This month, I packed a bag, headed to the airport, and left the country for the first time since January 2020. I was on my way to Mido for the first time—my first time in Milan, too, and only my second-ever trip to Italy. This wasn’t my first trade show since 2020—I’ve been to three Vision Expos—but it’s still heartwarming to see our industry coming together physically once again. It was so special to be in the midst of that: the reunion hugs, the joyful chatter in Italian I couldn’t quite understand (it was just me and a 70-day Duolingo streak against the world), the excited oohs and aahs as new product is unveiled.

It’s exciting to experience a trade show no matter what, but as we ease into summer and into some lifted or reduced restrictions, it almost feels like a brand new experience. It’s something I hope everyone gets the chance to do this summer or autumn: to gather with colleagues new and old, to experience product firsthand and to have an Aperol Spritz in Italy, if you are so inclined.

Organizers of the show, held for three days at the Fiera Milano Rho conference center, cited an enthusiastic and optimistic mood among showgoers as the international eyewear exhibition celebrated its 50+ year history in person after a two-year break due to the COVID pandemic.

My experience at Mido this year made me more thrilled than ever for what our industry has in store. From bold, show-stopping designs to sustainable innovations, there was so much to take in that it would be impossible to fit it all here. But suffice it to say that the future I saw at Mido looks bright, exciting and united.

To read more about the show and view pictures of the event, go to the Today’s Read category under Scene & Heard on