The next Mido will by held in Milan for only 3 days, instead of 4, on Apr. 26, 27 and 28 of 2003, but the fair will close at 9 pm every day. Exhibitors and visitors will be able to spend one day less in the city, if they want to. The choice of the shorter and earlier schedule has been triggered mainly by the need to block space in the Milan fairgrounds for a much larger and less frequent exhibition right afterwards.

The latest session of Mido on the first weekend of this month welcomed a total of 38,159 visitors, measured in terms of passages through the turnpikes, or about 4.5 percent less than one year ago. The drop was lower than those experienced at the latest sessions of the optical fairs in Paris and New York, and it was partly attributable to stormy weather conditions and to the finals of the Italian soccer championships. Italian visitors were only 17,022. Heavy rains restricted air and car traffic, caused nuisances to the participants in the show and trimmed by more than half the number of guests at an exclusive gala dinner that featured a very nice international music and dance program.

The number of exhibitors grew by 3 percent to just over 1,300, with the foreign contingent up 7 percent, taking up more than 49,000 square meters of net space and confirming Mido as the world's largest trade fair in the sector.

Meanwhile, the Silmo fair in Paris announces that it will feature a more extensive program of conferences and workshops at its next Oct. 25-28 edition, with a strong focus on information and the coverage of current issues. It will feature among other events a fashion round-table and conferences on optometry, advances in low vision, developments in contact lens technology, driving and eyesight, and on how to sell designer sunglasses.