100% Optical

Know before you go: five 100% Optical insights

After a gap of two years following pandemic restrictions, 100% Optical 2022 is just around the corner, bringing CPD, new products, and the opportunity for in-person networking

Getty/BRO Vector

Nathan Garnett, show director for 100% Optical, told OT : “We are feeling really positive about the show.”

At the time of writing, event organisers are continuing to see large numbers of people registering for the show every day. Garnett said: “It’s going to be our busiest show yet.”

Due to popular demand, the show will open at 9am across the three days of the show, giving delegates more time to explore the exhibition and attend education sessions.

1 Key trends on the show floor

Over 200 exhibitors will be at the show, explains Celsa Vazquez, event sales manager, “More than we’ve ever had.”

Giving insight into the innovations set to be on display, she explained that the event organisers are seeing “really innovative handheld diagnostic equipment” from equipment manufacturers.

In eyewear, new materials will be the biggest talking point, as well as the opportunity to meet new brands entering the UK. Virtual ‘try-on’ solutions, supported by augmented-reality, are set to be a key feature.

The presence of audiology providers and suppliers is increasing in 2022. With many practices looking at introducing audiology, Vazquez said: “It’s definitely an area that we want to grow moving forwards.”

Delegates will also see creative approaches and technology from shop fitting providers, with Vazquez adding: “What they are going to be showcasing, and what they can do, is going to be quite eye opening for practices.”

2 Keeping up to date

As the official event partner and education provider for the show, the AOP has produced a programme of more than 130 education sessions, including workshops, lectures and peer reviews.

The programme of education has been designed around the General Optical Council’s new CPD scheme, with sessions covering all of the new domains and interactivity requirements.

Dr Ian Beasley, OT clinical editor and head of education for the AOP, shared: “100% Optical is a valuable opportunity for delegates to keep up to date on key topics such as myopia management, optical coherence tomography, and many more.”

He added: “The comprehensive education programme has been tailored to meet the needs of all practitioner types and support delegates in meeting their requirements under the CPD scheme, offering plenty of choice in both the topics covered and the style of delivery.”

Beasley noted that education at the show is incredibly popular and encouraged delegates to review the sessions they have booked, and cancel any they no longer wish to attend.

3 The poster trails

Education provision will also include four poster trails, with one non-interactive CPD point available for successfully completing each trail.

All four poster trails are approved for optometrists, with one of each also approved for dispensing opticians, contact lens opticians, and specialty optometrists respectively.

“There is something for every practitioner,” Beasley explained. “The poster trails are a beneficial way to use any downtime delegates might have during the show, between CPD sessions or meetings with exhibitors, and a chance to take even more value away from the show experience.”

“New for 2022, AOP members and OT subscribers will be able to scan a QR code on the posters to take the exam live, and receive an instant result and certificate,” Beasley said.

Maps showing the six different locations of the posters will be available for delegates to collect at the AOP Lounge.

4 Safe and efficient

The 100% Optical show app is available to download. Through the app attendees can look through exhibitors, book appointments, network with other delegates, or post to social media.

“We’ve used the app for other events and it is really popular, and really useful to create your schedule of appointments and CPD,” Garnett said.

Though national COVID-19 restrictions have lifted in England, hand sanitiser and masks will still be provided to attendees who wish to use them.

Garnett said: “Exhibitors are all very aware that we are working in a sector that takes this very seriously. So we will make it as safe as possible for people to come to the event.”

James Champion, head of exhibition sales at ExCeL London, shared: “We’re delighted to be welcoming 100% Optical to ExCeL London – the largest optical event in the UK.”

With visitor safety and wellbeing a top priority for the venue, he said, “we’re continuing measures such as our enhanced cleaning regimes, hand sanitisers located throughout the venue and increased ventilation in line with the latest guidance – all aimed at reassuring attendees and exhibitors alike.”

5 Recognising Ramadan

This year, 100% Optical will coincide with Ramadan (2 April until 1 May), and event organisers have ensured adjustments will be available for delegates who will be observing the holy month.

ExCeL London’s James Champion commented: “With the event falling during Ramadan, there is a prayer room on site – located beside Hall S9 – available for anyone to use as they wish.”

Garnett highlighted that exhibitors will be asked to be considerate of delegates observing Ramadan, adding that many are making plans to ensure accessibility for show visitors who will be fasting.

“The key thing is ensuring exhibitors are aware, acknowledge it, and make people feel welcome,” he said.

Champion also highlighted that ExCeL London has a variety of amenities available to meet the differing needs of delegates, such as a dedicated family room.

For more insight from exhibitors, sponsors and speakers on key trends and themes expected from the show, take a look at OT’s preview series online: