Smart Eyewear, New Trends Dominate HKTDC Optical Fair

The Optical Fair attracted a record number of over 14,000 buyers, and over 710 exhibitors from 29 countries and regions

Where: Hong Kong

When: November 5-7, 2014

The 22nd HKTDC Hong Kong Optical Fair ended on 7th November with the number of buyers up 1 per cent compared to the previous year. A total of over 14,000 buyers from 99 countries and regions took part in the three-day fair (5-7 November) co-organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Hong Kong Optical Manufacturers Association. Smart glasses and new trends and designs were key themes that emerged for the industry.

Significant growth in buyer attendance among emerging markets such as Poland, India, Vietnam and Malaysia, and developed markets including Italy, Sweden, Spain, Canada and Korea, also recorded increases in the number of buyers compared to last year, highlighting the Hong Kong Optical Fair’s standing as a major sourcing platform for the industry globally.

To create more trading opportunities for exhibitors, the HKTDC organised 72 buying missions consisting of more than 4,100 trade buyers from 47 countries and regions to visit the fair. These included buyers from emerging markets like the Czech Republic’s FEBA Spol S.R.O., Poland’s Prostaf S.J., Russia’s LLC ‘Svet-Ochi’ and Malaysia’s Metro Eyewear Holdings Sdn Bhd among others.

“There was an increased number of visitors and good attendance from many countries and regions, which indicates that the Optical Fair has become one of the most important trading platforms for the industry. The responses from exhibitors and buyers were satisfactory and there were overwhelming enquiries on brands, eyewear products and optometric instruments and machinery from the buyers,” said HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau.

Hong Kong exhibitor Chu Kong Optical Manufactory Ltd. has been coming to the Optical Fair for many years. Emily Tai, the company’s Manager, said the fair offered a strategic platform for them to raise their company profile and enhance their international presence. Her company promoted its new vintage collection through this platform and attracted very positive responses from the buyers. Ms Tai said she had met buyers from various markets, including the Chinese mainland, the Philippines, Malaysia and Europe.

HKTDC Optical Fair 2014

The HKTDC organised 72 buying missions consisting of more than 4,100 trade buyers from 47 countries and regions to visit the fair

Record Breaker

This year’s Optical Fair brought over 710 exhibitors from 29 countries and regions, a new record for the fair. They included first-time participating companies from Mexico, Spain, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates. In addition to pavilions from the Chinese mainland, France, Italy, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, there were also dedicated product zones for frames, lenses, contact lenses, sporting and professional eyewear, eyewear accessories, packaging materials and optometric instruments and machinery.

The HKTDC organised various events including eyewear parades, buyer forums and seminars and networking receptions to help industry professionals expand their networks. The 12th Hong Kong Optometric Conference (6-7 Nov) adopted the theme of ‘Development of Optometry for the Future’.

Brand Promotion

Tommy Fashion from the United Arab Emirates participated in the Optical Fair for the first time to promote FashionTV eyewear collections. The company produces and markets original FashionTV sunglasses, frames and contact lenses under a licensee deal. Elie Bou Boutros, CEO of Tommy Fashion Sunglasses Trading L.L.C, said, “We have already concluded deals with customers from several markets including Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore to distribute FashionTV eyewear products. This fair offers a good opportunity to introduce the FashionTV brand to Asian customers in particular. It helps our expansion in this part of the world.”

HKTDC Optical Fair 2014

The HKTDC organised various events including eyewear parades, buyer forums and seminars and networking receptions to help industry professionals expand their networks

Smart Future

Smart glasses have become a new trend in the optical industry. Rochester Optical, an American frame and optics manufacturer, exhibited its range of smart glasses, including Smart FramesTM for Epson Moverio, Google Glass and VUZIX®M100. Rochester Optical also showcased the Chimmm collection as part of a collaboration with celebrated Hong Kong designer Simon Chim. The company’s CEO, Patrick Ho, said Asian consumers have always been looking for technology-driven products. “We have established contacts with many potential partners and further negotiation will be conducted with them,” Mr Ho said. “This is a really exciting fair. We will definitely come back next year.” He added that the growth of wearable technology was gaining pace and the company anticipates that smart glasses are the way forward for the development of the market.

Iranian buyer Mehrzad Pouya, from wholesaler Optical Pouya, visited the Hong Kong Optical Fair for the first time. On the first day of the fair, he had already found four potential suppliers from the Chinese mainland for sunglasses and reading glasses. Mr Pouya said the Optical Fair was much better than the other similar trade shows he has attended, and he would definitely come again.

Thomas Möhler, Purchasing Manager of German eyewear chain store Binder Optik, returned to the Optical Fair for the first time in two years. He noticed that the event continued to expand in scale. He said reading glasses that could be worn around the neck were very popular in Germany, adding that he found three new reading eyewear frame suppliers at the fair, and had placed orders for 15 different styles.

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