Munich Trade Show Full of Optimism

By Paddy Kamen

eventFrom January 13 to 15, 2012, the premier German optical trade show thrilled both exhibitors and visitors with business and learning opportunities, along with an evening of fun in the heart of the Bavarian capital. The show, formerly known as opti Munich, is now branded simply ‘opti’ with the current iteration following the name – in this case opti ‘12.

Twenty-seven countries from around the globe sent exhibitors to opti ‘12, with products ranging from contact lenses, ophthalmic lenses and optical instruments to technology and retail set-up. As with every opti, several companies launched new creations at the show, including L.A. Eyeworks, Opo Design Sweden and The Norville Group, from Gloucester,England.

The high-end TD Tom Davies brand from Britain has been exhibiting at opti for several years. “opti has become our most important show,” says Managing Director Tom Davies. “I’ve been telling my opticians and fellow eyewear designers about our successes at Munich for some years now. It is a great place to present something new and innovative. For us, its position at the start of the year is really ideal; it represents the perfect opportunity to launch new products and collections in an intimate yet very well-attended setting. »

“Exhibitors like taking advantage of this first-of-the-year opportunity to show off their innovative new products,” said Dieter Dohr, CEO and president of GHM Gesellschaft für Handwerksmessen mbH, the company that organizes the show. “We’re proud of the fact that opti acts as a guide for the industry as the year opens. We find that more companies are now gearing their production schedule to opti ‘12. It provides a good indication of how the year will unfold for them.”

The show is also eagerly anticipated by buyers, with 23,000 from many countries attending this year. A post-show survey demonstrates opti ‘12’s popularity with buyers. Almost 90 per cent of them rated the show as ‘good to very good’. Visiting retailers were able to take advantage of the chance to learn how to protect their products from shoplifting in a special section of the show reserved for manufacturers and distributors of protective technologies.

Relationships between buyers and sellers were strengthened at opti ‘12. Exhibitors surveyed reported higher order numbers than the previous year and increasing interest in their product from buyers from abroad. The overall mood was good and views were upbeat about economic prospects for the coming year. Over half the participants reported their expectations of the future as ‘good to excellent’. This is heartening indeed, especially in light of the troubled euro.

The most famous beer hall in the world, Munich’s Hofbräuhaus, was the scene for an evening of conviviality and networking, with exhibitors and visitors to the show relaxing, chatting and imbibing. The German association of eyecare professionals, known as Zentralverband der Augenoptiker (ZVA), had a presence at the event. ZVA President Thomas Truckenbrod, said, “It was an optimum evening and a real highlight of opti ‘12. » He added: « Our stand was always busy and we could feel the optimism of our colleagues for 2012.”

The next opti takes place January 25 – 27, 2013 in Munich.