adulthood, and it will include very interesting lectures and discussions to be held throughout the day on 30 September. We are still finalising the choice of content and speakers.

What is returning to the show and how have these changed from previous events?

Event after event, Silmo continues to hold its position as a complete, high-quality generalist trade fair. What has changed – and will continue to develop – is the new technology, which we have been tackling for a long time now. Silmo Paris is the not-to-be-missed annual optical gathering. 

Silmo has also extended to other cities (Sydney, Bangkok and Istanbul) to meet local specificities, digitalised relationships through social networks and made news and trends available year-round through Trends by Silmo. This balance between the real and the virtual is the true change that we have made over the last years. We managed to integrate this balance very early on, and we will continue to enrich it to the benefit of all professionals.

Silmo Next is a new addition for 2018, what can attendees expect?

As the name suggests, it is about getting a head start on the future. Again, it represents our commitment to combine the real and the virtual: this platform or ‘think tank’ addresses any subject having to do with innovation, potential markets and trends. It is designed to help professionals anticipate changes in the optics and eyewear industry that are underway and to prepare for the future.

What would you say to prospective attendees?

I think that all professionals should remember that Silmo is a very convenient, easy-to-access tool. To make it even easier to use, we have created Silmo M@tch, an application that fosters encounters, connections, discussions, discoveries and a multitude of business opportunities.

For practitioners who are thinking about attending, what would you say makes Silmo unique?

What each visitor appreciates: the width and depth of the offer, the diversity, the insider information, the training, the friendly reception, the convivial atmosphere, and the convenient autumn timing and advantageous location at the heart of Europe, in Paris. 

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