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Industry News

14 Jul 2020

Major Optical Events in UK To Merge

100 percent opticalUK company Media 10, organisers of 100% Optical, and the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians (FMO) of UK have reached an agreement that brings the main optical bodies and the industry together in one major event for 2021 onwards.

In addition to this agreement, the FMO, together with show organiser MA Exhibitions, a member of the Mark Allen Group, have made the difficult decision to cancel Optrafair 2020, which was due to take place between 19-21 September 2020.  This action was taken due to the continued uncertainty surrounding delivery of events as a result of Covid-19.

According to the press release, the joining of forces between FMO and Media 10, as well as the cancellation of Optrafair 2020, provides the industry with much-needed security and clarity. The industry can now be assured there is one major annual exhibition, 100% Optical at London’s ExCeL exhibition centre, which now has full industry support from the FMO and other major optical bodies.

The agreement reached between Media 10 and the FMO sees the Optrafair brand transition to Media 10 ownership from 2021. That means that optical suppliers will be able to plan with certainty and put their event marketing plans into place to support one event in January 2021. The long-term commercial agreement will allow the FMO the space, time and resources to increase support for its members. The FMO and Media 10 look forward to consulting with members over the coming months.

Over the last 7 years, 100% Optical has consistently grown attendance figures, and independent research illustrates that London ExCeL in late January is a winning combination for exhibitors and delegates.

Nathan Garnett, Event Director for 100% Optical said: “We are living through uncertain times. Whilst this agreement would have been reached without the current pandemic, it’s importance now is magnified as the optical industry needs solidarity at this time. With the FMO’s full backing of 100% Optical, coupled with that of the AOP and ABDO, I can see huge potential for us to take 100% Optical forwards, grow our attendance levels, increase the diversity of our content, and make it an even more unmissable date in the UK and International Optical calendar.”

Stuart Burn, Chairman of the FMO Commented: “We are delighted with the outcome of this agreement that will allow FMO members to concentrate on one major exhibition, which will be fantastic for all of us. I am looking forward to working with Media 10, and believe this partnership will provide both tangible benefits and cost savings to our members and other exhibitors. Now more than ever we can come together as an industry at 100% Optical and tackle the key issues facing optics today.”

Matt Govett, Managing Director of MA Exhibitions adds: “In addition to the Optrafair brand transitioning across to Media 10, and in light of the current circumstances around the viability of events due to the pandemic, MA Exhibitions and the FMO reluctantly made the decision to cancel Optrafair 2020 which was due to take place in September at the NEC. We fully support the move between Media 10 and the FMO to create one new event to support the sector from 2021 onwards. We wish Media 10 and the FMO well in their new endeavours.”

Henrietta Alderman, Chief Executive of the Association of Optometrists said: “As the official partner to the show, the AOP are pleased that the optical bodies representing the different constituent parts of this industry can come together at 100% Optical in 2021. The sector as a whole will benefit from this new collaboration and together we will continue to lead the profession through a changing landscape”.

Sir Anthony Garrett CBE HonFBDO said: “ABDO has had a long and happy association with Optrafair and therefore there is some understandable sadness that it will not continue. However, it is very good news for the whole sector that there will be just one show each year which we can all fully support. We look forward to a successful working arrangement with 100% Optical for many years to come and a show that is able to grow and develop.”

Media 10, ExCeL London and the local health authorities are currently working on ways to ensure 100% Optical 2021 will be COVID safe, with adherence to all the latest government guidelines on running safe trade exhibitions. All those involved want to put delegates minds at rest that every measure will be taken to ensure the event will be a safe environment for exhibitors and visitors.

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