In February, London will see the launch of a three-day optical trade fair planned to offer the British and international eyecare scene something truly new and different.
The Eye Show 2013 (February 12-14), the first in a planned annual series, takes place at London Excel. This show setting is already proven not only as an Olympics 2012 venue, but as an ‘award winning’ venue, considered to be the best in Europe.
The Eye Show concept has come to reality over an intensive 8 months of preparation from an early summer 2012 “go” decision. This followed 3 months’ of intensive research by organisers Emergexpo plc. Findings in this research prompted the choice of Excel “it ticked all the boxes” says Dawn Kime, the Eye Show Event Director “for its facilities, for easy access by train, plane or road, and critically, for expansion room; we’re already planning and have bookings for The Eye Show 2014.
The Eye Show 2013 runs from 09.00 – 18.00 hours Tuesday, February 12 and Wednesday, February 13, and 09.00 – 17.00 hours on Thursday February 14 .“The mid-week dates came about as result of feedback. Opticians told us they would prefer to devote their mid-week day off to visiting The Eye Show, rather than sacrificing yet another weekend” Dawn Kime explains. It was, she adds, her friend and Hertfordshire-based family optician’s advocacy of a new London show which led this experienced event organiser to look at eyecare in the first place. Dawn Kime already had considerable overseas experience, working in Russia, and also with the US and with Latin American governments to put on shows across the range from the travel industry to pharmaceuticals. The Eye Show is her first UK based show. “It’s been great working closer to home as I have small children, and I love this industry. Its nice to work with such lovely industry people, all committed to helping with the launch for the good of the industry” she comments. “The support has been overwhelming”.
Traditionally, optical trade fairs in Britain aim principally at the home market. Advance registrations for The Eye Show so far indicate that while 70 % of the visiting optometrists and opticians at The Eye Show will be British, a full 30 % will come from across the world: a world of difference for this new-concept show! The exhibitor list provides for a good mix, with 47% UK based exhibitors and 53% coming from European countries and Rest of World.
British and overseas visitors will enjoy refreshment facilities like the Champagne Bar, hosted by Marchon. This is just one of the global “big names” taking part in The Eye Show such as Menrad, Hoya, Shamir, Coopervision, Lindberg, Cutler and Gross, Macuvision, Bondeye, William Morris London, Booth & Bruce, along with British brand and style leaders like Tom Davies.
Coupled with The Eye Show is a major conference for eye care professionals, which has been supported by an industry specialist organiser so as to offer new information and insights for optometrists and opticians alike. Running over the full three days, it features the industry’s top speakers, with a total of 36 seminars running across two conference theatres. Each day’s programme will open with a full-on debate led by keynote speakers such as Dr Scott Watson Mackie BSc (Hons) PhD MCOptom MFDO ABDO (Hons) LVA Dip TP (IP) Pg Dip, Mackie Consultants, Mackie Opticians, General Optical Council and College of Optometrists, Liam Kite FHEA, PGCert(HE), FBDO, Course lecturer for ophthalmic dispensing, Anglia Ruskin University; ABDO examiner, course tutor for Worshipful Company of Spectacle Manufacturers, Professor John Marshall BSc(Hons), PhD, FMedSci, FRCPath, FRCOph(Hon), FCOptom(Hon), FARVO, FLIA, FSB, Frost Professor of Ophthalmology at the Institute of Ophthalmology, University College, in Association with Moorfields Eye Hospital and Phil Gilbert, Training and development manager, Carl Zeiss Vision UK . The conference takes place within the main exhibition halls. Free to all Eye Show visitors, it offers the chance to dip in and out of the programme as part of the full Eye Show visitor experience.
A big innovation for this very different show launch: The Eye Show incorporates the concept of a Hosted Buyer programme, bringing an “A list” of major UK, European and International purchasers to The Eye Show as its organisers’ guests, for on-stand meetings which can be pre-arranged to suit everyone’s schedule. “Saves time, saves hassle – and makes it easier to ensure other visitors can access the staff they know, when they want”, approves an exhibitor.
A tradition which this new-style UK show is maintaining: the choice of an optical charity partner. For The Eye Show, this is no less than the world-famous, appropriately London based, Moorfields Eye Hospital.
With the added dimension its London setting brings, The Eye Show and its conference have been planned to create a pleasantly new, different and business-friendly exhibitor/visitor experience. It offers an advance opportunity to see what’s new in frame fashion, prescription lenses, sunglasses and contact lenses, receive up to the minute innovative business advice for your practice, and to hear what’s new in eyecare education. The process of registration is easy; just go to the website,, and click on ‘Free registration’.

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