This year's edition of the Silmo Paris optical fair, taking place on Sept. 27-30 at its usual venue near one of the city's airports, will see the return of important companies such as Alain Mikli and Hoya, the confirmation of De Rigo Vision's presence after its latest comeback, and the participation of two important contact lens companies, CooperVision and Johnson & Johnson, which have been absent in the past.

Furthermore, the organizers of this major trade show have planned many activities, events and programs to produce a “360-degree experience.” Among other things, this session will mark the 25th anniversary of the Silmo D'Or Awards, established in 1994 to recognize excellence in product design and innovation. The show will be looking back over their history and their effect on the technology of eyewear. We attach the list of the products that have been nominated in the various categories.

New to the show this year is the Silmo Hackathon, an invitation to “imagine tomorrow's retail world.” Five teams of five, from various nations and disciplines, will compete for 24 hours to produce the most compelling picture of the future. The competition is open to all professionals in vision, distribution, merchandising, design, the social sciences, marketing and production, whether or not they deal regularly with the optical industry.

Silmo's organizers will be offering visitors a chance to “click and play” three classic videogames, which they will reveal bit by bit before opening day. This is a way to tap into the general nostalgia for videogames of the past, especially from the 1980s to the 2000s. Some 49 percent of the European players surveyed for a study by Ipsos Connect/ISFE said they still love the games they played as children, along with their sound effects, music and colors.

The Silmo Next futurology space, located at the heart of the fair, is intended to take Trends by Silmo, the fair's free magazine, and bring it to life. It will be presenting a selection of trendy products from exhibitors, holding lectures on the eyewear markets and hosting interactive discussions on the industry's changes in products and distribution. The program for Silmo Next is available online.

One of the highlights will be a round-table discussion in the Silmo Next area on Sunday at 4 pm on “The Optician: A prismatic profession, a shared language.” What's special about it is that it will see the presence of opticians from France as well as Belgium and Italy.

As part of the Silmo Academy on Sunday, opticians and other specialists in the industry will be discoursing on the disorders and physiology of refraction, with solutions and prescriptions. For the fourth year in a row, the Silmo Academy Scientific Council will be conferring a grant of €10,000 for a scientific research project in the optical and vision field.