About 24,000 trade and business professionals from more than 80 countries visited the Opti trade show held in Munich on Jan. 10-12. Visitor numbers have increased over the last couple of years; last year for example the fair attracted about 23,000 visitors.

A total of 501 exhibitors presented their new collections, comprising 233 foreign companies from 33 different countries and 268 German firms. International participation increased once more, with new exhibitors from Australia, Norway, Slovenia and Hungary.

One of the new exhibitors was Karavan & Co. of France, which came with a big stand at the show to present the first collections under its recently acquired Axebo and Evolun brands and the licensed John Lennon collection. Karavan set up its own subsidiary in Germany at the beginning of 2013, managed by Joachim Popp, former sales director for frames at Rodenstock.

Twelve “opti boxes” - little stands given to interesting start-up companies to present themselves to a large international audience - were featured at the show, up from eight in the previous year. Relatively well-established companies such as Rolf Spectacles, Carlottas Village or Tarian Eyewear used the opti-boxes in their early days.

A survey among the visitors showed that 94 percent of them were pleased overall with the product range presented by the exhibitors. The search for novelties was a priority for over 90 percent of the trade visitors. As in the previous years, Saturday was the best attended day of the fair, followed by Friday, which also saw an increase in the number of visitors.

The next Opti will again take place at the end of the second week of January, on Jan. 9-11, 2015. GHM, organizers of the Opti show, wanted it to be held from Thursday to Saturday, but it finally reached an agreement with Messe München under which it will continue to take place from Friday to Sunday.