Catfight between British optical fairs

februari 18, 2014

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Today is the last day of the new 100% Optical fair at the Excel Centre at London. The organization behind the fair challenges the traditional Optrafair at Birmingham which answers with the launch of an Optrafair at London’s Olympia from April 11 to 13. First no London fair at all, and now two immediately after each other, it seems a bit too much. You could easily recognize that at the 100% Optical fair this weekend. The halls were not fully occupied yet and the major (contact)lens suppliers did not show at all. Nevertheless, quite some eyewear suppliers already made a choice for 100% Optical like Lindberg, Marchon, ProDesign, MODO and many others. Some suppliers choose to be present at both fairs as they do not want to miss an opportunity to see their clients. The British market can certainly use a “fashion” boost. Traditionally, British opticians focus on the more technical aspects of their profession and this is exactly what the Optrafair does as well. 100% Optical tries to change this in a more fashion-orientated approach although opticians could attend a lot of workshops and seminars and in fact did so. Nevertheless, the intentions of the organization seem to be good and most exhibitors tend to give them credits for their efforts to change something. It might cause some turbulence and probably lead to the necessary renewal. There is much to win in the U.K. as soon as (independent) opticians start to understand that prescription frames and sunglasses changed from necessary vision aids into important fashion accessories.

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