SCENE + HEARD: Meetings 9th Edition of DaTE in Florence Closes With 55 Percent Increase in Buyers and 130 Italian and International Brands By Staff Wednesday, September 15, 2021 12:18 AM FLORENCE, Italy—The 9th edition of DaTE, an event focused on independent brands and eyewear of the future, closed yesterday at the Stazione Leopolda di Firenze. Held Sept. 11 to 13, almost 1,500 eyewear professionals and select buyers visited the show, organizers reported, exceeding expectations and emphasizing the importance of in-person events for the eyewear industry. With 130 Italian and international brands taking part, they noted, "The event reconfirmed itself as a key resource for the entire eyewear industry which, in Italy, brings in about €4 billion in turnover, and employs a workforce of 18,000."Strictly in compliance with the anti-COVID measures in effect in Italy, the event attracted a substantial turnout this year from across Italy and the world, for a 55 percent increase in attendance. The number of exhibitors rose by 50 percent, compared to last year. Of the 130 brands participating, 45 percent were international. Crucial internationalization activities, conducted in support of the event by ITA (Italian Trade & Investment Agency), brought in international buyers particularly from Spain, France and Poland, they added. “This year, more than ever, DaTE was a pivotal driver for the industry, as well as the place where in-person meetings, sharing and business was possible," stated Giovanni Vitaloni, president of the event. "For three days, we were surrounded by keen interest and a craving to invest in the future and in new projects. We are extremely pleased with the outcome of this edition. The last two years were unbelievably complex and DaTE 2021, which actually never suffered a slowdown, finally put the industry machine back into motion. "The extraordinary motivation demonstrated by the exhibitors and the determination of the companies and visitors made it possible to place beauty, craftsmanship and design ingenuity at the core of the supply chain. The hard work and participation of everyone made this possible. Together, we can continue to work hard to bring renewed driving force to the industry and to shape the future of eyewear.” Online interaction by users also yielded excellent results, organizers reported. Through social media messaging, DaTE's Facebook and Instagram combined reached 513,353 users and a total of 14,877 interactions, while video content was viewed more than 15,000 times.