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Opchat Magazine Exhibition and Training pagesExhibition and Education News, October to December 2018


Report on first Glasklar Hub Event
Record attendance at sixth Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize conference
PLATINUM SPONSOR - OPTOS at next year's Optrafair Exchange.
SILMO 2018 Organisers produce report on this year's exhibition.
Voting opens in the AOP Awards 2019
IOA announces winner of Silmo IOA International Optician of the Year.
Register now for your chosen CET lecture subjects at 100% Optical for next January.
Read archived stories from July to September 2018

Report on first Glasklar Hub Event

October 2018

Ideas for improving customer service, driving patient loyalty and increasing patient retention were shared at the first GLASKLAR Hub meeting for independents organised by the brand’s distributor, Positive Impact.

The free inaugural education event had the theme, ‘See You Again Soon …’ and was held yesterday (11 October) at Regent’s University London, attracting 20 independent practitioners.

The guest speaker was dispensing optician Dan Scott, one of the most sought-after eyewear stylists in the UK. Heralding from a family of opticians, he has worked his way up from lab technician and spent numerous years honing his craft in the family practice and other practices.

“The fitting appointment is the most valuable appointment you can make,” he told delegates in his presentation, ‘Making Spectacle Collections Memorable Experiences.’

1st Glasklar Event
He explained that done well, that one appointment could result in additional spectacles and accessory sales, improve customer retention and increase referrals. It could also lead to good social media content and more positive reviews as delighted customers became practice ambassadors referring others, he highlighted.

“The patient’s lasting impression of us and the biggest moment for them is the exciting moment they pick up their new glasses,” he emphasised. Urging practitioners to capitalise on that excitement, he recommended having a checklist to tick off at the fitting appointment so that opportunities were not missed.

Supporting him was Nick Atkins, Positive Impact’s Director of Marketing and Professional Services, who further developed Mr Scott’s theme in his presentation ‘Customer Loyalty: Doing a Good Job is No Longer Enough.’

“There is no magic bullet to building customer loyalty,” said Mr Atkins. “You need to be creating patient ambassadors, patients who are not just loyal but really go out and proactively recommend your practice,” he told delegates.

Mr Atkins recommended having a clearly understood referral system. “As well as doing a good job, proactively confirm this fact with patients and then gain agreement that they will recommend you to their friends and family. There also needs a compelling reason for their referral highlighted,” he suggested.

The event concluded with a popular interactive workshop on maximising patient referrals during which delegates shared their ideas which are working for them in their own practices.

The inaugural Hub was such a success that more are now being planned. “We are very pleased with the inaugural event,” said Mr Atkins. “While it’s principally an initiative for customers of GLASKLAR, the customer loyalty concept driven by our refillable lens cleaner, it was also nice to see a few potential customers interested enough in the concept of the forum to take time out of their practice to attend.

“The feedback has been extremely positive with attendees saying they found the content very interesting and thought-provoking. If the amount of note taking was anything to go by, they all found some great hints and tips from Dan’s presentation in particular,” he added.

Explaining the ethos behind the first event, Mr Atkins explained: “GLASKLAR is an excellent customer retention and referral tool and so it made sense that the next development should be to provide further marketing support to our customers.

“We already offer point-of-sale and merchandising support and the idea of complimentary marketing seminars seemed a logical development. As far as the future for the GLASKLAR Hub, we are certainly looking to run more similar events around the country in 2019,” he concluded.

Record attendance at sixth Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize conference

October 2018

The College of Optometrists held the sixth Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize conference at the weekend. The conference, held at the Hilton London Wembley, had its highest attendance yet, attracting over 280 attendees from across the UK.

The conference featured some of the most popular lectures and workshops from Optometry Tomorrow 2018, including the well-received joint presentation with Consultant Ophthalmologist, Mr Kam Balaggan, and his patient, Professor Gilmartin, who has severe macular degeneration. The presentation was entitled; ‘The vitreoretinal battle to save my only eye. Unique and personal perspectives from Professor Gilmartin’.

Other highlights included a presentation from Professor David Crabb, Professor of Statistics and Vision Research at City University London on using big data and Melanie Hingorani, Consultant Ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital, on allergic eye disease.

Delegate Roisin Carruthers MCOptom, Optometrist, Hants LOC, attended the conference and said; “I attend Optometry Tomorrow every year but there’s just so much happening there that I just can’t get to every session I want to, so I come to Bitesize too. It’s a full day of really high quality content, first rate speakers, workshops and peer review. I love the networking too. It’s another College must-do event for me and I highly recommend it to my friends and colleagues.”

Catherine Bithell, Director of Member Services and Communications, said: “Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize is always an important event for our calendar and we are proud to see a growing attendance every year. It’s great to see delegates returning year-on-year and benefiting from the lectures, workshops and peer discussions that are held on the day.”

Optometry Tomorrow 2019, the College’s annual two-day conference will take place at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole in Birmingham on 24-25 February 2019. It will include a keynote speech by Professor Pete Coffey, Theme Lead for Development, Ageing and Disease at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology. College members who book their tickets by 31 October can purchase a two-day ticket for £170 (full rate £340), or a one-day ticket for £120 (full rate £240). Further discounts are available for students and members who qualified from July 2015 onwards.

PLATINUM SPONSOR - OPTOS at next year's Optrafair Exchange.

October 2018

Optos are proud to return as Platinum sponsor and head back to the 3-day exhibition with strong momentum having won ‘Optical Supplier of the Year’.

Optos provides ultra-widefield images of 200 (82%) of the retina in a single non-contact optomap image. Our technology provides 3-in-1 Colour Depth Imaging™, including sensory, choroidal and composite colour views, well as autofluorescence imaging with green laser displaying lipofuscin in the RPE. Early signs of many ocular pathologies and diseases may first present in the retinal periphery and can initially go undetected using traditional examination techniques and equipment, optomap can image past the equator helping you find disease sooner and treat it more effectively.

Optos has recently launched Monaco, the first and only ultra-widefield retinal imaging device with integrated OCT. Monaco enables a rapid multi-modal capture featuring colour, autofluorescence and OCT scans for both eyes in as little as 90 seconds. More than 550 clinical studies show the value of optomap® in diagnosis, treatment planning and patient engagement.

You can find out more at booth E80 at Optrafair next March.

Optrafair 2019 will be bigger and better than ever, and we invite you to join us at the leading and most established optical event catering for the entire sector since 1978!

PHN and FMO/MA Group are co-media partners for the 2019 event. Take a look at the Optrafair pages for a sneek preview here.

SILMO 2018 Organisers produce report on this year's exhibition.

October 2018

The 52nd edition of the International Optical Fair demonstrated its appeal on this rather dynamic global market with a satisfying turnover.

Over four days, more than 37,000* professional visitors (56% of international) were able to admire the creativity of the 965 exhibitors in attendance, including 230 new companies exhibiting for the first time; and to enjoy all the features that help make SILMO Paris, the great professional trade fair, so unique and open to the world.

“We are living up to our slogan, ‘so much more than just a fair,’” states Eric Lenoir, SILMO director. The event is a truly multifaceted instrument designed for all the facets of the sector: it optimises the array of exhibitors by additionally providing information, training and trend monitoring for a 360° view of our industry.” “It is marvellous to see all the creativity and energy in the aisles of the trade fair,” remarks Amélie Morel, Chairwoman of Silmo Paris.”

*Key figures of SILMO Paris 2018.

965 exhibitors including 77% foreign exhibitors
1 548 brands
230 new companies
80 000 sqm. of exhibition area

A review of the highlights of this 2018 edition.

A global new space, SILMO NEXT took a look at the future with THE SELECTION of Trendy Products, which appears in the digital magazine TRENDS by SILMO. Unveiling the style and design forecast for 2019, the publication is available for consultation at all times on the trade fair website (

The concurrent and complementary FUTUROLOGY forum presented the products, services and technologies of tomorrow, drawing connections between well-established brands and start-ups to highlight four themes of the new markets: sports, well-being and health, entertainment, and 3D printing.

Technological companies such as Garmin, McLaren, Matérialise, Everysight, 5th Dimension, LightVision, Microoled, Atol, Cinemizer, and others presented their points of view, combining them with those of optics professionals to inspire future innovations to better rise to tomorrow’s challenges.

The international dimension of SILMO Paris has lead the organizers to welcome this year the International Opticians Association, or IOA, which honored for the first time, one personality who has contributed to the development and excellence of the optical profession.

This award was given by Fiona Anderson, President of IOA and Elaine Grisdale, Director of Development of IOA, to Robert Grimard – Canadian Optician.

Since 2010, SILMO ACADEMY has been supporting ophthalmic optical professionals in their pursuit of excellence by proposing scientific workshops and seminars through which they may perfect their knowledge and speak with experts from each field.

The 9th edition of this scientific conference brought together more than a hundred opticians who learned about functional visual development with a training course on the theme “Vision and Growth, 0 to 20 years of age”, featuring a programme led by top scientists.

Following this day of discussion, the coordinators of the SILMO ACADEMY awarded a grant of 10,000 euros to Jan SKERSWETAT, from Departement of Vision and Hearing Science, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.

This grant encourages and acknowledges research in the field of vision. It offers an opportunity for researchers to publish their work and gain exposure.

SILMO Paris is also a trade fair that fosters expertise with the MOF (Meilleurs Ouvriers de France)

DISCOVERY WORKSHOPS, a creative space where visitors had the opportunity to design a customised watch, hand-craft an original pair of glasses, handle material, and install or repair the hinges of acetate frames, including restoring, bevelling, etc.

This vision of the present reflected the original exhibition on the theme “TWO CENTURIES OF EYEWEAR HISTORY”.
For the event, the museums of Oyonnax and Morez joined forces to provide a new perspective of the long history of these French industrial valleys specialising in the eyewear industry.

The trade fair is a not-to-be-missed annual event: a stimulating incubator that extends to every part of the world with SILMO FAMILY, local versions of the event addressing specific markets: Silmo Istanbul, Silmo Bangkok and Silmo Sydney.

Encounters and business continue beyond these trade fairs on the digital application SILMO MATCH, an interactive platform where you may consult the exhibitors’ products all year round, 24 hours a day. A symbolic way of keeping in contact and making the most of this extensive trade fair.

SILMO PARIS 2019, THE EVENT: we look forward to seeing you next year, 27-30 September 2019.

Voting opens in the AOP Awards 2019

October 2018

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) is inviting patients and practitioners to support excellence in the optical profession by casting their vote in the AOP Awards 2019.

Following shortlisting by a panel of industry experts, 11 AOP Award categories are now open to public vote including two new accolades, Locum of the Year and Audiology Practice of the Year. A further two categories, Frame of the Year and Product of the Year, will be chosen exclusively by the Association’s members, with voting opening on 1 November.

AOP Chief Executive, Henrietta Alderman described the AOP Awards as a welcome opportunity to celebrate achievement in optics: “All our finalists have demonstrated exceptional passion and professionalism to get this far. We are delighted that in 2019 the Awards will also recognise the essential contributions of locum optometrists, and the unique role of optical practices incorporating hearing care. With finalists representing areas across optics, I hope the profession will join me in showing their support and casting their vote.”

Commenting on the 2019 finalists, head judge, Dr Ian Beasley said: “The quality of entries was extremely high, the finalists not only demonstrate commitment and hard work but real innovation. Working in optics, I know the level of dedication in providing excellence in patient care there is in the sector – so it’s fantastic to be able to recognise that in the AOP Awards.”

The AOP Awards 2019 are supported by headline sponsor CooperVision. The ceremony will take place at leading trade and education event, 100% Optical, with finalists, sponsors and guests enjoying a night of entertainment as the winners are announced.

Commenting on the Awards being held at 100% Optical for a third year, Ms Alderman said: “The AOP Awards highlight those leading the way in optics. It therefore feels right that the Awards are hosted at 100% Optical – which showcases the latest insights, technologies and trends in the optical profession.”

Voting is open until 5pm on Wednesday 12 December and will be facilitated by online voting specialist Mi-Voice. A voting link for the members’ choice Awards will be emailed directly to AOP members on Thursday 1 November. More information on all finalists and the voting process is available at

The Lifetime Achievement Award is selected by the AOP Chair of the Board, Michael George, and AOP Chief Executive, Henrietta Alderman.

IOA announces winner of Silmo IOA International Optician of the Year.

October 2018

This innovative new award at the Silmo d’OR Ceremony for the International Optician of the Year recognises the importance of the optician in the optical business and their role in the choice of the optimum products for their clientele.

The International Opticians Association (IOA), an international body dedicated to the enhancement and development of the profession worldwide, is working in a strategic partner with Silmo in the development of the profession worldwide.

The first winner of the award is Robert Grimard, o.d.d. A graduate of the École des opticiens d'ordonnances du Québec, Robert opened his first optical clinic in Montreal in 1980. Since then he has developed a professional and independent network of high-end optical clinics.

Robert says, “It is with great pride that I accept this honor. I would like to share it with all members of my profession and especially the Grimard Optique team. In an industry that continues to evolve I welcome the growing importance of our role as an optician. I once again thank the International Opticians Association for this recognition.”

President of the IOA Fiona Anderson says, “The optician is at the heart of the optical business. The majority of the turnover of an optical practice comes as a result of the expertise of the optician and their interaction with the client. The client’s perception of their visit is almost entirely based on their interaction with the optician and the great vision they receive with their new spectacles. The winner of this award, Robert
Grimard, demonstrates the professionalism, entrepreneurial spirit and innovation that are at the heart of this award and the profession. Has been President of his company for nearly 40 years, and is well known in Montreal, with many media engagements due to his success and professionalism."

" Robert has not only been satisfied with being an entrepreneur and expanding his group of high end optical practices, but also by engaging with other professionals and giving something back to the profession. He has been an Executive Committee Member of the Opticians Association of Canada since 1992. Since 2015 he has also been the Chairman of the Opticians Council of Canada. The OCC is an Opticians organisation with representatives from all Canadian provincial regulatory bodies, associations and teaching institutions as participating delegates. He has been a supporter of the IOA and is passionate about promoting the skills of our profession and encouraging the best vision care for consumers around the world.”
2019 Award

Nominations will open for the 2019 award on 1 March 2019. As well as being able to demonstrate that they are a qualified dispensing optician in the country where they practice, the winner of this award will display the following attributes:-

• Professionalism – the client is at the heart of their business and receives excellent care
• Excellent communication skills – both personally and via social media
• Entrepreneurial spirit – with solid business acumen highlighted through the success of their enterprise
• Innovation – within their business model / product offer / shop design
• Specialisation – with a reputation in a specific branch of optics
• Creativity – both in the products they offer and the way they practice
• Engagement – with the profession, the community, charitable endeavours, industry
• Advocacy - championing the profession of dispensing

Members of the IOA as well as industry partners will be able to nominate opticians worldwide. These people will be contacted and asked to fill in a dossier. The dossiers will be scrutinised by a jury made up of a number of hand-picked industry experts.

A shortlist of up to four people will be established and the winner will be announced during the Silmo d’Or ceremony in Paris France. As well as the prestigious award, the winner will also win a trip for 2 to Silmo 2020

Register now for your chosen CET lecture subjects at 100% Optical for next January.

October 2018

100% CET Bookongs

Places always go fast so don't be dissapointed.

With over 100 CET points on offer 100% Optical delivers a comprehensive and world-leading educational programme produced in partnership with the Association of Optometrists (AOP). There are keynote lectures each day from International experts across 8 hubs within the show.

Places are limited so please register for the show to gain access to the seminar programme today.

Go to the 100% Pages on Opchat News and register today,

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