Opti 2014: Kicking off the Year in Style

By JoAnne Sommers

EventOptiThe new year got off to a flying start in Munich from January 10-12 as opti, the international trade show for optics and design, set new records for the number of visitors and exhibitors it attracted.

About 500 exhibitors from 34 countries showcased the latest in frames, lenses, contact lenses, equipment and fixtures for the more than 24,000 visitors from over 80 countries who attended. Many of the products and collections had their world premieres – among them “Claudia Schiffer by Rodenstock”, from Germany’s leading manufacturer of lenses and frames, which is headquartered in the Bavarian capital.

The record number of exhibitors as well as visitors is a clear vote in favour of the event’s date at the beginning of the calendar year, said Dieter Dohr, chairman of the management board of GHM, which organized opti.

“The show is the ideal start to the year for the industry, which appreciates the high quality and product range on offer, as well as the lively, exciting atmosphere of the show,” said Dohr. “If you want to see a best of the market, you have to come to Munich.”

Organizers said that opti provides a compact, highly efficient forum for business, thanks to its clearly structured layout. One visitor who appreciated that aspect of the show was Jordan Paul, owner of Opticianado Eyewear in Toronto.

Paul, who was attending opti for the first time, was impressed with its excellent organization and the convenient location at the fairground Messe Munchen, just 20 minutes by underground railway from downtown Munich. He said the timing also played a big role in his decision to attend.

“January is the best time of year for me to get away from my store,” he said. “It was too early to start buying product but the show gave me an excellent preview of what is coming and some ideas about what I might want to buy later in the year.”

Paul said he liked what he saw from a number of the exhibitors, including Anglo American Eyewear, a company with which he has previously worked. “I’ve had good success with them in the past and I was impressed with what I saw from their British counterpart at the show.”

A veteran of international optical trade shows, including Silmo in Paris and Mido in Milan, Paul said he decided to attend opti after hearing that it was an, “up and coming show.” It was larger than he was expecting and featured a number of different vendors than those he had seen elsewhere, including some smaller independents, with which he was unfamiliar.

In addition to providing a forum for products from companies representing all parts of the optical industry, opti offers an excellent supporting program. Interdisciplinary presentations are available on each day of the fair, featuring leading speakers from Germany and abroad. The continuing education program is free of charge for all exhibitors and visitors, and the presentations are simultaneously translated into English.

Opti 2015 will be held from Friday, Jan. 9 to Sunday, Jan. 11 and organizers say that visitors and exhibitors can look forward to the best show ever. So mark your calendars now!