100% Optical makes welcome return with record visitors
After an enforced break of over two years, 100% Optical made a welcome return to the ExCeL London, with a record-breaking 9,680 attendees flocking to the UK’s biggest optical event.
The first chance for colleagues and customers to reconnect after the pandemic, the three-day event featured catwalk shows, CPD seminars, independent and international eyewear designers, showcases of the latest optical technology and a host of new features, with an even stronger focus on sustainability.
Backed by all the industry’s leading organisations, 100% Optical saw over 160 seminars, workshops and debates curated by show partners, The Association Of Optometrists, alongside exclusive launches, show offers and competitions.
The show also saw the return of the popular Love Eyewear Awards, which champion and promote eyewear.
Additional highlights from 100% Optical were Simon Murray’s incredible collection of Hollywood blockbusters eyewear from across the decades at the Frame Us Exhibition and the innovative RCA Eyewear Design Competition, held in collaboration with students at Royal College of Art (RCA) which this year followed the theme ‘reflecting on the past to help us look at each other now and help us see into the future’.
Nathan Garnett, Event Director, commented after the show: “100% Optical has been a phenomenal hit. 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! We can’t wait for 23-25 February 2023.”
Michelle Fazzini, sales director at Marcolin, added: “We’ve been incredibly busy from 9am to past close, and had queues on Saturday and Sunday waiting to come on the stand. This really feels like one of the European shows, it has such a buzz - we’ll definitely be back next year.”
David Thickens, CEO at Grafton Optical Company Ltd, said: “This show has always had a buzz, and we’re really happy that there’s now one show to focus on and meet all our optometry clients and reconnect with our fellow suppliers; it’s great to see so many familiar faces, and it’s important for the ‘industry family’.”
Amanda Higginbotham, CCO at Birmingham Optical, commented: “After two years without a show it’s been a great opportunity to put out new launches – a lot of people are not aware of the new technology in that period of time, and especially when it’s new tech they want to touch and feel it. It’s also good to interact with new faces; being Midlands-based, coming to 100% Optical we always see new markets in independent opticians when we come here.”
Robert Morris, founder and creator of William Morris London, said: “We’re a huge fan - 100% Optical and William Morris go hand in hand – when they get talked about, we get talked about. They love promoting the industry on our behalf, and it’s a great place to meet and speak to our independent opticians.”
Organisers have already announced the dates for next year’s 100% Optical; it will take place from 25th-27th February 2023, while The Association of Optometrists (AOP) and Media 10 have announced that their partnership to deliver 100% Optical will continue until 2025.
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