The golden edition

President of Mido, Giovanni Vitaloni (pictured), tells OT  how the Italian trade show will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2020

Giovanni Vitaloni

How are preparations going for Mido 2020?

Preparations for the 50th anniversary are underway and we are sparing no effort to make it a memorable show. The dates themselves make it a unique event; 2020 will be a leap year and we will start Mido on 29 February. For the golden edition, we are preparing a full calendar of events that will involve the entire sector. Many surprises cannot be disclosed yet, but among the most interesting innovations, and one we particularly care about, is our commitment to reducing the environmental impact of Mido. We plan to do this by promoting plastic-free policies and responsible use of water, paper, food and power. During Mido, we will also award the most sustainable set-up with the first the Stand up for Green contest. Our goal is to obtain ISO 20121 certification and become one of the first sustainable events in the world.

What exhibitors should attendees be looking out for?

There are over 1300 exhibitors from all over the world that will be located in eight exhibition areas and seven pavilions, representing the entire spectrum of the eyewear universe. The major world players will participate, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises, young start-ups, leaders in the field of lenses and machinery, and the group stand of Asian manufacturers.

For the golden edition, we are preparing a full calendar of events that will involve the entire sector


Where at Mido can visitors learn about industry and clinical trends?

The Lens Pavilion is an entire exhibition area dedicated to clinical trends and the fascinating world of ophthalmic lenses, where all the major international manufacturers will meet to present the latest technological innovations to professionals. Here you can see the best the market has to offer, including previews of the latest lines of products and cutting-edge solutions for improving vision wellbeing, and you can meet with experts for in-depth discussions and practical demonstrations.

The Lens Pavilion will host the Otticlub, which is an industry meeting place dedicated to information and education. It is a congress hall for seminars, workshops, presentations, events and conferences on vision and the optical sector, and is designed for those who do not want to miss out on the latest developments.

Tech is the world’s largest exhibition area dedicated to machinery, raw materials and components in the eyewear sector, with demonstrations of the latest sophisticated tools for manufacturing frames, crafting lenses, and for finished and semi-finished products.

In addition to clinical and industry trends, Mido is a showcase for the latest developments in fashion and creativity. The Fashion District is where the world’s leading eyewear companies meet to unveil their new collections, with some bearing the logos of the most prestigious fashion brands and others iconic house-brands that have made the history of eyewear.

The Design Lab is now widely acclaimed throughout the world thanks to the most visionary creatives who are bold enough to take experimentation to new extremes. A magical, special space for the most avant-garde companies in the sector. Here, creativity knows no bounds and plays with shapes and materials, thus creating not only contemporary eyewear, but also the eyewear of the future. The Design Lab interprets and anticipates trends and directions, it is a showcase of global excellence, a unique opportunity to meet and a real laboratory of new languages, a think-tank of new ideas and time-established trends.

More! is a window on the future of eyewear, a place of extraordinary creativity, design and innovation, a hot bed of ideas, concepts and experiments, a meeting place for the boldest creators of artisan eyewear. It will host new and revolutionary projects in the eyewear world and inspire professionals on the lookout for new and surprising ideas.

The Lab Academy is an incubator of ideas, an exclusive space for new start-ups by creative emerging designers who are selected by a special committee of experts to debut at Mido. It is a special location with a fresh, non-conformist atmosphere for all those who make originality their motto.

The Fair East Pavilion with 350 exhibitors is the most exclusive showcase for Asian manufacturers. A group of exhibitors who are as varied as their continent is immense, the space provides an unusual combination of tradition and innovation, attention to the past with an eye to the future.

Mido is a showcase for the latest developments in fashion and creativity


What can UK eye care practitioners and industry decision makers who are thinking about attending expect to see and learn from the Italian market?

The first half of 2019 was a big breath of fresh air for the Italian eyewear industry and boosted the moderate growth reported at the end of 2018. The weakness of the Euro and higher US tariffs on Chinese goods might have partially affected these results, but we can’t forget that export has always been the core business of the Italian eyewear industry (over 90% of our production is slated for export), and all of us are moving in that direction.

For the next few months, it’s hard to predict what might happen because of uncertainties at an international level. Uncertainty remains high and our market is changing very rapidly, perhaps faster than companies can adjust to, especially small and medium-sized companies. We hope that exports will remain at these levels and that the domestic market, propelled by a better overall market climate and hopefully greater political stability, may finally recover.

Our association, the Italian Optical Goods Manufacturers’ Association, strives to continuously enhance efficiency and responsiveness in helping our companies grow in all markets. Towards that end, we have implemented an internationalisation programme and a number of new services. First of all, as regards to sales and marketing, our companies can benefit from a sales staff training programme established in partnership with SDA Bocconi, while technical and product training is available through the new Polytechnic Eyewear Institute of Certottica.