EGMA Optical Supplies marks another major milestone with the birth of its newest project, the Eyecon 2013. The Eyecon 2013 was a successful introduction of an industry-related event that consists of exhibition, a high level of networking and educational seminars.
EYECON 2013 was born out of a single idea and Mr. Poya Eghterafi, CEO of EGMA, was honest enough to admit that the build-up was the hardest part. He narrated the inception of EYECON 2013, “It was like an emergency case. We only had two months to build this whole thing from the time we cemented the idea. In the beginning, nobody seem to be excited since our participation at Vision X has always been a solid stand but after long discussions, we all agreed that we should be bold enough to take the steps. And so, we took the steps and we are now here at EYECON 2013.”
He continued, “I am very pleased with the look – it gives an elegant, high end and professional feel that seems to the products and services we offer.” He explained further that the show was divided in two sections where the public, meaning anybody working in the industry, could come in and take part in the exhibition, while the VIP guest section was where the important clients were invited to attend, sit and have a special preview into the collections.
Mr. Poya also highlighted the addition of educational seminars and workshops to EYECON 2013. He said, “The seminars are our way of saying thank you to the optical industry in general. We are firm believers that education is always good so to be able to give back for all the support we got during the past 10 years of being in business. Aside from this, we want to infuse education in the show because we believe that we are creating a wonderful model for an exhibition of this scale.” The educational seminars which saw about 1600 people in attendance facilitated seven speakers who discussed around 10 different topics.
Backed by its partners in Rodenstock and elsewhere in the region – from Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and even Sudan – the EYECON 2013 is being seen as a major breakthrough for the industry leader ie EGMA. Mr. Poya concluded, “We are very hopeful with EYECON being a good model where guests at the exhibition are given more quality exhibitors as well as comfort and ease in doing business. The controlled setup in terms of the quality of exhibitors is something we would consider in the future EYECON but definitely we are raising the bar next year. And, yes, there will be a second EYECON, and that’s for sure.”
The team that made it work
The success of EYECON 2013 was a collaboration of hard work by Mr. Poya’s dedicated team. From the eyewear to laboratory, the departments of EGMA worked hand in hand for the last two months to ensure that the event would be at par with the company’s philosophy in perfection and quality.
Sharing his department’s bit on EYECON 2013, Mr. Alessandro Pagani, General Manager of EGMA’s eyewear unit, he said, “This is a big step for us, but it is a great step because we did something we truly believe in. To be honest, I was slightly concerned about this event as we are still a family-owned business, we are not the giants yet, but looking at how the appreciation turned out, I am deeply pleased that we took the step ahead. The support of our partners and sister companies plus the presence of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care plus the presence of thousands attendees coming from various parts of the region was tremendous.”
On the other hand, the Instruments Division, under the leadership of Mr. John Tawil, also had a good share of news in EYECON 2013. According to him, “This year, we have the biggest setup of machines and equipment in display to show our customers. I have here at EYECON the latest from Charops, Rodenstock, Indo, View M, Huvitz and Vislo. We have the new LCD which does not need remote control but a prompter device. I also have on display the new auto refractory from Charops. We also have the different versions of edgers and eye test LCDs.”
Meanwhile, EGMA’s division for Ophthalmic Lenses had equally helped out in ensuring that the educational seminars would happen at EYECON 2013. According to its unit General Manager, Mr. Abdollah Sedaghat, “My team and I worked very hard for the last month to make sure that good speakers are available for this show. In the lenses department, we normally don’t do the selling during the exhibition. We rely on educating the people, and so my team made sure that this event would see quality speakers as well as good amount of attendance. And as we observed now, the classes were almost all fully packed with enthusiastic professionals. We see them really happy as they come out of the sessions. Also, we provide them with certificates so they can add it in their credentials.”
Aside from this, Mr. Abdullah was also in-charge of the demonstrations using the new impressionists from Rodenstock. He commented, “We are also doing the impressionist, the toolkit used for getting the measurement for impression lenses. We have new developments design of this product that is also being discussed in one of the seminars. Here in the show, we displayed impressionists in three different versions: the stand version, wall version and table top version. Lots of owners they don’t really know the importance of this or how to use this exactly in their shops so I make demos for them to have a look and practice. It helps them a lot because they get to see in live version what was being talked about during the seminar. My whole team as well as our partners from Qatar, Oman and Egypt helped them at any point in any question they have.”
Mr. Feras Dwagy, EGMA’s Marketing Manager, was responsible for providing the marketing communications for EYECON 2013. From conceptualizing to all the marketing collaterals being provided all throughout the three-day gathering, Mr. Feras made sure that everything was in order.
“I am very pleased with the professionals who came for my seminar as they were all attentive and enthusiastic. In my talk, my main topic was how to deal with customers and how to make them happy as well as the company happy. Here in the Middle East, the customers seem to be more brand-oriented which makes it easier for luxury brands to sell. Moreover, the region is also focused on family environment so I tell my attendees to use the story behind the Rodenstock heritage. I also encourage them with very practical tips especially using the right words and statements as they come across objections. And because customers want choices, I suggest they provide three options, and when selling glasses it is more rational to present the good, the better and the best. But when it comes to selling frames and sunglasses, the technique is to start with the best and work down, as this way helps trigger the aesthetics and beauty in the human brain. I also teach them that in order to be successful, they have to go with the energy of their client, and not against it. Meaning, they have to find the right words to trigger the brain’s part which provides happy hormones such as endorphine and dophamine. Moreover, to be successful in sales always ensure heart connection with the customers.”
Burkhard Treude, speaker for “Selling High End German Brand Lenses with Competence and Enthusiasm”
“Flair is a German renowned brand for couture collection eyewear. We have been with EGMA for about three and half years, and we are hoping to gain more brand awareness through EYECON 2013. In here, we put on display the top of the line pieces from our latest collections which are unique because of the gold plated and jewellery embellished frames. We have the Couture and Art Couture collections that we feel would fit in this market. The Couture collections have one-of-a-kind styles, and are all 22-karat gold plated. The Art Couture collections are 24-karat gold plated and come with box filled with scarf, ring, earring or necklace even. It also has studs of Swarovski crystals and synthetic diamonds. Our booth is bringing in quite a good attention since it is elegantly located at the lobby, and we wish to strengthen our brand beginning this exhibition.”
Gunter Fink, President, Flair
“I am very happy the EYECON gives a great amount of emphasis on education because I am a firm believer that it is important. I do not change an attitude or personality of people attending my seminar after an hour or so of discussions and lectures. But I hope they get something from my seminar that allows them to be motivated and encourage them to learn and educate themselves. Those who attended my seminar here at EYECON were very eager to get more information, and it is really good indication that they want to hone their knowledge and skills in selling and earning income. It is also great opportunity to learn from each other since they come from different places like those who come from Kuwait can learn from the experiences of those coming from Egypt, and vice versa. They seem to want to improve themselves, and I like what EYECON did in helping the optical professionals to do that through these seminars. Most of all, I commend this event for providing a relaxed environment for its guests. They give people warmth and privacy as they stay in the lounge to talk and discuss business. The guests are not in hurry or stress as they gather and exchange ideas over coffee or tea. The whole atmosphere of this gathering speaks of luxury and sophistication. You know, when customers are relaxed, they make better decisions.”
Dr. Aisha Natto
“I have two topics here at EYECON 2013. One is quite clinical as it is about how to decide what to prescribe to the patients with Down Syndrome, and what can they do to treat or even get the child to wear glasses and actually how to test the child. The other is about clinical communication skills which is totally non-clinical in nature. In my first topic, the most challenging part, but really the fun part, is how to get their attention when testing them. As a child, they want to play and they get bored easily so a practitioner should have to be quick, be interesting for the child because when they find you boring they will not cooperate. On my other topic, I give techniques on the behaviour of the practitioner as they talk to various kinds of patients – from the children to adults to elderly. Not only are the verbal communication important but also the use of clothing and other non-verbal aspects such as the decors you put in the clinic help out in communicating with the patients. Aside from teaching in the seminars and even providing workshops during my sessions, I enjoy my participation here at EYECON because it is a great opportunity to meet people from the different aspects of the industry, and we all learn from each other through our meetings and interactions in this event.”
Dr. Mohd. Al Baghdady, “The Management of Poor Accommodation in Children with Down’s Syndrome with Bifocal Spectacles” and “Clinical Communication Skills”
“My discussion about free form technology helps me discuss in details the heritage of the company, Rodenstock, as well as the new developments we currently have for the market. I share with them our portfolio and explain to them the philosophy behind the company which has 135 years of experience. I also make sure that they understand the process by which we use in producing quality products for them. Aside from that, here at EYECON 2013, the displayed equipment we have in the show helped me in demonstrating further what I discuss during the sessions. There may not be opportunity for workshops during my talk but when they come out of the room, they get to see my demonstrations using the equipment we have on display. EYECON is just perfect because it is wonderful place where we get relaxed time with each and every customer. Imagine this quality time for consumers and business partners would not be possible in a huge fair. But what we have on fair we also have here even better so it is just perfect setup, and customers enjoy this kind of atmosphere.”
Florian Zwink, “Free Form Technology”
“I believe that my talk would provide the learners the elements of marketing mix and how they can use these to improve their performance and thereby achieve their goals of increasing market share. I teach in my seminar the 4Ps: products, price, place and promotion. I tell them that price should be affordable and profitable to company. The promotion is about how to give attract customers successfully while place is all about the distribution channels. I also add that there people, physical evidence and process – and all these should be well blended in order to create good marketing strategy. In this great event, I wish that the professionals get motivated and learn more information from my talk.”
Dr. Nezar Damati, “Using Effective Marketing Mix of Medical Optical Products to Enhance Performance”
“Being here at EYECON 2013, I realized that the professionals are very customer-oriented. They were all concentrated and participative. In my seminar, I aim to give knowledge to the participants regarding the products and how we, at Rodenstock, secure the development of the products special properties and technology. Aside from sharing with them the processes and significance of our developments, I also gain a lot from the discussions I had with the professionals. I heard from them feedback and comments that I can use in our research and development projects. It is a really great to hear them talk and ask questions, and I appreciate that EYECON for adding seminars to this event.”
Dr. Herbert Schuster, “Development of Optical Materials & Coatings”
“We were approached to join EYECON 2013 being the representative of contact lenses in this exhibition. And we’re glad to have participated in this initiative together along with the high-end brands. So far, we are very pleased with the outcome – our seminars were quite full and our booth here inside the show attracted customers which were accommodated by our sales staff. We are happy with our presence here since this is a great venue for our continuous efforts to educate the professionals through our seminars.”
Aida Hamidi, Jr. Product Manager, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care
“The key elements of our topic are all about health and hygiene – the care regimen compliance of patients and customers. In our observation, here in the Middle East, there is a difference in putting highlight on the care practices in terms of contact lenses. So, in our seminar, we put focus on the ways by which these hygienic procedures can be easily communicated to the customers and patients. We discuss what sort of communications you can put forth to customers so they can have healthy practices. We also put highlights on certain practical tips where they can utilize them in day to day practice. And of course, one best tip we share in a market such as Middle East in looking forward to healthy and hygienic requirement is to promote the single-use lenses which are daily, hygienic, healthy, hassle free and convenient. We also present a good amount of information that contact lenses are optical device and are not cosmetic device. Overall, we wish that our seminar would teach and train eye-care professionals on how to deal with customers confidently, and how can they handle and avoid complications with their patients and customers.”
Dr. Pragatti Kadve, “The Importance of Health and Hygiene in Contact Lens Care”