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Silmo 2019 promises to “stimulate the imagination”

The president of Silmo, Amélie Morel, talks to OT  about how the trade show is shaping up ahead of its return to Paris in September

30 Jul 2019 by Andrew McClean

How are preparations going for Silmo Paris 2019?

As of mid-July, our booking level is very positive. More than 97% of our objectives have been reached. We should attain the milestone of approximately 1000 exhibitors from some 40 countries representing 1600 brands – a stability that we owe to the reputation of the trade show. You must consider that our sector is concentrating. Yet, it is made dynamic by new arrivals and the launches of new brands that take advantage of Silmo’s international resonance to plunge into the market, gain visibility and develop.

What’s new and what will return at this year’s show?

Last year, we created the Silmo Next space – the optics and eyewear futurology space at the heart of the trade show. It features a selection of eyewear trends directly connected with the digital magazine Trends by Silmo as well as a forum dedicated to the future retail world where we organise thematic lectures and accommodate specialised technology and service business corners.

This year, we decided to go even further by launching the Silmo Hackathon, a completely unprecedented event. Over a period of 24 hours, enthusiastic multi-disciplinary teams will work together to imagine tomorrow’s optics and eyewear retail world. This creative marathon is open to all professionals in the vision, retail, design and human science fields, as well as other people eager to rise to such a challenge whether in the optical field or not. The objective is really to stimulate the imagination and provide unexpected solutions. 

Which new and returning exhibitors should visitors look out for?

The variety and diversity of the brands and products presented by the 979 exhibitors at Silmo cover the entire industry in such a way that it is very difficult for our visitors to know what and who to visit. Moreover, each year, we welcome more than 159 new companies, which demonstrates the attractiveness of the trade show.

It is worth noting the response of exhibitors who we are thrilled to welcome such as Hoya, Silhouette, Shamir, Optiswiss, J&J, Mikli and Oliver Peoples. And because we are always looking to the future, we have reconfigured the start-ups space to make it even more attractive. This is a space that visitors must move through to discover the budding companies that might become tomorrow’s big brands.

“The extent and diversity of the brands and products presented by the 979 exhibitors at Silmo cover the entire industry”

What should visitors expect from the Silmo d’Or Awards?

We are going to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Silmo d’Or, a symbolic threshold that reminds us how much these international optics and eyewear awards have become a first-rate reference in the appreciation of creation and innovation. We will pay tribute to these 25 first editions and, most importantly, trace the lines for the next 25 years. The chairman of the 2019 jury, Christophe Pillet, is a world-renowned French designer and interior architect. He will provide a stimulating view to animate this special – and let’s go ahead and say it, historical – edition.

Where at Silmo can visitors learn about industry and clinical trends, and what can they find out?

We have created the digital magazine Trends by Silmo, which sheds a 360-degree light on the sector. Currently, edition 24 is online on the Silmo website. It addresses consumer behaviour, augmented vision via connected glasses, the development of concept stores, and so on.

At the Silmo Next space, visitors may immerse themselves in the 2020 glasses trends and the new directions for retail development. At the Silmo Academy, on the theme of refraction, they will have the opportunity to discover the developments on the subject and read about the research work in the form of posters that will be displayed throughout the duration of the trade show. We hope that the professionals in attendance will make the most of such an extensive information ecosystem.

Silmo takes place at Paris Nord Villepinte on 27–30 September 2019. For further information, visit the event's website.

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