Opti 2019 will expand into six halls, how will this extra space be used?
Bettina Reiter (BR): Visitors to Opti 2019 can look forward to an even more comprehensive range of products and services. In some areas, we have already had waiting lists. With the larger trade show now taking place in six halls, we finally have the opportunity to offer the desired space.
In addition, it will be possible to expand some existing areas such as the Opti forum and the Opti campus as well as creating new ones. There will also be new lounge areas for networking and communication, and the walkways will be slightly widened to enhance the individual trade show stands even more.
We are pleased that Opti is perceived internationally as one of the top trade shows, meaning that many companies are now using it as a platform to present themselves for the first time. Just think of David Green from South Africa or Monogram Eyewear from Dubai; companies that made their first appearance in Europe at Opti 2018. We are currently in the process of planning the halls for Opti 2019. We will then be announcing some of the new stars in the Opti-world at the end of the summer.
What will areas like the Opti forum and Opti campus provide?
BR: On each of the three days, the Opti forum will be offering discussions and lectures by international experts in the field of optics on topics such as digitisation, design, successful marketing, and eye care.
The discussions will all be simultaneously interpreted into English. At this point in time, not all speakers and topics have been determined but the full programme will be available on the Opti website by December to allow everybody to plan their visit to the forum.
In 2019, a presentation by Aalen University will be showing the Potentials of digitisation in optometry. One lecture will be dealing with up-selling and cross-selling in specialist optical stores, another with the opportunities special customer events offer. As a special service, Opti will also be offering a selection of presentations to download on the Opti website after the trade show.
The universities of ophthalmology will be in the Opti campus area. English will also be spoken here, particularly as we are enlarging the campus area in 2019 and trying to integrate even more international educational institutions.
What is the YES independent design area and what will be new for this area in 2019?
BR: The two areas – !HOT and YES! – used to be separate from one another in halls C1 and C4 but have always been sisters in spirit. At the request of many exhibitors and visitors, we brought the two areas closer together at Opti 2018 and in January 2019 they will be merged into a common, vibrant design platform. This will offer new possibilities in terms of design, exchange, and communication. Visitors will be able to see independent labels, innovative eyewear companies, and the many directions in unusual and contemporary design. The Opti boxes, a special area where exciting newcomers to the industry introduce themselves, will also be on display.
What can UK eye care professionals and industry decision makers who are thinking about attending expect to see and learn from the German market?
BR: The exhibitors from German-speaking countries often regard Opti as a kind of home game, a place where they are strongly represented and where they are pleased to present their innovations. This applies to lenses, contact lenses, and technologies as well as to frames.
Visitors from Great Britain can be sure to experience all kinds of innovations at Opti. Exhibitors from Great Britain can expect very good business in Munich, as Opti is the first trade show of the year used by optometrists to start the new business year with momentum.
It is important to emphasise that Opti is no longer a purely German or German-speaking trade show. It is very international, and enjoys growing popularity worldwide, also in Great Britain, which is one of the top ten countries visitors come from. At the last Opti, 668 exhibitors from 40 countries presented their innovations to 28,430 visitors from more than 100 countries. And we are pleased to welcome many visitors from Great Britain to Opti in Munich again.