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Tuesday / March 5.
HomeminewsA Taste of ODMA 2011

A Taste of ODMA 2011

(Click Here for Photos: ODMA, Maui Jim Party)

The news headlines were consumed with the U.S debt crisis and how it would affect international financial markets, the Australian dollar and our super, yet ODMA 2011 started – and finished – on an extremely positive note.

Initial data indicated 5,175 visitors (recorded as unique visitors, not multiple visits by a visitor) attended ODMA, held in Darling Harbour, Sydney, on the first weekend of August. These figures were well up on the record number of pre-registrations of more than 3,500. Saturday was by far the most popular day, with 2,123 people making their way to Sydney’s Convention and Exhibition Centre in downtown Darling Harbour. Friday saw 1,577 visitors to the fair, and 1,474 people attended on Sunday. What’s more, they were spending.

“In the equipment side of the business we were flat chat. Independents were investing in equipment so they can give premium service to their patients,” commented Brad Grills, the Managing Director of Designs for Vision.

Lee Pepper, the Business Manager from Optical Manufacturers agreed, “to do well in your job, you need to have the tools… The optometrists deciding to get in and compete with new players in the marketplace are gearing themselves up to do that,” he said.

For many of the established frame designers and suppliers, ODMA provides an immediate injection of orders. David Wymond, from Eyes Right Optical, said he’s a big fan of ODMA and has supported the event since his company started.

“The value for us is getting our brands out into the market – it’s letting people that don’t know our products see them and reinforcing our relationships with people who already buy from us… a lot of optometrists say they choose their brands for the next two years at ODMA,” he said.

For Jacque Katsieris at ProOptics, ODMA is essential to business success. She said “it’s the only time that people come to you. If you’ve got a good presence at ODMA, it’s of great value”.

Newcomers to the industry found ODMA was an invaluable opportunity to present brands to a wide audience.

Susie Elaser from Hawk Union started her business in January this year and has had difficulty breaking into the local market, despite her high quality, high profile brands worn by the likes of Kate Winslet and Madonna. “I’ve had optometrists who have refused to take my phone calls come up to me at ODMA because they saw pictures of my frames in mivision and are now placing orders,” she commented.

Finola Carey, CEO of ODMA, said this year’s exhibitors “pulled out all the stops. People work very hard to deliver a great show for the visitors… the investment they make is so great – some of the very large companies are spending AUD$200,000 and then they have associated costs of getting the reps along.”

Ms. Carey said that while a few of the larger exhibitors offered hospitality, and Maui Jim had dancers on site, “the Fair really is about business”.

“In the past we have had entertainment in the aisles but it’s very difficult to do business when there is a lot of noise going on and… we’re trying to encourage people to run more effective practices.”

“ODMA delivers to all of the independents from around Australia at the same time and it’s the one time that optometrists, dispensers and practice staff all get to come and see the latest. It’s a real boost for them.”

And the Winners Are…

For the first time at ODMA 2011, participants were invited to enter the ODMA Awards of Excellence, aimed at rewarding the very best in fashion, creativity, innovation and technology.

More than 100 entries were received in the 12 categories, which were then reviewed by an independent judging panel.

The inaugural winners of the Awards of Excellence were:

I’ve had optometrists who have refused to take my phone calls come up to me at ODMA because they saw pictures of my frames in mivision and are now placing orders…

  • Optical Frame: OGA (Model 67480 NM 000) – Eyes Right Optical
  • Sunglasses: Fritz (Model Churada) – Fritz Frames
  • Children’s Frame: Leo & Lea – Refractive Eyewear
  • Sport’s Eyewear: Bollé Sunglasses (Model Bollé Marine Collection) – Bollé
  • Lens Design: Varilux Physio 360 New Edition – Essilor
  • Lens Coating: Shamir Glacier Plus – Shamir Australia
  • Contact Lenses: Biofinity Toric – CooperVision
  • Optical Instruments: Apollo Eyecheck – Designs For Vision
  • Accessories: iMags – Optica Life Accessories
  • Workshop Tools and Equipment: Snap-off Screw – Aviva Optical
  • Product Environment (POS/Retail): ProDesign Shop In Shop Unit – Eyes Right Optical
  • Green Environment Award: Holloway Eyewear (Models: Queens and NARCS)

Best Stand Awards

Exhibitors go to extraordinary lengths to put on their best face at ODMA, and that’s recognised with the fair’s “best stand” awards.

Eyes Right Optical won the award for Best Stand over 54sqm (custom), narrowly edging out Healy Optical, Safilo Australia and L’Amy.

Eyres Optics won the Best Stand up to 54sqm (custom enhanced).

Holloway Eyewear won best presented stand in a Display Booth System, and Dolomites Vision won the Best Galleria Stand.

Loyalty Guests

ODMA also recognised visitors who have continuously supported the event, allocating them ‘Loyalty Guest’ status. Carol Chivers, from Chivers Vision Health, won a AUD$1,000 shopping voucher from David Jones.

For our full ODMA 2011 wrap up see the feature story, and the very latest optical frames on show at the Fair, in the September issue of mivision.