International Fair for Eye Optics, Optometry and Ophthalmology
OPTA 2013 introduced the latest news and trends for better vision
The only specialized fair of Optics, Optometry and
Ophthalmology on the Czech and Slovak market has been helping to improve the
quality of supply and services in this key field for nearly twenty years. We
receive approximately 80% of all the perceptions through vision and OPTA has
been helping long-term professional vendors to make sure that eye care in this
country could be at the highest level possible. This year's 19th
edition presented the offer of 131 exhibiting companies from 17 countries who dealt
with their trading partners among opticians, optometrists, ophthalmologists and
contactologists in the course of three days. *
The fair was held in a difficult economic situation, not only in terms of delayed consumption and reduced purchasing power. Traditional professional opticians are now faced with the competition of unskilled sellers on the Internet, in drugstores and supermarkets, offering standardized products at a bargain price. Approximately one-fifth of the Czech market was overcome by optical chains that approach sales in a discount fashion and rely on lack of awareness, where a portion of the population can not properly consider the balance between price and performance, and often have no idea about the quality and sharpness of vision which would help them when using the most advanced technology. The professional level of the branch is yet one of the highest in Europe and our market offers the most demanding solutions for extreme sports, multi-use for different types of activities, etc. All this was accessible to visitors at OPTA - especially opticians who are looking for new ways today to increase the competitiveness by both expanding their professional services with optometry or a contact lenses offer, or targeting a specific customer group, such as children, the elderly or athletes.
The exhibitors' stands flourished with new collections of spectacle frames and sunglasses for the upcoming season. Visitors could explore models of more than 250 brands in one place and become familiar with the latest fashion trends. Sunglasses are dominated by large and relatively deep eyepieces and gradal lenses are frequent. Shields receded into the background and this summer’s offer is dominated by double-lense glasses either in retro style with sharper edges or in classic shapes with larger eyepieces, complemented by the still popular wide temples or on the contrary very thin ones, but with a strong decorative element. The offer of corrective glasses remains very diverse, ranging from drilled models with fine and decent decoration to very noticeable colourful and shaped glasses in retro style.
In addition to new collections of spectacle frames and sunglasses the exhibitors’ displays did not miss even more sophisticated lenses and their modifications, contact lenses and solutions or top instrumentation for opticians, office lenses and other special optics aids, which allow people to work with the computer in maximum visual comfort and prevent fatigue.
For the eighth time, prizes were awarded to the best exhibits of the fair. Top Opta 2013 awards were presented to the following exhibitors: Funforsun (luxury Italian wooden glasses FEB31st, Ara model), Alcon Pharmaceuticals (multipurpose disinfecting solution for contact lenses with OPTI-FREE PureMoist moisturizing system), Spektra (readers’ camera magnifying glass Compact 4HD) and Rodenstock CR (ImpressionIST ® 3 system for automated and flexible digital centration). Top Opta Professionals Award where the outcome of the vote is decided by visitors of the trade fair and its web pages, went to VUERICH B. TRANSITION SKATE model, exhibited by Funforsun. These are hand-carved wooden glasses made from recycled skateboards using a unique technology.
The trade fair was officially opened by three key leaders of professional associations of the Czech and Slovak Republics – the Association of Czech Opticians and Optometrists as co-hosts, the Opticians Union of Slovakia and the Czech Contactology Society. Special guest of the opening, dean of the Faculty of Economics and Public Economics in Prague and Chairman of the Liberal Institute Miroslav Ševčík delivered a lecture on "The economic situation of the Czech Republic and its effect on business."
The traditional supporting programme was extended. Friday's series of lectures was devoted to the legislative framework of business and economics in the field of ophthalmics and optics. Saturday's lecture series which took place in the Lectures Point of Hall B provided space especially to representatives of secondary schools and colleges providing education in the field. Reports from the contactology section included a commemoration of the birth centenary of prof. Otto Wichterle, listeners also became acquainted with developments in photochromic technology, individualization of spectacle lenses, etc. A nice ending to a packed programme was rendered by the evening after party which was held directly in the exhibition hall at the exhibitors' stands and started by a performance composition in an artificial ice rink.
Quotes about the fair
Oldřich Dostál, CEO, New
I am very happy that OPTA still takes place in this situation and that it was managed to organize it at this level. The weather betrayed us and definitely affected attendance, but we still received a lot of clients, so we are satisfied. Compared with last year, we have enlarged our stand by 30 percent and I can say that OPTA does help us. Also the accompanying figure skating programme was a success, and I evaluate this year very positively on the whole.
Libor Pivoňka, Product Manager,
Despite the negative impact of the weather, we evaluate this year very positively. Expectations we had have been fulfilled. Attendance was definitely lower, but this fact did not significantly influence us and from the business side of things, we are satisfied with the fair. We are very pleased that we received the Top Opta for the innovative technology that helps our business partners to offer their products.
Jiří Kaiser, CEO, Metzler International:
This year OPTA turned out better than I expected. Business results are yet unknown to us, but I feel satisfied and pleasantly surprised by the attendance on Saturday afternoon. We are going home with slight optimism.
Václav Chovanec, CEO,
We exhibit here every year and this year we designed our stand as a showcase, where the customer can easily cover the full range of our current offer on the rack. Business takes place throughout the year, when our representative tours opticians, but the situation turns around at OPTA, we invite customers to us and we try to make them feel as pleasant as possible. Opticians can easily compare the offers of different companies here and possibly renegotiate terms and conditions, because OPTA is the perfect opportunity to start a new business cooperation. For us as a supplier, it is important to be here just because our absence would could give the wrong signal to the market.
David Novotný, operations manager, FEBA:
We have been attending OPTA each year from the beginning, it is an important place for us to nurture contacts with customers. We introduce our news to them here and show our complete range of products, which is now dominated by frames and sunglasses. OPTA is the starting point of our business year.
Jaroslav Majerčík, co-owner,
Besides the economic situation, even the weather conspired against us this year, which affected the participation of optometrists. Orders of customers who came, did not reach the volumes from previous years by far, so our economic results only covered the cost of the exhibition. On the other hand, we are pleased that we were able to present our stand and new products to our customers.
Zuzana Jelínková, company
owner, ZuZa optik:
We are regular exhibitors. OPTA is all about presentation for us, an opportunity to introduce new products and to show that we are present on the market. We gain new contacts here, because every one has a chance to see our goods at the trade fair and even those who do not know us yet. We managed to get new clients this year, which makes us glad. Overall, we evaluated this year like the last one. We were expecting more, but our expectations were thwarted by the weather, which proved to be a big problem.
Marta Regnerová, CEO, MARE:
This year’s OPTA was influenced by times and the negative mood, there were fewer exhibitors and visitors, also influenced by the weather. But business is still running, and despite the current negative conditions and circumstances, I am satisfied with the result. The after a party was great, it had a wonderful atmosphere and the programme on the ice was really good.
20th anniversary International Fair of Eye Optics, Optometry and
Ophthalmology will be held from 21 - 23 February 2014.
* Total number of visitors will be known after processing the data from Sunday.