100% Optical 2022: a “phenomenal” reunion

OT  hears from the organisers and exhibitors at 100% Optical 2022 about what it means to be back at the show

“Bringing everyone back has been phenomenal,” Nathan Garnett, 100% Optical event director, told OT as 100% Optical 2022 came to a close.

The three-day optical trade show took place at London’s ExCeL on 23-25 April.

As a result of the pandemic, it had been two years since the profession had gathered for 100% Optical and Garnett described an atmosphere of connection: “We’ve felt a real buzz in the room and a general feeling of happiness that everyone has got back together.”

Event organisers described seeing attendance numbers match levels seen in 2020, with more than 200 exhibitors showcasing their latest products and solutions.

Exhibitors shared their joy at a return to face-to-face events through 100% Optical 2022.

Ryan Leighton, CEO of Leightons Opticians & Hearing Care and founder of The Hearing Care Partnership, told OT: “It’s awesome to be back at 100% Optical, it’s great to see so many familiar faces and just be in the room together as an industry.

Richard Smith, Bausch + Lomb, head of professional services for Europe and Canada - Vision Care, agreed: “there’s nothing better than being able to see people, interact with people, just catch up with old friends and have great conversations.”

Over 160 seminars, workshops and debates ran over the three-day event, with the programme of education delivered in partnership with the AOP.

Describing the education on offer, OT multimedia clinical editor, Ceri Smith Jaynes, said topics had ranged from refractive surgery to ultra-widefield examination, adding: “we’ve heard how ophthalmology has been affected by the pandemic.”

Ahead of the show, the AOP confirmed its partnership to deliver 100% Optical will continue until 2025.

Reflecting on the news, Garnett said: “We’re really pleased that we have another three years of working with the AOP.

“When we launched this show it was all about putting the optometrist and optician at the heart of the event,” he said. “Every year it gets better in terms of understanding what the industry needs.”

100% Optical 2023 will be held at London’s ExCeL from 25-27 February.