The first O=MEGA conference and trade show – O=MEGA19 – has delivered on the organisers’ promise of being “the biggest eye care and eyewear show in Australia”.
The three day event, organised by the Optical Distributors and Manufacturers’ Association (ODMA) and Optometry Victoria / South Australia (OV/SA), combined the biennial ODMA Fair with the annual Southern Regional Congress.
Several exhibitors said O=MEGA19 was the best industry trade show they had experienced
Held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 19 –21 July, O=Mega19 attracted 5,590 trade visits from across Australia, New Zealand, and Asia, and as far afield as Italy and the United States; and 130 exhibitors, over 1,100 conference, and 610 masterclass delegates.
OV/SA CEO Pete Haydon said the clinical conference was the strongest presented in Australia for many years, with the biggest line-up of world class speakers participating, including keynotes Danica J. Marrelli and Dr. Jordan Keith.
“O=MEGA19 represented a wonderful coming together of the profession and the industry – the most significant ever attempted in Australia. We’re very pleased that everyone enjoyed themselves and that the event worked well. We think O=MEGA is the future of conferencing for our sector, and we’ll be back better than ever in 2021.”
All That’s Shiny and New
The trade show, covering 10,000m2 of floor space, presented the best of what the industry has to offer from 130 exhibitors, many of whom chose to launch new products, accessories, lenses and/or frame collections. Among them were OSA which launched its refreshed brand, with new progressive lenses and coatings; VSP Optics, which launched Victoria Beckham’s first eyewear collection; and AM Eyewear, which launched a collaboration with Mason Garments.
LBJ Optical announced its appointment to distribute JF Rey eyewear. Proper Goods showcased Mykita eyewear for the first time, and De Rigo launched a new range designed by Lewis Hamilton for Police. Optometrist Victor Khoo promoted his company JP Optical and exhibited his new patented 21 Ray lens, developed to support independent practices.
ProOptics brought the dynamic LA Eyeworks designer/founder Gai Gherhardi out from the United States, and Mimo had Coco Song’s quietly spoken founder /designer Elisio Tessaro on site to talk to buyers about his statement collections. Maui Jim maintained the entertainment with Hawaiian dancers regularly performing and champagne flowing.
Right from the very beginning of the show, many of the exhibitors were kept busy showcasing product and taking orders. Several exhibitors said O=Mega19 was the best industry trade show they had experienced.
Awards for Excellence
Winners of the ODMA Awards for Excellence were announced at the trade show on Friday 19 July by ODMA Chairman Robert Sparkes, and ODMA CEO Finola Carey.
The awards were judged by an expert independent panel consisting of Professor Fiona Stapleton PhD, UNSW; Steven Daras, teacher, optical dispenser and course coordinator TAFE Digital; Richard Banks, independent optometrist; and Lyndal Frollano, former creative director Harper’s Bazaar Magazine.
The winners were as follows:
Optical frames women’s: Mimo, Silhouette 20 Years TMA Special Edition (Model 1589/75),
Optical frames men’s: Marchon Eyewear, Lacoste (Paris collection) – L2504PC,
Sunglasses: Fritz Frame, Farfetched,
Children’s frame: Tomato Glasses, Tomato Glasses TKDC16,
Sports eyewear: Bolle, Shifter – RXs,
Lens design: Rodenstock, Impression FreeSign 3 DNEye PRO,
Lens coating: VSP Optics, SunSync Elite,
Optical instruments dispensing equipment: Rodenstock, DNEye Scanner 2,
Consulting room equipment: Optimed, Revo FC,
Accessories: Good Optical Services, anti-bacterial eye compress,
Product environment (POS, Retail): Stepper Australia , Zeiss Eyewear Architekt Kollektion display kit, and
Contact lenses: VTi/CLC Aust, NaturalVue (EtafilconA) Multifocal 1 Day.
Best Stand Awards
Awards were presented to the exhibitors with the best stands. These awards were judged on ten criteria by a panel that included representatives from the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and the International Exhibition and Conference Group.
Ms Carey said the quality of the exhibition stands was outstanding. “If there was an award for every exhibitor, I would give a trophy to everyone…. I appreciate the investment, it is a real credit to our industry.”
The winners were:
Best pre-built stand: Proper Goods,
Best medium custom stand: LBJ Optical, and
Best large custom stand: Maui Jim.