Opti 2022 // The highlight is opti itself!

This Friday, the international trade show for optics & design, opti for short, will open its four halls in Munich. What makes the extraordinary spring edition from 13 – 15 May 2022 so special and what is worth knowing about it are questions answered by Exhibition Director Bettina Reiter and Klaus Plaschka, Managing Director of the organiser GHM Gesellschaft für Handwerksmessen mbH during an interview.

The one and only time that opti has ever been cancelled, postponed to the spring: After two years, opti is back as the leading show for the German-speaking region. Bettina Reiter, what is included in the special edition of opti?

  • Bettina ReiterBettina ReiterHead of opti

    My biggest highlight, as I have said, is the fact that opti is finally back. Apart from that, I am really looking forward to seeing the twelve start-ups with their innovative labels compete for the very first opti BOX AWARD at 12.30 pm on the Saturday, 14 May 2022. There will even be a young company from the Sunshine State of Florida among the competitors. The award ceremony will take place live and in start-up style by the opti BOXES in the YES independent design area in hall C2. All visitors are welcome to attend. Alongside these fantastic hopefuls, we have also secured an international panel of judges for the first opti BOX AWARD, including the Italian eyewear blogger Giulia De Martin (Behind My Glasses).

The highlight is opti itself?

  • For three whole days, the focus will be on face-to-face contact and exchange, whether that is with colleagues or business partners, prearranged or spontaneous. Nearly 370 exhibitors from 25 countries presenting nearly 580 brands will be attending this extraordinary opti. They just could not miss the chance to be involved in celebrating the relaunch of opti: the opti LOUNGE in hall C4, for example, is this year sponsored by ZEISS and offers 145 square metres of space for face-to-face chats as well as information about innovation and new opportunities.

    The trade fair is the familiar platform for business deals but also, and especially this year, for networking. There are informal expert panels from industry and ophthalmic optics, including the launch of a sustainability round table on the Sunday. Exhibitors like swisslens and OCULUS will be hosting workshops on their new products. At the opti CAMPUS in hall C4, traditional education providers from the fields of ophthalmic optics and auditory acoustics will be presenting their basic and advanced training courses. opti CHARITY offers space for charitable projects like brillen-ohne-grenzen.de. The German partner of the French Lunettes sans Frontière uses opti as a facilitator to collect glasses for partially sighted people in poor countries. Collecting, recycling, refurbishing – sustainability is also a major theme of opti 2022. Myopia management is another key theme spanning the halls and products and reflects the future of the industry at the show.

And what is your personal highlight, Bettina Reiter?

  • Bettina ReiterBettina ReiterHead of opti

    My biggest highlight, as I have said, is the fact that opti is finally back. Apart from that, I am really looking forward to seeing the twelve start-ups with their innovative labels compete for the very first opti BOX AWARD at 12.30 pm on the Saturday, 14 May 2022. There will even be a young company from the Sunshine State of Florida among the competitors. The award ceremony will take place live and in start-up style by the opti BOXES in the YES independent design area in hall C2. All visitors are welcome to attend. Alongside these fantastic hopefuls, we have also secured an international panel of judges for the first opti BOX AWARD, including the Italian eyewear blogger Giulia De Martin (Behind My Glasses).

What advice do you have for visitors in preparation for opti 2022?

  • Bettina ReiterBettina ReiterHead of opti

    Bettina Reiter said Tickets for opti 2022 are only available online at www.opti.de/tickets/. Anyone with a credit note should also redeem this beforehand via the same link. There is no need to print out the ticket. Visitors can simply show their tickets on their smartphones – the key idea here being "contactless entry". It is also worth taking a look in advance at our Exhibitor Directory, which can be found on the opti website. This not only provides an overview of the exhibiting company, its products and highlights, but also all the contact details that visitors will need to prearrange important meetings. Visitors should also consider going to the show with a completely open mind, simply allowing themselves to be inspired and making use of the opportunity for spontaneous face-to-face exchange – this year even more so than any other.

Are there still any special coronavirus rules that visitors need to observe?

  • Bettina ReiterBettina ReiterHead of opti

    For once, hosting opti in May not only gives our visitors the opportunity to experience Munich, our favourite fairground, in spring, it also means there are no longer any coronavirus rules applicable to trade fairs. There are no entry restrictions or any obligation to wear face masks. Of course, we will still ensure safety and a sense of well-being with our spacious layout and intensive cleaning schedule across the four opti halls.

As regards the pandemic. Klaus Plaschka, you are the Managing Director of the organiser GHM Gesellschaft für Handwerksmessen mbH. What does the relaunch of opti mean to you? Might the trade fair event have become obsolete over the past two years?

  • My trade fair heart has certainly bled over the past few months. The voices of already existing trade fair critics became louder and all signs initially pointed towards digital. But they were wrong! The trade fairs that are now being held again are proving all the naysayers wrong.

    The tremendous energy, the mood of optimism ... on balance, the evidence in favour of the format of the face-to-face trade fair could not have been stronger.

    The forced break has generated a completely new appreciation of trade fairs of which even we as organisers were not entirely aware. Brief chats on the side, exciting news from the industry’s grapevine, inspiring exchanges during a spontaneous discussion, getting together to talk about specialist subjects or simply the current situation in society as a whole: the break has demonstrated what trade fairs really mean to people. The USP is the getting together, the experience, the being there. The gathering of the tribe, the meeting around the campfire, the place-to-be … whatever you might call it, it is clear in the run-up to opti how much everyone is looking forward to seeing each other again. After all the bans, cancellations and postponements of trade fairs over the last two years, the need for a catch up is huge… both in terms of business, but also and above all, emotionally.

Read more about this show on TEF Magazine or get your tickets here.


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Author: maarten weidemaAfter being a freelance eyewear designer since 1999, TEF founder Maarten Weidema now solely writes about his fellow designers in the optical industry. His passionate mission is to promote independent eyewear to the international optical arena, backed up by a large group of bloggers and journalists from all over the world. He has recently been awarded "International Optical Personality of the Year", "Leading Innovator in Optical Social Media Marketing", "Social Media Marketing Company of the Year" and received several awards for "best eyewear blog" for his efforts to promote independent eyewear to a community of 517.000 eyecare professionals.

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