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Opchat Magazine Exhibition and Training pagesExhibition and Education News, January to March 2019



Optrafair Exchange 2019, a game of two halves.
Changes to WCSM Optical Support Qualifications, Insight ready and able to fill the gap
Essilor packs a punch for reinvention and innovation at Optrafair Exchange this year
FODO at Optrafair – Leadership, Innovation and Support plus great prizes
Yes it's finally here.....Optrafair Exchange at the NEC Hall 20....come and join in the fun for 3 days
The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers announces changes to qualifications for the future
ABDO College announces new course to cater for needs following WCSM's withdrawal from future course
Specialist Club meets in Brum last week
Garage makes funky location for practice team networking
IOA calls for entries for Silmo IOA International Optician of the Year Award
Opportunity for optometrists and dispensing opticians involved in teaching and training within the optical sector
College’s Optometry Tomorrow Conference report in Birmingham
ABDO announces "Become an Independent Optician" event
Time running out to apply for funding towards Optical Assistant Training in Scotland
Seeing Beyond the Eyes Zone comes to Optrafair Exchange
PLATINUM SPONSOR announced for Optrafair Exchange: THE HAKIM GROUP
Opchat News opens Optrafair Exchange 2019 Preview Pages
All your CET needs under one roof in Birmingham. Mrch 30th -April 1st.
Heidelberg Engineering wins “best exhibition stand” at 100% Optical
Here's a look at the eyewear fashion set for Optrafair Exchange
New at Optrafair 2019 just a few of the enticing promises from the Organisers
As the dust settles on London’s Excel event Opchat musters all its efforts for the spectacular arrival of Optrafair Exchange at the NEC
100% Optical kicks off 2019 with a look to the future
Registration opens for 2019 BCLA Conference
INVU - What goes around comes around.
Evolving profession celebrated at the AOP Awards 2019
Dunelm are celebrating their 50th Anniversary in Style at 100% Optical
Diversity at 100% offers opportunities to find that perfect frame
A sneak preview of 100% Optical in the “build” process
Grafton announce a 50% discount on the E-Eye, the lasting solution for Dry Eye.
Read the last quarters exhibition and education news (Oct-Dec 2018)

Optrafair Exchange 2019, a game of two halves.

April 2019

Spectrum Catwalk

First impressions on entering Hall 20 were of clean, smartly designed stands of many varying shapes and sizes. So, what, you might say but in years gone by all shows have suffered from the standard design cubicle in rows.

The other interesting change in this year’s format was that the various company foci (frames, equipment, PMS etc.) were not all lumped together in one area. It has become fashionable to do this as we see on the high streets with banks and estate agents but with equipment maybe an element of surprise around the corner works best!

Spectrum Catwalk

We await the figures of attendance and will let you know when we receive them. There were the normal lows and highs with Sunday being better than Saturday which was maybe just ahead of the final day. But we will find out.

Its not all about numbers however and whilst to the casual observer it was never overcrowded and so some mumbling was overheard, when we asked the exhibitors about the quality of engagement with visitors, they were much more positive.

Show and Exhibition skills are as much about the quality of the mix of attendees, ensuring that the people with a purpose to buy are not swamped by multiples’ s employees, students and family. Of course, it’s a balance and we all remember the days when walking the aisles was as painful as walking the UK Motor show, but the FMO/MA Group made a very good fist of this show.

They have learnt a lot since taking over the show with positive additions like the first day exhibitors party in the networking area. That was a popular meeting place on all 3 days and let’s not forget networking is a vital part of the show.

Spectrum Catwalk a Triumph.

Spectrum Catwalk

Congratulations go to who designed the Spectrum Catwalk Show. It was a clever mix of great dancing interrupted by an excellent compere who gave clear and concise information on the brand intentions of the frame companies and their histories and ethos for each that had provided the frames for the show.

Also, a great digital backdrop image changed whenever the dancers changed the scenes with each different companies’ products and logos.

Each dance routine was unique and highly entertaining, so it felt like a 4-act display. Not sure how you could have bettered that.... Cirque du Soleil next!
Spectrum Catwalk

Opchat enjoys being part of this show as media partners and was pleased to hear that they the organisers like working with us.

Together we will discuss how we can improve more media focus during the show next year and will aim to continue to improve the show in 2020, keep April 4th to the 6th free and put it in your diary.

We couldn’t resist using images from the catwalk in this report. Come and see the real thing next year!

The preview pages will be amended to a post-show report as the images and stats flow in to us.

Changes to WCSM Optical Support Qualifications, Insight ready and able to fill the gap

March 2019

At the end of March, the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers (WCSM) announced their decision to withdraw its accredited qualifications for optical assistants.

As these qualifications were an important step for the unregulated support staff, Insight Optical Training will seek to maintain the full career ladder that has existed in optics, offering accredited courses at levels 2, 3 and 4 which give learners a nationally recognised qualification.

Exams for current WCSM awarded qualifications will continue and there will be a full sitting in December 2019, therefore existing learners are not affected. This also applies to learners in Scotland who are studying the SCQF Level 5 & 7 Certificates in Optical Care.

The world of optics is changing, and we are embracing these changes and aim to offer a range of different routes for optical support staff to gain qualifications that will help them to be effective employees and enable them to have a career in optics.

There is an unmet need for training from the Independent sector and Insight Optical Training remains committed to meeting this need.

Insight Optical Training will assist in that process.

Insight Training are exhibiting at Optrafair Exchange currently.

Essilor packs a punch for reinvention and innovation at Optrafair Exchange this year

March 2019

Essilor Vision-R800



Two brand new innovative products are being launched at the show today by Essilor.

Essilor Instruments has launched Vision-R 800 at Optrafair 2019 promising a new era of refraction through a digital phoropter that offers continuous power changes to ensure far more accurate, reliable prescriptions.

And Essilor also reinvents the measurement experience with Visioffice X

Click here to see more information on both products and then take a look at the other exciting news around Optrafair which opens its doors today.

FODO at Optrafair – Leadership, Innovation and Support plus great prizes

March 2019

Stand J50 - all the usual high-quality information and advice on all aspects of eye care and business, plus fun giveaways for the kids.

Great prizes:

First Prize each day - invaluable Kanski's Clinical Ophthalmology: A Systematic Approach

• improved layout, new visuals and a digital version that allows you to search for any text, figures and tables online at any time.

Second Prize each day
- The Wills Eye Manual: Office and Emergency Room Diagnosis and Treatment of Eye Disease

• best-selling guidance on treating ocular disorders in any setting.

Overall Event Prize - high specification Noise Cancelling Headphone

• Emphasising the importance of protecting hearing as well as eye health sponsored by the National Community Hearing Association (NCHA) part of the FODO Group.

Ground-breaking CET/CPD:

• The Journey from Retail to Clinical by Andy Britton Saturday 30 March 15:30 to 16:30 in CET Theatre 2 - 2 CET points
• Changing Practice Ownership - Smoothing the Transition by Professor Steve Taylor Sunday 31 March 13:45 to 14:45 in CET Theatre 2 - 2 CET points
• De-terrorising the GOC by Richard Edwards Monday 1 April 12:00 to 13:00 in CET Theatre 1 - 3 CET points

The Sunday session is now fully booked but do still come as we may be able to make extra places available on the day.

Yes it's finally here.....Optrafair Exchange at the NEC Hall 20....come and join in the fun for 3 days

March 2019


With an action-packed programme showcasing the cutting edge of optics, Optrafair Exchange promises to be a show to remember, championing innovation and celebrating advances in fashion, trends, technology and manufacturing.

So, how are going to plan your visit? What do you need to know to make sure your trip is the best it can possibly be?

Just a few of the new features, must-see talks, unmissable workshops, essential seminars and more:

• Three main CET theatres with a tantalising line up of speakers will deliver a redesigned education programme for 2019
• ABDO College will launch the 2019 definitive guide to spectacle lenses, coatings and tints at this year’s show
• The Seeing Beyond the Eyes Zone will focus on sight loss to empower optical professionals to effectively support low vision patients
• The FMO invites members, exhibitors, manufacturers, suppliers and distributors, practitioners and educators to join them at the Networking Bar
• The Spectrum Catwalk will feature the on-trend designs destined to be flying off the shelves this summer
• New for 2019 is the Eyewear Boutique that will celebrate emerging and boutique designers displaying their latest collections
• The BCLA and Johnson & Johnson Vision will offer a diverse range of interactive, hands-on sessions in the Contact Lens Peer Review Zone
• On-stand CET with sessions from the likes of Birmingham Optical, Boots Opticians, Essilor, Haag-Streit UK, Heidelberg Engineering, Specsavers, Topcon and Zeiss
• Exhibitors from across the industry with exclusive offers for everyone attending this year’s Optrafair Exchange
• The Optician Awards at the Hilton Metropole will be a highlight of the optometry calendar on the evening of the first show day

Go to our preview pages and get a taste of what you can expect to find. Why not pre-register now?

The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers announces changes to qualifications for the future

March 2019

The Master of the Spectacle Makers has announced new policy regarding education by the WCSM for the future which coincides with news that ABDO College will be fulfilling those needs in the future. John McGregor commented that the WCSM was not originally established as an educational institution but as a body to support the cause of better vision much more widely.

The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers (WCSM) has therefore announced that it plans to withdraw its accredited qualifications for optical assistants.

The last main sittings for WCSM examinations at Levels 2 and 3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and at SCQF Levels 5 and 7 in Scotland will be in December 2019. Current candidates expecting to sit examinations in June and December 2019 will not be affected and three resit opportunities will be offered to give individuals time to complete their qualifications.

Level 4 Diploma courses for optical technicians and optical assistants, leading to the SMC (Tech) and SMC (OA) awards, will continue to be available from ABDO College. It is anticipated that ABDO will take on the role of awarding body for these two nationally-recognised qualifications.

ABDO College will also offer a new introductory course for optical assistants from September 2019. Details of the new course, which will not involve examinations and will not be regulated by Ofqual, will be available from the ABDO College stand at Optrafair and online at

Commenting on the changes, WCSM’s Master, John McGregor OBE said, “The world has changed and it is right that we should move with it. Our qualifications were an important step in gaining recognition for the vital part played by optical assistants and technicians in high street practices. Those who have passed a WCSM qualification are rightly proud of what they have achieved.

In order to meet the increasing demand for eye health care, training must be a critical part of every optical professional’s career. It will need to be highly flexible to meet the needs of people working in a wider range of clinical environments, in different interdisciplinary teams and with constantly developing new technologies. The time has now come for others to take on the important task of equipping assistants and technicians for what lies ahead.

WCSM was not originally established as an educational institution but as a body to support the cause of better vision much more widely. We will now be able to do more to encourage training at all levels and increase our focus on supporting new entrants to the optical professions, for example via our highly successful bursary schemes, the dissemination of scientific advance in vision care through our travel awards and the recognition of excellence in research via our medal programmes.”

ABDO College announces new course to cater for needs following WCSM's withdrawal from future courses

March 2019

If you want a flexible way to train your support team, giving them a vital induction into the optical education, you will want to know more about the new Optical Assistant course from ABDO College.

Suitable for people who have just started working in optics, as well as those who have been in practice for some time and want to formalise their knowledge, the new Optical Assistant course is a great way to learn.

The course combines practical tasks to develop practice-based skills with online modules and workshops, the perfect way to combine study with a full time job.

Join the new Optical Assistant course and uncover just how much there is to working in eyecare. Students’ knowledge of frames and lenses will grow, allowing them to develop what they can offer patients with growing confidence and knowledge.

The course is open to all, and will run every September and January. Individual tutor support ensures student success. The new workshops will cover repairs and pre-screening and take place at the National Resource Centre in Birmingham. These are included in the course but are optional for those who want to develop pre-screening and repair skills in practice instead.

ABDO College Head of Operations Stephen Hertz says, “Optical education has changed dramatically in recent years with a new focus on more on the job training. Having worked in the arena optical support training for the last few years we find that there is less demand for an examination based course at the entry level, and we are delighted to see this new course with its emphasis on in practice tasks and practical workshops. It will provide a firm foundation for people to progress to the level 4 OA and OT courses and the ophthalmic dispensing courses.”

The course has been developed in response to student and employer feedback.

Rian Love is Optical Support Course Coordinator at ABDO College and he says, “We know that examinations can deter students from returning to study which is why this new course is evaluated by continuous assessment. There are no examinations and no examination fees, but the robust continuous assessment and workshops ensure that every student who completes the course is a high calibre asset to any optical practice.”

The course lasts 25 weeks and costs £795. The application deadline is 30 August 2019 for a September start. For further information and to apply for this and other courses, talk to the ABDO College team at Optrafair Exchange 2019 or find out more about ABDO College’s new course on its website

Specialist Club meets in Brum last week

March 2019

Delegates hailed the second Specialist Club in Birmingham last week (March 21) a resounding success, with 100% rating the day ‘excellent’ or ‘very good.’

The theme of the all-day seminar was ‘Astigmatism: contact lens options when disposables can’t cope’ and included live patient fitting demonstrations of soft, gas permeable, hybrid and scleral contact lenses.

The core group of companies collaborating on the event at the ABDO National Resource Centre were Contamac, Menicon, SynergEyes and UltraVision. They were joined by Northern Lenses and Visioneering Technologies. The British Contact Lens Association also supported the event, with its members getting a 10% discount for attendance.

The 20 or so specialist delegates came from as far afield as Cumbria and Bournemouth for a more hands-on and interactive session than the inaugural Specialist Club last year.

Indie GrewalPractice owner, Indie Grewal,(left) an optometrist, dispensing optician and contact lens practitioner, reprised his inspirational keynote address, ‘Successfully commercialising the niche contact lens practice,’ but this time focused more on how myopia progression management is his focus to further develop his contact lens business.

He encouraged delegates to invest in topographers and imaging technology, even if it was just a phone camera, in order to enhance the patient experience and communication.

“For a quarter of the price of an OCT, topography is the gold standard in baseline measurement for contact lens patients,” he told delegates. “It gives you much more information than a keratometer and allows you to educate your patients, as well as stand out from the crowd,” he emphasised. This dovetailed nicely with a topography session delivered later that day.

Mr Grewal told delegates: “Pareto's principle states that 20% of our inputs or activities are responsible for 80% of output. Increasing your contact lens business should start with a review of your current patients, they are the low hanging fruit.

“Create a spreadsheet that contains patients who have yet to succeed in contact lenses, as well as a wish list for future contact lens patients,” he urged. “That way when a new contact lens comes to market, you're in a position to respond in a targeted way,” he explained.

He emphasised the benefits of contact lenses for practitioners such as “a huge sense of satisfaction.” “Whether that be putting a young child into contact lenses, or fitting a frustrated presbyope with multifocals, there is a contact lens solution available for most patients,” he emphasised.

“The long-term profitability of contact lenses is overlooked by so many practitioners. A patient who purchases spectacles and contact lenses will be more profitable than a specs-only patient,” he concluded.

For the rest of the day delegates were treated to four live fittings of two astigmatic patients, with average to large cylinders, being fitted with a GP toric, soft toric, hybrid and scleral lens.

All the fits were successful, either from empirical ordering or fitting set evaluation.

Josie BarlowHow easy it is to order and fit a GP toric was explained by Menicon’s Professional Services Manager, Josie Barlow, (right) who showed the successful result via a live video feed from the consulting room.

Speaking after the event, Ms Barlow said: “This type of meeting, where smaller more niche companies work collaboratively, highlights that the practitioners who attended were really engaged in the new, more bespoke, devices available to them.

“They certainly left clearly impressed by the options available and understanding that they’re not at all ‘scary’ and in fact, are simple and straightforward to fit.”
Optometrist Lynn White, the Clinical Director of UltraVision, also gave delegates food for thought when she demonstrated that Avanti monthly disposable silicone hydrogel lenses, fitted empirically, gave an optimal stable fit without requiring adjustment. The subject gained 6/6+ vision, equivalent to the RGP fitting, despite visual acuity being 1-2 lines lower than in spectacles.

She also presented on the importance of topography in any lens fitting. “These instruments give a wealth of information to practitioners, from diagnosis of corneal conditions, assisting in empirical fitting through to monitoring dry eye conditions,” she highlighted.

At the event, delegates were able to get hands on experience on how to use the instruments and gather information from the many map and display types.

Head of SynergEyes Professional Services, Phil Thomson, proved you do not need fluorescein to empirically fit the Duette hybrid lens. Speaking afterwards, he enthused: “Following delegate feedback, this second Specialist Club delivered more hands-on workshops and, thanks to the fantastic facilities at the National Resource Centre, interactive live fitting demonstrations of astigmatic patients beamed from the clinic into the main seminar room. Once again we focused on getting practitioners more confident in the fitting of a variety of contact lenses for those patients that are less run of the mill.”

The next Specialist Club will take place in September. Details of the programme and venue will be released in due course.

Garage makes funky location for practice team networking

March 2019

Garage Workshop
Independent practitioners travelled from far and wide to attend the second GlaskLar Hub workshop, including from Cumbria and the Home Counties. Following the success of the first event held in London last year, the second GlaskLar Hub was held in the Garage, a funky meeting space at the back of TKS Optometrists in Northampton.

Hub events are an opportunity for practice teams to meet up to network, listen to commercially-orientated speakers and share marketing and business development ideas on how best to use the GlaskLar practice loyalty building tool.

The guest speaker at the second Hub was eyewear stylist Eva Dave, who is on a mission to turn eyewear selection into a joyful and memorable experience that customers want to do again and again.

At the event, she shared some research showing that two thirds of customers are more concerned about having the right style rather than perfect vision (66%). She then went on to explain the three key areas of focus she recommends for practitioners during a styling consultation.

The eyewear stylist also shared her tips on how she makes every fitting appointment, ‘never collection’ a fun and special event, including the use of music, small gifts and the refillable GlaskLar lens cleaner bottles.

Positive Impact’s Sales and Marketing Director, Nick Atkins, closed the Hub with a very interactive session where practitioners shared their own practice marketing initiatives.

Independents who would like to find out more about Ms Dave’s tips on eyewear styling are invited to attend the next Hub meeting on 10 July in the Gatwick area, or on 18 September (venues TBC).

IOA calls for entries for Silmo IOA International Optician of the Year Award

March 2019

The International Opticians Association (IOA), is calling for entries to its annual Silmo IOA International Optician of the Year Award.

This innovative new award, first given at the 2018 Silmo d’OR Ceremony, recognises the importance of the optician in the optical business and their role in the choice of optimum products for their clientele.

President of the IOA Fiona Anderson says, “The Silmo IOA Optician of the Year is a professional who embodies the attributes of a skilled optician who is passionate about their craft. They are outstanding in their field and inspire others to be the very best they can be. Their reputation will precede them and they will be a true beacon in the optical sector.”

2019 Award

Nominations are now open for the 2019 award. As well as being able to demonstrate that they are a qualified 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 & gives excellent care
• Excellent communication skills – both personally and via social media
• Entrepreneurial spirit – with solid business acumen
• 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

Country and individual members of the IOA and industry partners may nominate opticians worldwide.

Nominees will be contacted and asked to fill in a dossier which will be scrutinised by a jury made up 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.

To find out more visit

Opportunity for optometrists and dispensing opticians involved in teaching and training within the optical sector

March 2019

The Irvine Aitchison Memorial Fund (IAMF), in partnership with The College of Optometrists, and supported by FODO, is offering a group of optometrists and dispensing opticians the opportunity to undertake a course in Essential Skills in Medical Education for the second year.

Applications are being invited from optometrists and dispensing opticians who are currently, or soon to be, involved in teaching and training undergraduates as well as those with experience but who want to improve their existing skills.

The course has been developed by the Association of Medical Education in Europe and the IAMF will pay the Essential Skills in Medical Education course fees for the successful candidates. The course is delivered over 12 weeks via a series of interactive web-based presentations and online discussions. Module content includes:

• What is expected of the teacher/trainer in the healthcare professions?
• What should trainees learn?
• How can learning be organised in a curriculum and
• How can trainees learn more effectively?

David Cartwright, Chair of the IAMF, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer current or future optical educators the opportunity to undertake this training which has been highly rated by those undertaking the course last year. As part of its work with the Optical Schools Council and the GOC Strategic Education Review. FODO and the IAMF had recognised a need for a more highly-trained cadre of professional educators in the optical sector and who would be equally competent and flexible in teaching in universities (where lecturer recruitment is an issue), clinics and practice-based eye health settings. One of the many benefits of the course is that students are taught in mixed professional groups, which allows the participants to lean from other healthcare professionals.”

Philippa Mann, Head of Education at the GOC, said: “We welcome all initiatives to enhance teaching skills and increase the capacity of teaching staffing in optical education. These are very important for the sustainability and development of the professions.”

Jackie Martin, Director of Education for The College of Optometrists, said: “The College is proud to be able to work with Irvine Aitchison for the second time to be able to offer this training to both optometrists and dispensing opticians and help train and equip the next generation of optical educators.”

The online course is rated as eight credits, which is equivalent to 80 hours work. Participants should be able to commit to an estimated 6-7 hours of work per week, including attending webinars, participating in discussion groups, reading and completing an assignment.

If you are interested in this opportunity and would like to apply for a place on the course, you should complete the application form and email it to by 5pm on Thursday 14 March 2019. More details about the course can be found here

College’s Optometry Tomorrow Conference report in Birmingham

March 2019

The College of Optometrists welcomed over 800 attendees to Birmingham last weekend (24-25 February) for its annual conference and AGM. Held at the city’s Hilton Metropole Hotel, Optometry Tomorrow 2019 saw delegates attend cutting-edge lectures, seminars, peer discussion and hands-on skills and discussion workshops. The extensive programme, in which delegates could obtain up to 16 interactive CET points, saw optometrists discussing hot topics such as treatments to manage myopia progression, advances in glaucoma surgery and the latest trials and treatments in AMD. At the event, The College also published the consensus statement and new member guidance on myopia management following its roundtable meeting with researchers and clinicians in the field.

Professor Pete Coffey, Theme Lead for Development, Ageing and Disease, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, presented the keynote lecture entitled; ‘The London Project to Cure Blindness at 10 years; have we found a cure?’ he said; “I'm delighted to speak at Optometry Tomorrow and talk with delegates about our exciting project. Our main focus has been to regenerate the diseased, blind eye and the work we are doing has the potential to affect the 700,000 people living with AMD in the UK. I do think we have a cure. And we are building on our clinical trial with the hope of providing access to this life-altering treatment for a wider group of patients."

Helen Owens, Eye Health Business Unit Manager for Thea Pharmaceuticals Ltd, platinum sponsor for this year’s conference, said; “As Platinum Sponsor for Optometry Tomorrow 2019, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet and talk to so many enthusiastic optometrists over the course of the weekend. Thea supports this conference every year as we see it as the perfect combination of high quality clinical presentations and practical workshops.”

Following the conference, delegate Elliot Bateman MCOptom, Bateman Opticians, said; "This is the second time I've been to Optometry Tomorrow and it's been as good as ever. I mainly focused on the therapeutics stream this time and it was great to be able to carry on discussions with like-minded people after the sessions were over."

The conference featured a trade exhibition with over 40 exhibitors and sponsors including platinum sponsor, Thea Pharmaceuticals; gold sponsors, CooperVision and Johnson & Johnson Vision; silver sponsors, Avizor, Essilor, Visioneering Technologies, Topcon; bronze sponsors, Alcon, Entod Research Cell UK Ltd, No7 Contact Lenses, Scope Ophthalmics and SpaMedica.

Nikita Thomas was the winner of the Optometry Tomorrow Poster Prize 2019 for her poster on validation of a microperimeter for use with nystagmus.

Optometry Tomorrow 2020 will take place on 23 and 24 February at the Telford International Centre. Booking will open on the College website soon.

ABDO announces "Become an Independent Optician" event

March 2019

Would you like to own your own practice?

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) is running a Become an independent optician twilight session to help you find out more about what it really means to run your own business.

At the event you will hear from independent practice owners about the key to business success, network and share ideas, and discover the great support available to you as an independent from organisations including:

The AIO Practice Support Network:
Association for Independent Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians
National Eyecare Group
Myers La Roche
Specs Network

Clive Marchant, ABDO President, will share his experience of becoming an independent practice owner and experts from each organisation will share their experiences of supporting independent practice owners. They will help answer some of the key questions all entrepreneurial eyecare practitioners should consider including:

• Why might you consider owning your own business?
• What are the benefits/advantages of running your own practice?
• What challenges might you have to overcome to become an independent practice owner?
• How do you go about acquiring your first practice?
• What are the key skills and competencies required of an independent practice owner?

The event is open to dispensing opticians and optometrists.

The event will be held at the ABDO National Resource Centre, Floor 4, Aqueous II, Aston Cross Business Village, Rocky Lane, Aston, Birmingham. B6 5RQ
On – 21st May 2019, 3.30pm – 6.30pm

Refreshments will be provided.

Book here


February 2019

Education at Optrafair Exchange promises to be an invaluable resource for all eye care professionals looking to brush up on their existing skills and add another string or two to their bow in 2019.

The three-day show, being held at the NEC, Birmingham from 30 March - 1 April, will give all those attending the opportunity to learn from some of the industry’s most illustrious names, with lectures, workshops and demonstrations being led by a number of globally-renowned speakers.

Click here to vist the preveiw pages and register now.

Time running out to apply for funding towards Optical Assistant Training in Scotland

February 2019

Insight Optical Training was appointed by NES as the providers for the SCQF Level 5 & 7 Certificates in Optical Care (Scotland). These two qualifications are awarded by the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers and supported by NHS Education for Scotland (NES).

The Certificate courses start in 1st April 2019, with examinations taking place in December 2019. The exam fee is included in the course fee. The distance learning course is supported by three one-day workshops held at Stirling University, which are also included in the course fee.

The Level 5 Certificate is ideal for Optical assistants who have recently joined the Optical world, while the Level 7 is designed for the more experienced Optical assistant.

A place on the Level 5, with exams would normally cost over £1000, but with a NES funded place the cost is only £200! With places on the Level 7 only costing £250 (including exam fees)
There are a limited number for places that are part funded by NES, so to find out more or to secure a part-funded place visit Alternatively you can email

More about Insight Optical Training

IOT is a training provider dedicated to the optical sector. They offer a range of courses to prepare learners for the WCSM qualifications at levels 2-4 (5 & 7 in Scotland).

Courses are delivered by distance learning, but they also run a series of one-day workshops across the U.K.

Optrafair Exchange
They are also an accredited CET with the GOC and offer a learning & development consultancy service; which included the production of customised training resources.

IOT will be showing at Optrafair Exchange

Seeing Beyond the Eyes Zone comes to Optrafair Exchange

February 2019

We are delighted to announce the Seeing Beyond the Eyes Zone comes to Optrafair – focusing in on sight loss, which empowers optical professionals with the knowledge and skills to effectively support low vision patients.

The Zone is funded by Thomas Pocklington Trust, a national charity supporting people with sight loss, and will feature CET worth 6 interactive-points from the excellent Seeing Beyond the Eyes team - Daniel Williams, Man on a mission with low vision and Founder of Visualise Training and Consultancy, Peter Black, Director of Orbita Black and former President of ABDO, and Jayshree Vasani Sub-Regional Lead for ABDO. The team is on a mission to get low vision higher up the agenda by empowering optical professionals to know where to refer patients with low vision for life-enhancing support as soon as they are diagnosed.

Daniel Williams said “We are delighted that Optrafair has partnered with us to a have a low vision zone and we are hopeful that additional low vision charities and suppliers will join us in our mission. This is the first time in a while an optical show has had such a zone and it’s now time that low vision was treated more seriously, especially as we know there will be 4 million people with sight loss by 2050.”

This workshop is not to be missed and has been rated as Excellent by 96% of delegates on the GOC website - book your free place at the Seeing Beyond the Eyes Zone on Optrafair’s website.

Link to Optrafair Preview Pages and Register now and then book your place at the seminar.

PLATINUM SPONSOR announced for Optrafair Exchange: THE HAKIM GROUP

February 2019

Optrafair Exchange
The Hakim Group are proud to partner with Optrafair Exchange as Platinum sponsor for 2019. The sponsorship forms part of the group’s ongoing strategy and commitment to the optical industry, through showcasing their award-winning approach for independent opticians.

Voted the number one place to work in the Sunday Times list of the 100 Best Companies, The Hakim Group represents a rapidly growing portfolio of over 100 successful independent practices across the UK.

The joint venture led model has been transformational, empowering passionate and driven clinicians to be the best they can be whilst accessing the support needed, both commercially and professionally in an increasingly competitive retail landscape.

Over the past 15 years, The Hakim Group have developed a unique and innovative approach that has allowed practices within the group to flourish, ranging from high-end established practices, right through to value led younger businesses.

The Hakim GroupOperations Manager and Dispensing Optician, Paul Forsythe said, “We understand there’s no ‘one size fits all’ which is why, whether you are thinking of selling your practice in the future, planning a phased exit over the next few years, looking to grow your existing practice or even just in need of something to change for the future prosperity of your practice, we have a solution for you!”

Combine the above ingredients with exposure to an established supply chain of prestige optical brands as well as the latest technology advances in optometry and the opportunities are endless.

Sounds too good to be true? Come and see for yourself on Stand H90.

Visit the Opchat's Optrafair Exchange pages and register today for free

Opchat News opens Optrafair Exchange 2019 Preview Pages

February 2019

Waterside Labs 3DNA

As we open today our preview pages to showcase exciting stories that will be told at Optrafair Exchange, Waterside Labs become the first to encourage us to attend their stand. An opportunity to find out about 3D face scanning for unique frames will be available on stand J112.

A free entry on the page is available to all exhibitors at Optrafair Exchange as part of the Co-Media package struck with the MA Group and the FMO.

Take a look at the page and Waterside Labs 3d Face Scanning Here.

All your CET needs under one roof in Birmingham. Mrch 30th -April 1st.

February 2019

The entire optical profession will soon unite under one roof at Optrafair Exchange for three days of inspiration and opportunity to source the very latest products across the sector. Browse an exhibition hall filled with some of the leading companies in the industry, some of which have not attended any other UK event.

The education programme at Optrafair will focus on providing multiple, invaluable educational opportunities for every visitor.

Not registered? Click here.

Education will be available across several CET theatres at Optrafair, covering a diverse programme of six distinct streams; Dispensing, Contact Lenses, Refractive, Health & Lifestyle, Clinical Optometry and Business. Additionally, the show floor will host the ABDO Theatre, and on-stand CET will be available with interactive, partner-led workshops.

Lecture theatre sessions include;

• ReDo and reDon't: Advice on reducing remakes
Kieran McGrath, dispensing optician, Specsavers Hanley

• Diabetic retinopathy and maculopathy - imaging developments
Vasilios Papastefanou, consultant ophthalmologist, Vasilios Papastefanou Ltd

• How to take the venom from the vicious circle in Dry Eye Disease
Colin Parsloe, ophthalmologist, Milton Keynes University Hospital

• Issues and solutions for visual field tests in glaucoma
David Henson, emeritus professor and clinical advisor, University of Manchester/Elektron Eye Technology

• How should a modern optometrist practice
Kirit Patel, optometrist, Radlett Opticians

To view the programme in full - click here.

Sessions will run throughout all three days of the show, allowing attendees to hear the latest industry insight, with sessions packed with discussion and debate from some of the most well-known and authoritative experts in their field.

Conference sessions will provide inspiration and a fresh outlook on how to improve individual business performance with brand new ideas, all whilst gaining a host of CET points.

Register now to be at the forefront of optical thinking and practice.

Once again your Opchat News has been chosen as co-media partners by the FMO and MA Group and we look forward to seeing you at the show.

Heidelberg Engineering wins “best exhibition stand” at 100% Optical

January 2019

Heidelberg Engineering had a successful 100% Optical 2019 with the award of “best exhibition stand” in the equipment section.

Heidelberg stand“The exhibition stand was designed to show the versatility of the SPECTRALIS imaging platform with themed rooms representing the device being used in the hospital, high street and even outer space setting, which is a nod to the SPECTRALIS that is located on the International Space Station”, explains Emily Malbon, Marketing Manager, Heidelberg Engineering.

“The stand also showcased our ‘Love Your OCT Guarantee’, which is a scheme that allows optometrists to hand their SPECTRALIS back to us after 18 months if they are not completely satisfied. The Love Your OCT Guarantee reflects how confident we are that our customers will love their OCT and gives them peace of mind about their purchase”.

Visitors of the show also enjoyed the Heidelberg Engineering Academy educational programme, which was fully booked. Dr. Andrew Tatham, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion, presented a lecture on using OCT to manage glaucoma patients.

Many attendees went on to purchase a Glaucoma Imaging Atlas textbook, which is a new comprehensive diagnostic guide for glaucoma assessment and management featuring 29 contributors from 5 countries and 30 detailed patient case studies.

There was standing room only at the OCT LIVE retinal disease workshop, presented by Tim Cole, Clinical Market Development Manager, Heidelberg Engineering, where a real patient was scanned live in HD using the SPECTRALIS. “The OCT LIVE format is fascinating and always draws a crowd”, says Tim. “We are able to demonstrate OCT image acquisition on the projector screen and showed how to identify and evaluate the patients’ diabetic retinopathy”.

Discover more Heidelberg Engineering Academy events at

Heidelberg Engineering support the publication of your Free Opchat News and its fortnightly update. (Register now) PHN's Diary pages contain their extensive OCT training events.

See HE's pages here

Here's a look at the eyewear fashion set for Optrafair Exchange

Optrafair exhange

Eyewear from Optrafair

Where frames and fashion collide

New at Optrafair 2019 just a few of the enticing promises from the Organisers

Janaury 2019

New for 2019, the Eyewear Boutique celebrates emerging and stylish designers displaying their latest collections in an informal and relaxed atmosphere. Located alongside the Spectrum Catwalk, this new feature allows you to sample the freshest trends in eyewear and get hands-on with the frames.


A new feature for 2019, the Peer Review Zone is a purpose-built peer review facility on the show floor. Put together in partnership with the FMO, BCLA, College of Optometrists and other supporters, this area will offer a diverse range of interactive, hands-on sessions each carrying three CET points.

Back by popular demand:


Introduced at Optrafair 2018 to great acclaim, the Spectrum Catwalk adds a vibrant, beating heart to the show. Throughout the three days of the show, professionally choreographed catwalk shows will showcase the latest trends and frames from a selection of the hottest brands on the show floor.


An entire community of practitioners, suppliers and educators have chosen Optrafair to network with eye care professionals, to expand their knowledge and discuss ground breaking new products and services to grow their businesses. Centrally located at the heart of the show, the Networking Bar will be the perfect place to relax and meet friends old and new.

As well as the exciting features above, Optrafair 2019 also provides you with the chance to earn an unrivalled amount of CET points by taking part in the comprehensive range of lectures, seminars and presentations on offer. We have also redesigned the timetable of education at the show to allow you to explore the vast exhibition floor showcasing optic’s leading organisations and brands.

As the dust settles on London’s Excel event Opchat musters all its efforts for the spectacular arrival of Optrafair Exchange at the NEC

January 2019

Optrafair exhangeFor the 4th year running PHN’s Opchat News has been given a co-media partnership with the MA Group who are assisting the FMO in putting on Optrafair Exchange. The 3-day event dates from March 30th to April 1st this year.

We have already been working hard in the background in social media and online with Opchat News so we are well prepared to raise the volume once again on behalf of the FMO supporters for this year’s event.” Said Hutchinson CEO of PHN and chief editor of Opchat News. “Having supported international shows like SILMO in the past as well as the UK shows we have a tried and proved formula to raise knowledge of what will be on show at the NEC in March.”

The organisers have let us have a sneak preview of the show’s highlights and new ideas as well as the proven success of an updated catwalk first seen in 2018.

FMO chairman, Andy Yorke said
 “Optics is changing. Innovation and adaptability are now more important than ever for optical professionals to future proof their practice. The modern optician needs to diversify and invest, push the boundaries and explore new opportunities. As primary care providers, Opticians are perfectly placed to seize the opportunity that is everywhere.” 

Opchat news has provided a main Optrafair page which will be regularly updated and where you can register direct and free from the page. Click here.

February 1st is the start of the Optrafair preview pages on the site so PR and Marketing managers... tell us what exciting products, services and promotions you are planning. (send to, words and images)
The preview page format can be seen here awaiting your news as well as an opportunity for “signed up” exhibitors to use our reduced-price e-blasts to over 4000 opticians in the lead up.

100% Optical kicks off 2019 with a look to the future

January 2019

100% Optical started off the new year in style this month, with 9115 visitors attending the education and trade event from the 12-14 January.

As 100% Optical’s Official Partner, the Association of Optometrists (AOP) helped facilitate over 100 hours of CET, delivered through lectures, workshops and seminars. Many of the sessions aimed to prepare practitioners for the future, with subjects such as shared care services, the role of audiology in practice and the impact of e-referals proving popular. More than 200 exhibitors also provided the chance to see the latest trends and technology, with 100 exclusive product launches taking place over the three-day event.

The AOP’s Head of Education, Dr Ian Beasley, commented: “100% Optical aims to support delegates in building their knowledge, understanding and skills, whatever their goals. Often as practitioners our long-term development needs, and those of our businesses, can be side-lined by everyday practicalities. It has therefore been fantastic to see optical colleagues from across the sector engaging with our education, challenging current ideas and embracing new technologies over the last three days.”

Optometrist Talia Chernick, who attended a peer discussion at the event, said she had been impressed with the quality of the education, commenting: “Brilliant. Challenging, great issues raised and real life-cases – very helpful.”

Organised by Media10, the event has gone from strength to strength since its inception six years ago, and last week the AOP confirmed that it would continue its current partnership for another three years, with an agreement in place until 2022. The AOP confirmed its journal, Optometry Today, will continue as 100% Optical’s Official Media Partner.

Plans for next year’s 100% Optical are already underway with the event taking place from 25-27 January 2020.

Registration opens for 2019 BCLA Conference

January 2019

BCLA 2019 Registration is now open for the 2019 BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition, with delegates urged to book up now to secure their place at the best possible price.

The flagship event is returning to Manchester, with the city set to play host to one of the profession’s most eagerly anticipated international conferences – featuring a new hashtag for 2019 of #AlwaysLearning.

The three-day Clinical Conference and Exhibition, due to take place from May 30 to June 1, is undergoing a change in format to culminate in the grand finale of the Awards dinner on the Saturday night.

BCLA chief executive Cheryl Donnelly said: “It promises to be a weekend to remember, featuring a host of passionate speakers who can inspire eye care professionals to make a real difference to patients’ lives and ensure we are ‘always learning’.

“This meeting will deliver the latest innovation and clinical insight, with world class speakers on all areas of contact lenses and ocular surface health presenting lectures, holding live podium demonstrations and staging a number of practical hands-on workshops showcasing the very latest techniques.”

The event will also include the only dedicated exhibition to feature innovation and up-to-the-minute technology from the world’s leading contact lens and ocular surface management manufacturers and suppliers.

Among the highlights of an action-packed programme will be keynote speakers Professor Lyndon Jones from the University of Waterloo in Canada, who is the 2019 Medal recipient, and Dr Nicole Carnt, who will present the Irving Fatt Memorial Lecture.

Eye care professionals interested in attending the event can take advantage of a limited ‘Early Bird’ offer valid for all those booking before March 31.
Alcon and CooperVision are Partner Sponsors for the event while Johnson & Johnson Visioncare are Platinum Sponsors. Gold Sponsor is Menicon, Technology Sponsor is Topcon.

INVU - What goes around comes around.

January 2019

INVU releases
Round eyewear has always been an iconic style. After a strong showing with the 70’s flower child and the 90’s generation, the round sunglass style is enjoying a huge comeback in spring 2019. INVU was a very popular stand at 100% last weekend showing its latest releases.

Now its on to Opti Munich with these new styles.

INVU releasesINVU has taken round eyewear to the next level. The beautiful mid-size feminine frames in luxury gold and silver are embellished with demi brown and azurro overlays.
Matching gradient or mirrored lenses complete these must have fashion sunglasses.

All INVU sunglasses are designed and engineered in Switzerland and are equipped with Swiss Eyewear Group’s proprietary ultra polarized lenses.

Retailed at around £59, INVU’s reinvented iconic retro style offers unmatched value for consumers around the globe.

BIGGER, BOLDER, BRIGHTER 100% OPTICAL in 2019 breaks records

January 2019

100% Optical catwalkThe UK’s largest optical show, 100% Optical took visitors on a colourful and eye-opening journey of discovery at London ExCeL from 12-14th January.

The “one stop show” attracted visitors far and wide and boasted an impressive 200 plus exhibitors with a comprehensive range of stands in each section, debuting 500 eyewear brands, 100 exclusive product launches and showcasing its strongest equipment area to date with tons of kit for visitors to demo.

100% Optical’s famous catwalk was presented by avid eyewear fan and radio presenter Annaliese Dayes, and wowed optical fashionistas with the latest trends and styles for 2019, showcasing more than 60 frames in a variety of colours, styles and materials.

Event Director, Nathan Garnett said, “It truly has been a bigger, bolder and brighter show this year with catwalk flash mobs wowing the crowds, kids modelling junior frames and spectacled mirrored dancers.

“We welcomed 9,115 visitors through the doors over the three days and it was evident walking around the show that exhibitors had pulled out all the stops to provide a positive vibe and eye opening visitor experience with lively stands, entertainment and happy hours. This resulted in serious business being done at the show.

100% Optical crowds“So far our exhibitor rebooking numbers are up with over 50 per cent of exhibitors already signed for 2020.”

The independent eyewear designers including Kristian Olsen, Francis Klein, Anne et Valentin, Naked Runner, Bird Eyewear and Otis had the perfect platform to showcase their latest eyewear to thousands of visitors.

Nathan Omodei, CEO of Otis who makes mineral glass eyewear, said the show was an amazing success and the perfect platform to launch his company into the UK. He has traded in Australia for 18 years, and in the USA for eight, and he’d taken the advice of his exclusive distributor Bondeye to make this his launch

exhibition. “The timing is great to reach UK buyers. I’ve been to other trade shows but this is a great show with a great catwalk to launch our environmentally friendly eyewear.”

De Rigo launched its first ever Mulberry eyewear collection, while Topcon made its debut appearance at the exhibition launching a new image management software and a new tele-Optometry portal, with UK sales director Graham Trevor thrilled to beat their sales targets at the show.

Dunelm Optical, who has already rebooked for 100% Optical 2020, celebrated its 50th anniversary with biggest stand at the show, using it as a platform to launch its first eyewear collection by Freya and showcasing its vast range of frames and state-of-the-art lens laboratory, a hidden gem in its promotion to the sector..Read More

The equipment hub was the largest yet with 20 plus suppliers including the likes of Diopsys, Optos, Zeiss, Luneau Technology, Cerium Visual Technologies, EasyScan, Heidelberg Engineering, Essilor and Mainline Instruments. Grafton Optical demonstrated its newest piece of dry eye equipment, the IDRA Integrated Ocular Surface Analysis System. Further new innovation was demonstrated on the BiB stand with the MP-eye measuring macular pigment to provide a warning side of increased likelihood of AMD onset.

The successful soft launch of Eyewear week set the foundation to help save the high street and raise the profile of the most important fashion accessory there is, with the industry getting behind #eyewearweek selfies and offering positive support to grow the initiative in 2020.

Meanwhile, the world-class education programme which is designed and delivered by the Association of Optometrists (AOP) offered the biggest number of speaker sessions to date and the broadest range of content to appeal to the entire practice team.

Its head of education Dr Ian Beasley said: “Building on previous years, the programme successfully delivered education for all.

“A mix of thought-provoking CET sessions covering an array of topics from OCT, myopia and the future of the profession, were complemented by practice team CPD sessions around eyewear styles, dry eye and communication skills alongside hands on workshops.”

A popular conference theme was the future of optics and a packed dispensing workshop chaired by former ABDO president Fiona Anderson explored the public threats and opportunities posed by “man and machine”.

Dispensing opticians must be the custodians of new technology and use it to improve public health, said Anderson. They could leverage artificial intelligence to boost resources for an ageing population when there was a shortage of health professionals, detecting conditions with early diagnosis technologies and offering early intervention.

Anderson said delegates needed to consider how these advances in optical technology could impact their practice and the patient-optical practitioner relationship and think how to integrate them.

Brand new for 2019, the British Academy of Audiology (BAA) supported the AOP in delivering CET for audiology for the first time and looking at the synergies between audiology and the optical sector.

Adding value was the message in a fully-booked session on “Integrating Hearing Services into Practice”. Hearing Care Partnership founder Ryan Leighton, explored all of the options to best introduce hearing care services.

This year, 100% Optical pledged its support for the charity partner, SeeAbility and hosted the most attended Rockaoke party to date.

Head of Eye Health at SeeAbility, Lisa Donaldson said: “100% Optical has been a fantastic opportunity to highlight the eye care needs of people with learning disabilities. We have been able to share the work SeeAbility has been doing with professional bodies and NHS England to ensure all children who attend special schools can access regular eye care and spectacles.”

On Sunday, 13 January, the Association of Optometrists (AOP) welcomed practitioners from across the optical sector at its annual awards ceremony.

The Royal College of Art Design competition also celebrated optical talent and achievement with six finalists on display at the show. Annie Foo came first in the design competition with ‘Party on Face’, using music and fashion as expression and making glasses light up and flash in time to music.

100% Optical is back from 25-27 January 2020. Event director, Nathan Garnett offers a sneak preview into what’s in store; “We are delighted to announce that our successful partnership with The Association of Optometrists (AOP) on 100% Optical will continue until at least 2022. ABDO has also confirmed its role in the 2020 event with discussions likely to increase their involvement.

“We now look forward to making 2020 the event that brings the whole optical industry together for a massive celebration of this wonderful sector. We have a string of announcements coming in the next few months so watch this space….”

Evolving profession celebrated at the AOP Awards 2019

January 2019

On Sunday, 13 January, the Association of Optometrists (AOP) welcomed practitioners from across the optical sector at its eighth annual awards ceremony.

The 2019 AOP Awards, which were sponsored by CooperVision, reflect an evolving profession, with the contributions of locums and optical practices providing hearing care recognised in dedicated categories for the first time.

Kris Cottier, who took home the Locum of the Year Award, said: “This award is the pinnacle of a twenty-year career in optometry.” Adding that he hoped the award would shine a light on the positive role of locum optometrists more widely: “This award recognises the significant proportion of working optometrists who provide freelance and locum optometry and highlights the dependence many practices have on their locum staff.”

In total, there were 14 categories covering the breadth of optics. AOP Chief Executive, Henrietta Alderman commented: “Those working in the profession will know there is an incredible amount of dedication and passion in every area of optics, so it is fantastic to be able to recognise that in the AOP Awards.”

Ms Alderman added: “From established practitioners or educators, to those practices and individuals just starting out, it has been immensely enjoyable finding out about their achievements and stories. I hope the profession will join me in congratulating them and wishing them every success in the future.”

Other winners included Martin Smith, of Martin Smith Opticians in Lincoln, who was awarded Optometrist of the Year, and Professor Dave Edgar who was recognised with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Commenting on being selected, Professor Edgar said: “It is a fantastic honour, I was amazed to be chosen.”

The event was held at ExCel London as part of trade and education event 100% Optical. The awards ceremony was hosted by comedian Jo Caulfield, with nominees, guests and winners enjoying a drinks reception, gala dinner and live entertainment.

In 11 categories nominees were shortlisted by a panel of expert judges before being put forward to a public vote, while in two categories, Frame of the Year and Product of the Year, winners were chosen exclusively by AOP members. As in previous years, the Lifetime Achievement Award was selected by Ms Alderman and AOP Chairman, Mike George.

A full list of winners can be found here

Dunelm are celebrating their 50th Anniversary in Style at 100% Optical

January 2019

Dunelm celebrates 50 years

Dunelm are exhibiting for the very first time at 100% Optical using their impressive stand first used at MIDO 2018. It seems a step change up from the memories we have of Dunelm for the past 50 years.

MD, David Barker was explaining how important investment planned in the company strategic plan will be for the future growth.

It certainly felt vibrant and “wired” while we visited their stand.

We also met Tanya Storey who is their new commercial manager for lenses and the laboratory, a highly respected expert in lens production and design, well known to many.

Her appointment is a measure of Dunelm’s commitment to providing a full service to its customers that the already high-volume lens lab is also gearing up for growth.

Dunelms new bold offering to the optical sector is certainly worth further investigation, if you thought you knew them over the past 50 years, it's time to look again.


Diversity at 100% offers opportunities to find that perfect frame

January 2019

Swissflex  at PKP
Niche market frame brands with smaller companies often only make rare appearances at exhibitions and that is true for Swissflex Eyewear. They made their first appearance at 100% Optical last year since collaborating with PKP Optics from Tonbridge.

The frame brand is highly rated around the world for its lightness and multi-fitting opportunities in design. It’s literally like “wearing nothing”.

The brand is a great practice builder because of the added value in quality dispensing. We first came across it at USA Expo East some years ago and it took till last year to track it down in the UK.

Some styles break new ground in design and this is certainly one of those, worth coming to 100% Optical for that brand alone.

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A sneak preview of 100% Optical in the “build” process

January 2019

100, per cent!

100, per cent!

It’s a scene that most of this weekend's 9000 + visitors will never see but the you can feel the excitement and thrill rising as you walk, stumble and manoeuvre your way around what seems like 100’s of ladders and expo hardened fitters creating something akin to a film set.

We sent our editor in to the middle of 100% build the day before its opening at 10 am tomorrow (Saturday) to get some early shots of what awaits you.

100, per cent!

A past exhibitor over many years, well used to such events couldn’t help be overwhelmed by the sheer size of the stands and the imagination of the designers for this year’s show.

100, per cent!
“A I walked around it was an eye opener to see all the biggest and best companies finally making it to 100% in its 6th year. It took some while to convince some to migrate to a London Show but seeing Topcon, Zeiss Hanson and Essilor and Diopsys among many more join in with companies that have been faithful to the show from the off like Shamir Grafton and Heidelberg must be truly gratifying to the organisers. I think this year we will be saying 100% has finally come of age.”

100, per cent!
The thrill that sends the hairs on your head northwards is distinct even when only 30% of the build is complete. And it is that buzz that makes 100% a different show as 9000 visitors will tell you who went last year.

Its not all about the big boys either, what make the show distinct is the one stop shop for all you need in a thriving business, from products and services sourced globally, especially the frame selection.

100, per cent!

But 2019 is now a balanced show with services, retail, employment, equipment, lenses, frames, audiology professional bodies and great networking and we mustn’t forget the Catwalk who were busy practicing today. (No, we didn’t take photos of them 100, per cent!today, come see for yourself!)

There is still time to register or you can register on the day.

Grafton announce a 50% discount on the E-Eye, the lasting solution for Dry Eye.

January 2019

E-Eye from GraftonIn the week leading to 100% Optical Grafton Optical provide an impelling reason to get your skates on and visit 100%'s biggest and most comprehensive equipment area at London Excel. The show provides an opportunity to investigate and admire all the latest technology form all of the top and respected equipment companies under one roof.

E-Eye is the first and only medical device in the world using IRPL® (Intense Regulated Pulsed Light) that has been specifically designed for the treatment of Dry Eye due to Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD).

E-Eye uses a unique patented Intense Regulated Pulsed Light (IRPL®) technology to regenerate the function of the Meibomian glands and improve the quality of their secretions. This new type of polychromatic pulsed light produces perfected calibrated and homogenously sequenced light pulses which stimulate the parasympathetic nerves. This in turn encourages the Meibomian glands to restore their natural lipid flow, reducing tear evaporation and preventing the eyes from becoming dry.

In most cases, Dry Eye symptoms will significantly improve after 3 sessions, carried out over 45 days (Day 0/ Day 15/ Day 45). For 60% of patients results can last up to 3 years. . Click here to register your interest while stocks last

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