The British Optrafair show in Birmingham reported a total of 6,600 registered visitors, down slightly from 6,647, but many of the 200-plus exhibitors praise the high quality of the attendees. An industry stalwart, Frank Norville, said his company experienced the best Saturday in the 42 years that it has been attending the fair.

As usual, Optrafair features again a wide range of leading companies from all the segments of the industry, including contact lenses for example. Luxottica, which has been reducing its commitment to other more international shows, had one of the largest stands at the fair.

As previously reported, the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians (FMO), which has been organizing the fair in Birmingham every other year, decided last February to turn it into an annual event, to be held in alternate years in London and Birmingham. It did so after another organizer dropped plans at the last minute to hold a fair in London's ExCel exhibition center last February, to be called The Eye Show.

The new show will be called Optrafair London and will take place in the Olympia center on April 11-13, 2014 and because of higher-than-expected interest in the fair, the space rented in the fairgrounds has been increased to 9,000 square meters.

FMO has formed a partnership with the Optician magazine to stage the London show. This leading trade publication in the sector has been holding a well-attended gala evening at each Optrafair for the last few years, where it announces its Opticians Awards. William Morris won the prize for Optical Supplier of the Year.