Silmo Sydney is shaping up to present a new and different exhibition experience for the Australian and New Zealand eyewear sector, according to presentations by organiser Gary Fitz-Roy from Expertise Events and Eric Lenoir, Silmo’s producer of 20 years.
Mr. Fitz-Roy and Mr. Lenoir presented to stakeholders about plans underway for Silmo Sydney and answered their questions, from the Italian Village in Sydney’s Rocks district in late May.
Mr. Lenoir promised that Silmo Sydney would deliver the “spirit” of Silmo Paris. “When we bring Silmo to different countries of the world we bring with it the content and the Silmo DNA… step by step we will introduce all aspects of Silmo – the eyecare, fashion, training, experience and entertainment – so perhaps everything will not be done in the first year but it will happen over time”.
Mr. Fitz-Roy said aspects of Silmo Paris that would be re-created for Silmo Sydney 2017 including the Silmo Village for very small brands, and the Silmo Trends Wall which will offer exhibitors the opportunity to showcase their very latest frames for review by the ‘Silmo Panel’.
Getting people to Silmo will be the easy part…
Other innovations include a meeting hub where exhibitors can host off-site meetings, the ability to customise stands to include private meeting rooms and a MegaRox party at the Italian Village in the Rocks on the Saturday evening with acoustic entertainment, a DJ, dancing, international food stations and quiet spaces for networking.
He said Optometry Australia’s involvement in Silmo Sydney had escalated with an expanded Super Sunday to be held on Sunday 12 March and discussion of a one hour non-CPD practical information session to be held on the exhibition floor each day of the event.
Mr. Fitz-Roy told stakeholders at the meeting that Silmo Sydney would not be a dumping ground for cheap product and that “Asian manufacturers would be vetted and not allowed to exhibit unless they were established brands”. Similarly he said, although the event would be promoted globally, he did not expect to see many European brands exhibiting except through their Australian distributors or representatives.
He said potential visitors from around the country had expressed their excitement about Silmo Sydney. “Getting people to Silmo will be the easy part of the project. Our biggest challenge is making sure we manage their expectation. How do we take all the little bits out of Silmo Paris and put them into our size market? We’ve recognised that, we understand it’s one of our challenges. Everything we’re doing, everything we’re looking at, is focused on how we can do things differently.”
Mr. Fitz-Roy, who proposed the concept of Silmo Sydney to Mr. Lenoir and his team last November, would not be drawn on whether Silmo Sydney would become an annual event. He said its future would be determined based on the success of the show and feedback from exhibitor stakeholders.