100% Optical Trade Show Brings Light to London

100OpticalBy Paddy Kamen

The European optical tradeshow climate has taken a turn toward sunny, with the second iteration of 100% Optical. The show ran from Feb. 7-9 at London’s Olympic-famous ExCeL venue, which offers excellent transportation infrastructure for exhibitors and participants alike (not always easy in European capitals).

Organized in partnership with the London-based Association of Optometrists, 100% Optical is the largest audited trade show for eyecare professionals in the U.K. They are doing a lot of things right, judging from the huge – 25 per cent – increase in attendance for 2015. Over 6,000 visitors crossed the threshold to a world of 2,000 product launches and 100+ hours of seminars, featuring a wealth of thought-provoking content. Optometrists, dispensing opticians, contact lens practitioners and ophthalmologists attended the show and enthusiasm was high.

The Eyewear Design Competition offered great opportunities for young designers. Students from London’s Royal College of Art were invited to submit eyewear designs under the categories Couture and Ready to Wear. The winner, Hannah Evans, will go on to intern with Mondottica Eyewear. All of the short-listed entrants have been approached about job opportunities in the industry. Well done!

100OpticalCrowdTwelve fashion shows, celebrity appearances and lively debates during panel discussions rounded out a show that just keeps getting better, while still only two years old.

100% Optical’s Event Director, Nathan Garnett, says, “The addition of some key brands in the industry, as well as support from across the optical profession meant that we were able to improve the experience and deliver a trade event the industry can be proud of. We are now busy planning for next year, with lots of new ideas. Exhibitor bookings are up 50 per cent, and many new brands came to see how they could take part in 2016. 100% Optical in London is here to stay.”

100% Optical 2016 is scheduled to run from Feb. 6-8.