Grit & Glory: The Success Story Of VisionPlus EXPO 2021

‘How did it go?!’ This would be the question the global optical industry is curious to know about the just concluded VisionPlus EXPO Dubai. Here’s what Mr Siraj Bolar, Editor-in-Chief of VisionPlus magazine has to say about it! 

VisionPlus EXPO was conceived and propagated by FourPlus Media as the future of International Optical Trade Fairs. It showcased global brands of eyewear products, machinery, manufacturing, technology and more. The fact that the event was successfully executed during the peak of the pandemic, makes its success all the more significant. 

Dubai, as the destination, was a significant factor that led to the success of VisionPlus EXPO. The city reinforced its position as a key destination for travellers from across the globe.

Organised at a new event venue – Festival Arena, close to Festival City of Dubai, there was a common fear in the mind of exhibitors about the visitor turnout at the new location. But at the end, it is felt by almost all the exhibitors as well as the visitors that the venue was a good selection for its high end facilities and grandeur. 

Expectedly, the pandemic and travelling restrictions did affect the overall scale of the event, with China and Japan being genuinely missed. 

But the significant part of the event has been the confidence of 39 exhibitors representing 16 countries, and 1252 visitors from 59 countries (all figures are exact) to take part in the event and return home with happiness and satisfaction of having good business for both segments.  

‘Limited visitor turnout, yes. But every attendee was a genuine buyer’, was the common comment from the exhibitors in their feedback. The fact that 80% of the exhibitors have confirmed their participation for the next year, and 30% have already signed their contract renewals, is a testimonial to the success of the event.

From the visitors perspective, the exhibitors offered a good mix of sunglasses, spectacle frames, niche brands, lenses, contact lenses, solutions and cleaning products, RGP lenses, retail equipment, lab machinery, products for colour blindness, Virtual 3D Tryon, AR VR and OEM among others. 

I should add here a special mention of a group of visitors from Nigeria, who underwent a fourteen-day quarantine just to be at the exhibition and attend the VisionPlus Academy. Each member of this group expressed their appreciation for the quality of the show. And that was extremely gratifying to me personally.  

The VisionPlus Academy was all about quality. Despite a limited number of attendees, the speakers expressed happiness and satisfaction. I happened to see Nilesh Thite’s facebook post sharing his appreciation for the event. 

There were certain teething troubles in the management of the event which I do not wish to hide. Exhibitors faced a delay in the handover of their booth space for branding and display set up. A couple of exhibitors found the transport and logistics department support was not up to the mark. These will all be addressed and fixed in the coming editions for sure. 

Another highlight was the VisionPlus Awards Gallery which showcased all nominees of the awards this year. 

VisionPlus Awards – Night Of The Winners was held on the second day evening at a glitzy show where 21 trophies were handed over to winners in various categories. ZEISS, Exalt Cycle, Silhouette, Chopard, Oakley, Maui Jim and McLaren were among the prominent winners. 

Among Indian brands Pitt & Mitt, Kiksar and Arcadio showed their dynamism and bore fruit from their participation at the VisionPlus EXPO 2021, having both created an international presence for their respective brands. 

Image, IDEE and Dr. Harmanns were represented by our eye care division. All in all, the Indian representation of brands was lesser than its potential, but a start has been made. And that is a big achievement in itself. 

My dream has been, as you are aware, to make India an important source for global eyewear procurement.

I hope the other brands and manufacturers in India will look at the success of the first edition of VisionPlus EXPO as reason enough to take advantage of this opportunity presented to them. 

It was a pleasure seeing friends from India turn up in Dubai. They were gracious enough to compliment me for organising this event. Kiran Sheth of Eternity, Shanu Nag of Astra, Ashutosh Vaidya of Safilo, Vikas Swamy of ZEISS, Sunny Kurien of Kurian’s Opticals are some of them. Each of them was all praise for the work behind the project and wished for its success in the coming years. 

I am sure all those who missed this time will show up during the next show around the same time next year. I assure you, VisionPlus EXPO 2022 will be a show of a different level. 

Remember, if it’s from FourPlus, you can trust it to always be good!

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