Hong Kong Optical Fair Offers a World of Opportunity

By Nicky Fambios


From eyewear parades to buyer forums, seminars to networking receptions, the 21st edition of the Hong Kong Optical Fair, held November 6 – 8, 2013 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, certainly had it all.

The Hong Kong Optometric Conference, with Advanced Optometry Care as its theme, took place during the first two days; it included seminars on optometric care for pediatric patients, vision requirements for drivers, and protective measures against blue light damage – a topic of growing interest, given the proliferation of electronic devices.

As a case in point, demand for eyewear technology like low blue light and 3D glasses is on the rise. 3D Global (Holdings) Limited showcased their innovative products, as well as the French brand SHINA, and the company welcomed the opportunity to meet international buyers. “We met buyers from the U.S., Canada and the Middle East… the response has been positive,” says the company Director Bonnie Chan.

A record 700 exhibitors, including newcomers from Israel, Macau, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Thailand, were on hand to show off their finest to the nearly 14,000 buyers from approximately 100 countries and regions who attended.

Show organizers and exhibitors alike were pleased with attendance levels, which rose eight per cent over the previous year.

Zig Eyewear, exhibiting for the second consecutive year in the VOS (Visionaries of Style) area, deemed the event successful. According to a company statement, their primary goals were to present the Jean Reno and Ziggy lines to the Asian market, gain insight into the specifics of this segment, adapt accordingly and then implement distribution networks. Success was evidenced by the increased number of visitors to the booth and the exciting new agreements undertaken.

To what does Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council attribute this achievement?

“Buyers from a number of emerging markets increased significantly, including Egypt, South Africa, Indonesia, Vietnam and Mexico, showing their huge development potential. On the other hand, buyers from mature markets like the U.S., the Netherlands and Spain also had a considerable increase,” said Chau. “It is also a testament to the Optical Fair’s position as a major sourcing platform for the global optical industry.”

The event built on the popularity of last year’s Brand Name Gallery area by introducing two new zones in 2013. The 3D & Kids Eyewear and Reading Glasses sections were launched in order to facilitate product sourcing.

Michael Suliteanu, president of WestGroupe, confirmed that the company’s booth in the Brand Name Gallery was hopping. “This was our fourth year exhibiting and it was better than ever. We had a team of four working the show and they were consistently busy – there were no lulls.”

He goes on to explain, “In the past, we would attend the fair to source suppliers but we’ve reached a point where we’ve developed solid, quality relationships with our core group of manufacturers. Now our goal is to meet distributors and buyers, in order to expand into foreign markets.”

So was the high traffic a sign of success for WestGroupe? Says Suliteanu: “It was a very good show for us. In fact, we’ve already signed up for next year.”

The next Hong Kong Optical Fair is scheduled for November 5 – 7,  2014.