The show's organizers announced a 4.9 percent increase to about 58,000 in the number of trade visitors entering the fair, as compared to a year ago. Their geographical breakdown could not be obtained, but the business climate seemed to be relatively good.

Coupled with a 5 percent increase in the space occupied by the exhibitors, who reached an all-time record of 1,305, the show continued to present improvements in its layout, making a visit more enjoyable and entertaining and creating a warm atmosphere in contrast with an exceptionally cold weather outside.

Fashion and eyewear influencers shared their opinions about the fair, resulting in 100,000 likes per day during the exhibition and more than 500,000 interactions with the hashtag, #MIDO2018, by the time it ended. Instagram was a particularly active social media channel.

The organizers did a pretty good job at staging interesting conferences based on recent consumer and retail surveys, some of which are summarized in this issue, and the first Health Awareness Day, a three-hour panel discussion that we shall summarize in a subsequent issue.

They also made an intelligent split of Mido's annual Bestore Award into two categories: design and innovation. The design award was given ex aequo to the Ludwig Oehm store in Frankfurt and to an Italian store in Calascibetta, Ottica Paglia Giuseppe. A Japanese store, Globe Specs Shibuya in Tokyo, got Mido's new prize for innovation, which is intended to recognize excellence in customer service, interaction with consumers and suppliers, handling of communications, the store's history and its professional, human and emotional aspects.

The Italian export promotion agency, Ice, again helped to finance invitations to about 130 selected foreign buyers and about 20 journalists. The buyers came mainly from distant countries like Australia, the U.S., Colombia, Kazakhstan and various countries in the Far East, but also from some neighboring countries such as France.

They were all invited to a major “speed-dating” event on the eve of the fair, where a record of 80 companies gave them a preview of their new products.

The 49th edition of Mido will take place on Feb. 23-25, 2019.