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Home >> EXHIBITIONS >> REVIEWS >> Strong turnout at London’s 100% Optical
NATHAN GARNETT EVENT DIRECTOR
Professionals and business representatives gathered in large numbers as 100% Optical returned after an enforced break of over two years. The three-day international event, the largest optical show in the UK, recorded 9,680 attendees when it concluded on 25 April this year.
Launched in 2014, the seventh edition of the show had over 200 exhibitors of international brands across eyewear, equipment, lenses, business services and audiology. The venue, ExCeL London, was abuzz with displays, launches, show offers, competitions, catwalk shows and seminars. Independent and international eyewear designers showcased their latest products, innovations, optical technologies and solutions.
There were fine learning opportunities through the educational programmes. Backed by all the industry’s leading organisations, there were over 160 CPD (continuing professional development) seminars, lectures, workshops and debates, curated by the show partners, the Association of Optometrists (AOP).
The practice sessions had distinct streams dedicated to delivering industry leading content in the areas of consulting, diagnostics – with workshops offering access to the latest technology, dispensing, and discussion workshops and lectures on the industry’s most sought after trends and topics.
Launched in 2020, the popular Love Eyewear Awards were back. The awards champion and promote eyewear amongst independent and major designers, manufacturers, and retailers. The awards of the year cover many categories: new designer, kids eyewear, luxury frame, men’s sunglasses, women’s sunglasses, separate ones for men’s, women’s and unisex frames, luxury eyewear retailer, eyewear retailer, international eyewear retailer, most engaging practice window, sustainable frame, and eyewear accessory.
Other highlights included Simon Murray’s superb collection of Hollywood blockbusters eyewear from across the decades at the Frame Us Exhibition; and the innovative Royal College of Art Eyewear Design Competition, held in collaboration with students of the institute, which this year was on the theme of ‘reflecting on the past to help us look at each other now and help us see into the future’.
“100% Optical has been a phenomenal hit,” said Nathan Garnett, event director, at the conclusion of the show. “Having postponed the event twice, it is amazing to see we have managed to match our 2020 attendance level. This is an even greater achievement when you hear that we are the first show back at ExCeL London to recover fully.
We have had three days of catching up on lost time from a sector that has really missed meeting face to face.
“What was also striking was the togetherness of the sector, with major industry associations the AOP, ABDO and Optical Suppliers Association all pulling together to help the professionals working in optics. This has led to lots of ideas we are already implementing for 2023. We had a record rebook as well, always a sign that a show has delivered!”
The organisers of the show have announced that the 8th edition will take place from 25 to 27 February 2023.
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