Confirming the information that we had already given in our last issue, Silmo announced a new partnership at Mido that will lead to the organization of the first Silmo Sidney in Australia on March 9-11, 2017. It is teaming up for this purpose with an Australian specialist in event management and trade fairs, Expertise Events.

The show was going to take place in February, but the organizers then decided to stage it after the Mido fair in Milan. it will be held in the brand-new Sydney International Convention Centre, addressing opticians in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. It will be taking place after the local summer season and will be positioned in the same way as the well-established Silmo Paris show in September and the new Silmo Istanbul show in December.

The new project follows discussions that have been held since last October with the Optical Distributors & Manufacturers Association (ODMA) of Australia, based in Sydney, which approached Silmo's organizers after the former ODMA Fair, which took place every other year during the local winter season attracted only 103 exhibitors at its last edition in Brisbane last July.

The board and the leadership of the Australian trade association changed in the wake of an apparent local scandal. According to a local trade magazine, Insight, ODMA spent 825,323 Australian dollars (€556,856-$634,860), or 73 percent of its net worth, in August 2014 to buy a product reference book, the Eyetalk Reference Guide. One reason given for the investment was the build-up of an administrative team for ODMA through the publishing company's existing staff.

The organizers of Silmo Paris said in Milan that they would like to see Silmo Sydney become an annual event, a little like the new alternative 100% Optical show in London. Expertise Events, which organized the ODMA Fairs in 2013 and 2015, was supposed to organize another ODMA fair in July 2017, but ODMA announced a few days ago that its organization has been transferred to another company, International Exhibition & Conference Group, which was planning to organize yet another eyewear show in Melbourne on May 21-22 this year, called the O Show.

We wonder whether ODMA is placing the two organizers in competition with one another. Anyhow, reports from Australia indicate that the number of bookings for Silmo Sydney has been higher than expected, with only half of the companies committing themselves having participated in the ODMA Fair in the last five years. Silmo Sydney will be charging lower rental prices for the stands, and it will limit their maximum size.

Because of Silmo Paris' numerous international connections and the relative independence of its organizers from any association, the show is expected to attract a large number of designer companies and others that have not had a presence in the Pacific region before.

Meanwhile, as reported, Silmo Istanbul is faring well. It is also turning into a more regional show, with about 50 visitors coming to its last edition from the promising Iranian market.