On 14th January the FMC Meditech team headed down to the London Excel to attend our first exhibition of the year, 100% Optical. Over the past few years we have both attended and exhibited at Optrafair, so we were interested to see how other optical exhibitions compared.
How did the event space compare?
As a smaller, more compact exhibition than Optrafair, the layout of 100% Optical had both benefits and drawbacks.
One of our main criticisms of Optrafair last year was that the frames and fashion aspect of the exhibition had increased, and at times took away from the manufacturers. The event space at 100% Optical, however, was split into three specific areas – manufacturers, frames, and lenses. Having different sections for different types of stand meant that the focus was firmly on the hands-on technology displays when you were in the manufacturers area.
The smaller event space was, however, the source of a compromise. Both the manufacturers stands and the networking areas were smaller.
Whilst we didn’t attend any, feedback on the day was that the associated networking events were excellent. There are show parties, awards dinners and networking drinks to attend. These sound like a great opportunity to do any networking that didn’t happen at the exhibition itself, and something we may consider for next year.
Less CET, more technology
When we reviewed Optrafair last year, we commented that it seemed to have become heavily focused on clinical education, taking away from its trade show roots. At 100% Optical, whilst CET sessions did feature, they weren’t they main focus. The feedback we heard throughout the day was that this exhibition was more sales-friendly, and that some manufacturers had experienced higher spend from buyers.
Whilst there wasn’t as much technology on display as we have seen at other shows, it was a big year for 100% Optical. The most equipment in the exhibition’s history was on display, with over 20 suppliers showcasing their latest offerings.
One of the main reasons FMC Meditech like to attend optical exhibitions is to see the technological advancements that have happened over the last 12 months in action.
Some of the highlights at 100% Optical were Optos’ latest ultra-widefield imaging system, the Monaco, the first of its kind to have integrated OCT. We were also impressed with Zeiss’ Integrated Diagnostic Imaging platform that works with their existing gold-standard technologies, as well as the IPL treatment for dry eyes from Lumenis.
It was also great the see Luneau exhibit for the first time and launch as an independent company. They will be taking to the UK market with their Visionix system.
What’s the final verdict?
100% Optical was a totally different experience to Optrafair, and we are keen to attend both again next year. It was a great opportunity to meet with existing and new connections, as well as seeing the latest eye care technologies in action.
If you didn’t get chance to speak to our team at the exhibition, you can download our UK Eye Care Talent Report 2018 here.