Learning or buying?
During conversations with our network that were exhibiting at Optrafair this year, the most common theme surrounding event feedback was about how the show has transformed into a clinical education Mecca rather than sticking to its trade show roots!
In my last blog, I wrote about the demand for Ophthalmic Photographers and other clinical professionals, using their expertise to influence the sales of new imaging and diagnostic systems. Some companies have built these capabilities internally whilst others continue to work with ad-hoc consultants to fulfil this capacity.
This has resulted in a total shift of approach within the leading industry OEMs and distributors; the value these individuals add to the commercial process is immense, which was particularly evident at Optrafair through the increase of CET sessions available both on stand and in the CET theatre.
But has it maybe gone a little too far… after all Optrafair is a trade show isn’t it?
Technology versus fashion
One of the key reasons that the FMC Meditech team love attending Optrafair and a core factor for exhibiting this year is that the show has historically focused on the equipment used within optometry practice as oppose to frames and fashion. This is what differentiated it from 100% Optical, but are the two events now just repetition of one another? We also heard rumours that the two events might combine!
These events provide the platform for equipment suppliers to showcase their products and provide potential customers with hands-on demonstrations; the footfall we spoke to at the event still crave the focus on technological advancements with equipment – how will the events next year meet this need?
Another hot topic in our network was that footfall across the weekend was flat – lots of optometrists but from the large optical chains and therefore with limited buying power. The crowds that did attend seem to be taking advantage of the CET sessions available and particularly honing their focus on upskilling their OCT interpretation capabilities. Great from a skills perspective – but have their eyes been opened up to what the technological advancements are that the equipment suppliers have brought to the market in the last 12-18 months?
How was it for us
Well Optrafair 2018 was actually incredibly successful for us – our market were those companies that were exhibiting – so not having a reliance on footfall meant that our audience was captive! Having set up 45 meetings across the three days ahead of attending, I knew Ryan and I were going to be very busy expanding our network and learning more about who we should be working with and why. We weren’t wrong!
We’ve worked for nearly 6 years in this market to build our reputation as “the go-to specialist recruitment partner within ophthalmology and optometry” – and this year, we genuinely felt we had earnt our stripes. Being able to showcase our own research and knowledge was absolutely fantastic… if you didn’t receive a copy of our Eye Care Talent Report, you can read it here.
We are really excited to continue supporting some of our established clients and to further develop the new relationships fostered at Optrafair. So, we thank Optrafair for a fantastic show but can’t help but wonder what will become of the show next year based on some of the feedback we have heard.
If we had the opportunity to meet with you – then thank you for the time you took to speak with us, if we didn’t and you think you would benefit learning more about;
- Salary trends in your sales team
- Your top competitors for talent in the market
- The ones to watch in the market
- Product releases to watch out for in 2018