Suppliers across the optical field are looking to provide opportunities for the profession to engage more with new and existing clients and show owners, The FMO, is tailoring next year’s show to meet this uncapped demand.

Business education, besides growing the CET element of the show, thanks to a second lecture theatre, is a major focus a packed audience was told at The FMO’s official launch of the new show, which will run from 9-11 April 2011.

Finance, the benefits of IT, staffing issues and good management will be key to ensuring that the biennial show is a not-to-be-missed date within the optical calendar. Unveiling plans for 2011, Malcolm Polley FMO Chief Executive, stressed that the experience of Managed Events as exhibition organisers, and the addition of Andrew Yorke, Head of Topcon’s business in the UK, to the team would add much, particularly with Andrew’s international exhibition experience.

The FMO is keen to ensure that there should be the greatest encouragement to attend – “There should be some impetus for attending to ensure that the profession is up to date with what is going on: Optrafair is the only forum that does this across the field of optics.

“The relationship between all of the optical bodies has never been closer than it is now and we look to all optical organisations to drive their members to attend. It is in all of our interests to work with greater cohesion.”

The commitment to do this was backed up by Bob Hughes, Chief Executive of the AOP, and Michael Potter of ABDO _ “Optrafair has the total support of ABDO,” said Michael.

Also high on the agenda was ensuring that more contact lens companies return to the show, many of which failed to engage with the thousands of independent opticians who attended Optrafair 2009. Recognising that the cost of exhibiting is a major factor, it was announced that “cost effective ways of enticing contact lens companies to attend would be promoted”.

Karen Sparrow, AOP Education Officer, stressed that the presentation of OT Live at Optrafair 2009 had ensured that “visitors could not fail to notice the educational element of the show”.

A greater variety of education, with more hands-on demonstrations and workshops, are planned for next year.

Richard Pegler of Managed Events, which runs Optrafair on behalf of the FMO added:

“We are looking at the opportunities to balance the content for Optrafair 2011, and business is a key factor. Maintaining the diversity of exhibitors is very important.”

To find out more about Optrafair 2011 visit www.optrafair.co.uk and to book a stand contact Jenny Chalmers on 0121 767 3309.

Issued for The FMO By Janice English 01372 465265

27 January 2010