This year’s SILMO Paris from 29 September to 2 October confirmed that new collections and brands as well as innovative concepts are presented here on an international level, said the organisers in their final report. Visitor numbers, several events and award ceremonies showed a positive balance.
“All the conditions were in place to offer visitors and exhibitors a stimulating and eventful fair. The most important points were the ever-popular reception and conviviality made possible by the redesign of the fair, which was praised by all sides,” said the organisers.
31,337 visitors and buyers (+16.5% compared to 2022) were on hand, according to SILMO, including 15,902 from abroad (+18.3% compared to 2022) and 15,535 from France (+14.7% compared to 2022). They were able to meet 929 companies in the 75,000 sqm of Halls 6 and 7 in Paris-Nord Villepinte.
Prizes upon prizes
The 30th SILMO d’Or awards, held in the surprising setting of the Folies Gruss, remain the central pillar of this appreciation, he said. “The members of the jury, whose integrity and professionalism the organisers warmly thank, carefully examined all the applications and impartially selected the creations and innovations that caught their attention.” They were assisted by a jury chairman who did not come from the optical industry and brought a different and challenging perspective: Nicolas Fafiotte.
The SILMO d’Or 2023 awards also provided the opportunity to present two other prizes, including one for the first time. With corporate social and environmental responsibility at the heart of today’s societal challenges, the organisers of SILMO decided to present a “Responsible Company Award”.
The fair worked with the CSR agency Hyssop to draw up the specifications for the award and evaluate the applicants. An independent jury of opticians and CSR experts evaluated the applications and selected the winner of this first edition: Mykita from Berlin.
Presented by the IOA (International Opticians Association) in collaboration with SILMO Paris, the International Optician of the Year Award encourages and rewards opticians for their vision and commitment to promoting the values of their profession. For the first time, it is a Frenchman who has received this award in 2023: Jean-François Porte, co-founder of the Edgard Group and Vice President of the “Rassemblement des Opticiens de France”.
Augenkleid wins the eyebuzz Award
Excitement, joy and also a bit of pride were written all over Joana and Uli Gregori’s faces when the Silmo and eyebizz delegation came to the eyebuzz Newcomer Award ceremony at stand D 306 in Hall 7 of SILMO in Paris.
Augenkleid (means Eye dress) had convinced the jury and so the Gregoris were able to present their unusual and technically innovative spectacle frames to an international audience without having to worry about stand fees as a start-up. Read more about the company and an interview with Uli Gregori in eyebizz 6.2023, which will be published on 20 October.
Future of the industry
The future of the industry was at the heart of the topics covered. “SILMO Next”, a multidisciplinary forum dedicated to the future, showcased the latest technological innovations and key advances in smart eyewear, phygital experiences and eco-friendly design.
In addition to this impressive retrospective, “Futurology” presented special experience zones to test smart products, discover new trends in virtual reality and experiment with an innovative approach to sustainable production.
Focus on design
The important theme of design was expressed in two ways. Firstly, the “Trends Forum”, a space set up at the entrance to the fair to allow visitors to delve into the most important trends, thanks to a thematic selection of optical and sunglass frames from the exhibitors present at the fair. These trends will also be presented in issue 33 of the digital magazine “Trends by SILMO”.
Secondly, the “Optical Design Contest”, reserved for design students from all over the world; for this second edition, they were asked to brainstorm on a topical theme: Sport. The jury, made up of professionals from the fields of optics and design and chaired by Marie-Christine Dorner, interior architect, designer and set designer, chose the Tribi concept by Hugo Plessis, a student at ESDAC in Lille: multifunctional glasses for triathlon and biathlon. In addition to recognition in the world of optical eyewear, the winner and his school each received a cheque for 5,000 euros from the fair.
Performance measurements at SILMO
On the topic of sport, with the Rugby World Cup taking place in parallel and in anticipation of the 2024 Olympics in Paris, the “SILMO Academy” scientific symposium focused on optimising performance and ensuring success during its training and discussion session. The topic was approached from two angles: the optician’s performance and the patient’s performance. Opticians, he said, have a key role to play in improving their customers’ quality of vision and quality of life.
The various speakers presented performance measurements for visual health, visual acuity or quality of life, told of good precautions and practices throughout life to optimise eye health, and stressed the importance of combining optimally corrected vision with performance, whether for professional reasons, academic success, sporting success or safety, as in driving.
Speed talking and daily reports
The exchange of information and best practices was also reflected in “The Talks”: in a dedicated open space, various speakers – exhibitors, experts, journalists, observers – spoke about current topics in 30 minutes. And for visitors who did not have time to attend them during the four days of the fair, these Talks will be available in their entirety as a video on the silmoparis.com website.
Each SILMO trade fair day, a daily report summarised the events of the Salon, supplemented by interviews, debates and live broadcasts to capture the impressions of visitors and exhibitors and to show the originality of the products and companies. For those who want to take another look: it can be found at silmoparis.com, YouTube and all SILMO Paris social media.
The next SILMO Paris will take place from 20 to 23 September 2024.