43rd MIDO Sees Modest Growth, Announces 2014 Dates

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MILAN—The 43rd MIDO—International Optics, Optometry and Ophthalmology Exhibition—opened on Saturday March 2 at the FieraMilano Exhibition Center, here and continued through Monday, a new Saturday, Sunday, Monday schedule for the Italian exhibition. According to show organizers, the three-day exhibition saw approximately 43,000 visitors, which reflects a 3 percent increase in attendees, as well as increased of exhibitors by 3 percent.

“Generally speaking, we have been seeing an increase in the number of exhibitors participating at MIDO, we have more than 1,000, more than two thirds of which are from abroad,” Cirillo Marcolin, president of MIDO and ANFAO, told VMail. “For sure, the visitors we want to attend have to not be just Italian—the first day we had an increase in the number of people from abroad compared to last year and considering last year was a Sunday and a good day. But last year we were forced to start on Sunday and finished on Tuesday. In my opinion, the best solution is what we have this year, starting on Saturday and finishing on Monday. On Saturday we have the people coming in from abroad, and on Sunday and Monday we can take advantage of the Italian opticians who are coming in because their shops are closed.”

For the first time this year, in addition to the buses introduced in 2012 to bring opticians to the show, MIDO organizers chartered a Trentitalia Frecciarossa train dedicated to transporting 600 opticians, more than double the original estimate. The train left from Rome early in the morning of Sunday, March 3 and made stops in Florence and Bologna before depositing its passengers at the Rho-Fiera station located inside the exhibition complex. The complementary train service was available to opticians who registered through www.mido.com. Additionally, organizers provided shuttles to another 250 students in graduating classes from opticians’ trade schools and those studying for university degrees in optics and optometry which made stops in Bologna, Padua, Udine and Turin.

“Every year, we try to introduce something new to keep the show the leader all over the world— the number of people coming in, the number of product represented, the frames, the sunglasses, the lenses, the cases the material, and so on— we need to put on the table something new,” Marcolin added. “This year, to reinforce the participation of the Italian opticians, we chartered a train from Rome to here, paid for by the MIDO organization. We expected 300 participants, but we were forced to double the number of seats. In three hours they were here and at the end of the day we take them back.”

Dates for the 2014 MIDO Exhibition were also announced. The 44th Exhibition will take place Saturday through Monday, March 1 to 3, 2014 in the pavilions of FieraMilano Rho-Pero. “I cannot anticipate what will be the future, in 2015, 2016, 2017, but at least I can say that for 2014 we will keep in the same days, but then we will see. It depends on what the industry, the people, our customers ask. If they demand we change, we change.”

Lastly, Marcolin told VMail that this year a select group of eyewear companies who had participated in the MIDO exhibition were also being given an opportunity to participate in a capsule collection at the upcoming Milan Furniture Fair (Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano) from April 3 to 5.

“This year, we also wanted to change the formula of MIDO and not just MIDO but something collateral to MIDO, so we are offering companies that participated in MIDO the opportunity to participate in the furniture show, the most important one we have, that covers the entire FieraMilano. Fourteen eyewear companies can participate in a capsule show.

“These companies will have the opportunity to present their collections not just to professionals but directly to the consumer. We expect to have more than 500,000 people attending that week and almost 400 events, so it will open the door to a new level. It is a pilot, a test, but why not go into a show that highlights the top of design? And it is not just Italian companies, Mikli and Oliver Peoples are among those who have decided to come,” Marcolin said.