The Return of Wonder

MIDO, the biggest international optics and eyewear trade fair, returns to Fiera Milano in Rho from 23 to 25 February. It once again is set to be a record-breaking edition in terms of square metres sold and participating companies—1316 no less. There will be plenty of new developments, including expansion of pavilion 6 and the Lab Academy. But that is not all: MIDO will be further consolidating its role as a ‘generator of culture’ with lots of new events. MIDO president Giovanni Vitaloni tells us about what is new this time around.

What is the secret of MIDO’s success?
The main reason behind our leading position is the fact that we are a fair with an international scope, representing the entire eyewear supply chain. MIDO is the most internationally inclined of all the trade fairs in this sector. Industry professionals coming to Milan every year to place orders are here to see new collections and network with colleagues, and know that we will provide them with the most exhaustive overview of all the best on offer from international manufacturers. MIDO is also a must-visit for those wanting to keep up to date with the goings-on in the world of eyewear.

So even for the end of February, we have to expect excellent results?
It goes without saying that our sector is not going through a particularly rosy period.
Nevertheless, the run-up to MIDO creates a certain positive vibe internationally, proving that we are seen as the go-to trade fair for doing business, making deals, sharing ideas about trends and setting strategies for the future.
This feedback comes primarily from our exhibitors, thanks to whom no more exhibition spaces are available for the 2019 event.

Will we see elements of continuity with previous editions?
Yes, this edition will be in the same vein as previous iterations. Despite thinking it was impossible to do any better, we have seen an increase in the Lab Academy exhibition space, which hosts companies with innovative business formats making their debut at a sector fair, and More! is also growing, with no more spaces available.
Another common thread is our educational/informative range of activities. Once again, our mission is to offer visitors and exhibitors the tools and opportunities they need to analyse the sector, international trends and markets. This year will see the return of the ninth instalment of Optical Monitor, the study conducted by GfK for MIDO and SILMO that investigates consumer buying habits in the USA, China, Russia, and Japan. We will also be hosting the updated MIDO Outlook, the observatory that analyses sector professional expectations for the medium and long term.
We will also be focusing on developments in style and trends thanks to a collaboration with the trend forecast analysts WGSN.
We will also be discussing burning issues for our sector: from product innovation to professional matters and training, and also health, which we see as a strategic matter of fundamental importance for all eyewear components (prescription glasses, sunglasses, lens and implements). Otticlub will continue down the path taken last year, hosting a meeting between professionals working on an international level to promote prevention awareness.

Another peculiarity of MIDO is the viral continuity with the operators of the sector. How will you develop your social strategy this year?
I believe that the reasons behind our leading position include our online activity and a desire to stay in contact with sector professionals all year round. WMIDO is just one example of our everyday commitment to strengthening this link and sharing useful content.
We try to guide our users in the better use of platforms in order to gather and trace exhibitor content and foster interactions. We also aim to be constantly active and responsive to their posts, photos and comments, with the aim of establishing points of dialogue outside of the three days of the fair.
From January to March, we focus our communications on coverage of the event and the most useful information for visitors and exhibitors. Our online platforms become part of a customer care service that involves the addition of a live storytelling initiative during the three days of MIDO.
We therefore encourage you to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.