The organizers of the big international trade show, which is scheduled to take place over four days next Oct. 4-7 in Paris, are expecting a total of around 900 exhibitors on a total surface of 76,000 square meters, largely the same as last year. They feel that it is quite a feat, considering the lackluster international environment and the pull-out of some important exhibitors from the other international shows in Munich and Milan.

In contrast with those two fairs, all the major lens manufacturers will continue to exhibit at Silmo with the exception of Rodenstock, which had already shown some hesitations a year ago. Transitions will be another drop-out – for budgetary reasons, according to an official of the company.

When it comes to prescription frames and sunglasses, Silmo is positioning itself more and more as a big platform for the launch of new brands and new styles, especially by designer-led firms and other small companies.

While all the major Italian producers have already left Silmo, in some cases using its dates for private showings at hotels near the airport and in the city, 120 companies will be new to the show this time. Among those who have already booked space at the fair, 31 will be French, 11 German, 11 American, 10 Italian, 6 Chinese and 6 Swedish.

As usual, many events are planned around the fair including the Silmo Academy and a new Lab Tech forum, organized by Optical World in French and English to create new business opportunities for optcians and small lab owners. The Silmo d'Or will again be one of the big highlights at the fair, and its venue will be an interesting surprise, the organizers say, refusing to disclose its location at this stage.