Mutatis mutandis

With Cirillo Marcolin, the Past President of MIDO with the highest number of mandates (four to be exact: in 2002, from 2002 to 2003, from 2004 to 2007 and from 2011 to 2016), we retrace the evolution of MIDO. Marcolin’s words have revealed the event’s strong ability to evolve and innovate according to market needs.

You were the President with the highest number of mandates, thus living many editions of the event with this important task. Which one do you remember with more satisfaction?

Each edition has been a source of satisfaction for me, each one has been positive for the event, for the sector and for ANFAO. I don’t hide my concern during the years of the first economic crisis (in 2007 and 2008), but it was also a stimulus to propose something new and innovative, leading to the relaunch of MIDO.

In 2003 there was the problem of SARS. What memories do you have about it?

I found myself in a complicated situation, I was at a crossroads: do or don’t do MIDO. Out of respect for those who would have wanted it, together with my staff and the ANFAO assembly, we decided not to miss the appointment: there was obviously a physiological drop in visitors but we showed that it was right to make the edition that year too.

MIDO, despite the world economic crisis, managed to maintain (and then) consolidate its leadership: what are the innovative elements that allow it to stay on top?

The Leit Motiv of all presidencies has been to never stop and to evolve: when you are a leader you must have the intelligence to do self-criticism. And that’s what we’ve done, always keeping in mind the evolution of eyewear: from a medical device it has become a fashion accessory and a lifestyle. I believe that we have been able to accommodate the evolutions of the market and the evolving needs of companies.

We have made the philosophy of Mutatis mutandis our own and this continuous change has allowed us to consolidate our success over the years.

The handover to the current Chairman, Giovanni Vitaloni, has been characterised by the continuity of your mandates. What are the elements to which you appealed?

The handover was easy because Giovanni was Vice-President in charge of MIDO during my last term of office. When my replacement became necessary (I was no longer eligible for re-election), his choice fell on him and it was natural. Giovanni is also an excellent entrepreneur, very innovative.

In 2007, MIDO transferred from Fieramilanocity to Fiera Milano Rho. How was the management of this important move during your presidency?

In 2007 there was a great ability to take important and difficult decisions: it would have been easier to continue the successful path undertaken within Fieramilanocity hoping to remain at the top. Moving the event outside the city was an act of courage. We managed to move Mido by asking individual exhibitors to completely change their exhibition spaces. The entire sector has started from scratch. This made it possible to increase the beauty of the salon, thanks in part to the exhibitors who renovated their stands. Certainly the structure of Fiera Milano Rho, the spaces and logistics made the difference. Over the years we have also grown in the pavilions.

At the moment we are the exhibition with the most international imprinting among all the fairs taking place at Fiera Milano Rho: 2/3 of the exhibitors are foreign. We are also one of the largest accessory fairs in the world.

And what can you tell us about the event organized for the occasion at which, among others, the American star Andie MacDowell spoke?

I thought it was my last term of office and to celebrate the success of MIDO and its next 40 years, we organized a great evening: dinner placée with two famous chefs, digital fireworks and a fashion show, realized in collaboration with the great Franca Sozzani, on the escalators at the entrance of the fair, set up like the access ramps of an airplane.

The event was attended by Andie MacDowell, Andy Luotto, Emma Bonino, Luca Barbareschi and the then President of ICE Umberto Vattani.

Would you like to express a personal wish on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Wonder?

I think I’m “envious” of President Vitaloni who will be attending the event: it’s a very important stage demonstrating that despite the market and company crises and the revolutions of the markets themselves, MIDO has reached its peak.

The best wish is that it is the synthesis of wonders and that it can continue in this direction!