SCENE + HEARD: Shows All Eyes Look to the Future at opti 2018 By Jamie Wilson Monday, February 12, 2018 12:20 AM MUNICH, Germany—Walking through the five halls of opti 2018, the show floor buzzed with foot traffic as attendees sought out the many new experiences that this year’s show had to offer. The theme of the three-day trade exhibition put a strong emphasis on the future of optical from technological innovations and the latest frame styles to retail and the rise of social media influencers in the optical arena. From Friday, Jan. 12 to Sunday, Jan. 14 at the Fairground Munich, opti boasted 28,430 visitors and 668 exhibitors and expanded to include not only the traditional halls C1 to C4, but for the first time featured hall B4. Each hall exuded its own unique atmosphere as the distinctive booth designs took center stage, ranging from Gotti Switzerland’s two-story booth crafted from freight containers, Blackfin eyewear’s towering titanium structure, the greenery decorating sustainable brand, to neubau’s booth along with the chandelier made out of optical frames that highlighted Flair Wear’s space as attendees waited in line to have their portraits drawn by the artist in their booth. New hall, B4 was home to the show’s new FutureShop. The eye catching, innovative concept of the FutureShop aimed to give opticians a glimpse into the future of their businesses. Visitors to the area were able to experience technological innovations from areas spanning diagnosis to customer service. The FutureShop which was divided into a reception, experience and test area, also gave visitors the opportunity to learn more about business concepts, digitalization and how to engage customers with a distinctive shop design. “The demands and desires of the customers are becoming increasingly discerning,” said Bettina Reiter, project manager of opti. “During their visit to an optical specialist shop, they not only expect high competency, first-class service, and the latest technologies, but they also want to feel good and have a unique experience visiting. This is exactly what we want to show with the FutureShop at opti.” Along with the new FutureShop, opti put a spotlight on the future movers and shakers of the industry—the influencers of optical with its second annual Blogger Spectacle. After a well-received debut during the 2017 show, opti once again invited guests for the second Blogger Spectacle where 27 influencers were in attendance. Both eyewear and fashion bloggers from all of Europe presented new products from opti exhibitors to their followers as well as voted for the “most promising opti box newcomer.” opti box was an area featured in hall C1 where select new designers and start-ups showcased their products. Spanish label, NINA MÛR, was dubbed the opti box newcomer 2018, and for its wooden glasses, the Madrid-based label was awarded the second annual Blogger Spectacle Award. According to the show, “when it comes to bloggers and blogger relations, opti is the pioneering trade show in the optical industry.” The show only continues to expand as the next opti which will take place from Jan. 25 to 27, 2019 will now include C1 to C6 of the Fairground Munich. “opti 2018 was an important prologue and a successful final rehearsal for the opti premiere in 2019. The first time opening of a fifth hall and the spatial merging of the independent labels in hall C1 and C2 were a little foretaste of what is to come in the next year,” said Dieter Dohr, CEO of GHM Gesellschaft für Handwerksmessen mbH.