100% Optical announces new date for 2021 event

The optical show will be held from 8-10 May, after the Government announced that the restart date for exhibitions and conferences would be delayed

Media 10, the organisation behind 100% Optical, has announced new dates for the 2021 industry show, with the event now set to take place from 8–10 May at ExCeL London.

The decision to move the event follows an announcement from the Prime Minister that the restart date for exhibitions and conferences, originally set at 1 October, would be delayed, with suggestions that social restrictions could be in place for up to six months.

In an email to delegates and exhibitors, the organisers shared their belief that: “By running in May, our delegates and speakers will feel more confident about attending an exhibition, the virus will be in decline again, and there is the possibility we may have a vaccine by then.”

A number of pilots have been carried out in the UK, following the Government’s initial plan to restart in the autumn, to plan for the return of exhibitions and explore how events can be carried out in a COVID-secure way.

Media 10 also emphasised its commitment to health and safety and explained it is working with the venue to ensure the event is a COVID-secure environment.

“People cannot wait to meet again, and exhibitions remain the most effective way for people to do this,” wrote Nathan Garnett, show director for 100% Optical. “This move will allow us to make sure that the optical sector can meet in 2021.”

Earlier this year, it was announced that the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians and MA Exhibitions had decided to cancel Optrafair 2020. Media 10 have taken ownership of the Optrafair brand from 2021, with the organisations confirming that the joining of forces between the two would provide “one major annual exhibition” through 100% Optical, with the AOP remaining as the official partner to the show.

Commenting on the new dates for the event, Henrietta Alderman, chief executive officer of the AOP, said: “I am so pleased that we can now look forward to delivering 100% Optical in May 2021. This ever popular exhibition will offer our members and the wider profession the much needed opportunity to meet and network with colleagues, friends and suppliers - old and new - and take in the highly valued world-class education programme facilitated by the AOP.”

Dr Ian Beasley, AOP head of education and OT clinical editor, also commented: “As the longstanding official event partner, the AOP is looking forward once again to facilitating the education delivery at 100% Optical 2021.

“The spring of next year is the perfect time for delegates to evaluate their educational needs and secure the points and competencies they need to meet the GOC requirements as we head towards the end of the current CET cycle,” he added.

Media 10 will be working on the event programme over the coming weeks, and confirmed its aim to deliver attendees’ “favourite parts of the show” in a COVID-secure way.

Mr Garnett continued: “We are working on making 2021 the year of recovery and are determined that 100% Optical helps you get back on track.”

In the meantime, attendees can join 100% Optical for its Tech Bites virtual product showcases, with the next scheduled for Monday 28 September at 7.30pm.