Mido 2012 – Functional, Dynamic, Diverse

By Paddy Kamen

event_midoMido is one of the longest-running optical trade fairs in the world but that doesn’t make it tired. Always reaching for new ways to express the diversity and dynamism of the sector, Mido – the International Optics, Optometry and Ophthalmology Exhibition, in its 42nd incarnation again affirmed its position as a contender for the distinction of the world’s top optical show.

“Mido is a unique experience that is difficult to put into words,” according to show President Cirillo Marcolin. “To understand its potential and appreciate its usefulness, it must be experienced in person. A walk among the stands is a must for anyone who wants a greater understanding of the universe of eyewear.”

The Mido eyewear universe, held from March 11-13, included six pavilions in the Fieramilano Rho-Pero conference centre in Milan, where more than 1,000 exhibitors from 40+ countries showed their wares to 42,000 visitors from around the world.

The show was divided into six functional areas. The Mido Tech and Lens pavilions showed high-end R&D technologies, materials, lenses and accessories. The Fashion District, was, as you would expect, a potpourri of trends in prescription eyewear and sunglasses. The Mido Design lab displayed experimentation and realization of the avant-garde in frame shapes, materials and colours. The Asian pavilion was a draw for everyone interested in the latest offerings from the east. Spaces devoted to receptions, mini-conferences and teaching comprised the balance of the show floor.

Mido 2012 was a truly international show with a strong local emphasis. Its main audience is, of course, the opticians and eye specialists of Italy and they were catered to in every possible way, from special transportation to the show to the setting of show dates, which included Sunday and Monday, two days on which Italian eye offices and stores are traditionally closed. Further, special areas were designated for opticians and optometrists to learn, network and socialize. OttiClub by Mido offered a place for in-depth talks on topics of interest to opticians. And upcoming opticianry grads were treated to special guided tours of the show to help them understand and appreciate the vast dimensions of the industry. Ophthalmic lab associations and optometrists likewise engaged in the learning and socializing opportunities afforded by Mido, making it so much more than just a buying opportunity.

There was a focus on sunwear at this year’s Mido as optometrists enjoyed a special seminar on optometric applications for sunwear in sporting activities. In addition, a special meeting of the European Sunglass Association (ESA) and the Vision Council from the U.S. was held with the aim of unifying their messaging to focus on the visual health aspect of sunwear. The ESA released the results of a study on the European sunwear market to their members at the meeting.

The European optics industry sales results for 2011 were released just prior to the show, on March 7. Given the difficult realities of the Italian economy in particular and the European Union in general, the news was good. Italy, Spain, Germany and France saw sales rise by 1.9 per cent over the previous year.

Show organizers recently announced the revision of the 2013 schedule as a result of feedback from exhibitors and attendees. As Marcolin explains, “This strategic choice aptly responds to the needs revealed by the evaluation of the national and international fairs scenario as well as the requests and feedback received from exhibitors and visitors who attended the last event and whose remarks weigh heavily on our decisions.”  The event will be held on March 2, 3, and 4.

Let’s hope the positive trend is sustained as Mido continues to shine with diversity and innovation in the world of international trade shows.