A lot of changes have occurred in the world of eyewear from 1970 to the present. MIDO has written its transformative history over the course of these 50 years. At the first edition, there were 95 exhibitors (67 Italian and 28 from other countries) who displayed their products in 3,000 m2 of exhibit space. In 2019, more than 1,320 exhibitors and their wares occupied 7 pavilions and represented 70 countries. A growth pattern benefiting from an ongoing legacy of leadership built over time that, in only the last 5 years, has brought a 20% increase in attendance, which peaked at the last edition with nearly 60,000 attendees from 159 countries.
“Thanks to everyone’s hard work, in 50 years MIDO has gone from being primarily a B2B event to a year-round hub of attraction that involves stakeholders, opinion leaders, buyers, institutions, celebrities, media and Italian and international influencers – remarked Giovanni Vitaloni, President of MIDO and ANFAO, the Italian Optical Goods Manufacturers’ Association. MIDO is the eyewear industry event no one wants to miss. Always on the leading edge of trends, it carefully curates the show’s installations and aesthetics without losing sight of the state-of-the-art tools that make it even more attractive to the media, exhibitors, and stakeholders”.
MIDO’s strength lies in its robust identity as an event where business deals are clinched and as a point of confluence for eyewear professionals who share experiences and catch up on the latest market trends. The United States has consistently been the touchstone for Italy’s eyewear exports. In fact, each year Italy exports about 17 million pair of sunglasses and 6 million optical frames to the US, valued at about 950 million euro.
The goal for the 2020 edition, to be held at Rho Fiera Milano February 29th to March 2nd, is to deliver an unforgettable event with countless innovations and a few surprises. Work is under way to finalize a packed calendar of events that will engage the entire industry and that will make the 50th edition unforgettable. Among the developments we can share with you in advance is the publication of two unique books that celebrate this key anniversary, each in its own way. The first is a novel titled Through the looking glass: Mido, 50 years a global crossroads by Adriano Moraglio, journalist and author of 20 books. Interweaving fact and fiction, the novel narrates the 50 editions of MIDO through the personal and professional adventures of a family of opticians. The second book, History of optics, was written by optician-optometrist Silvio Maffioletti and Sergio Cappa, optometrist and long-standing professor at the Institute of Optics and Optometry in Milan. It traces the history of optics from the 1300s to the present. The first work of its kind, it is of vital importance to the industry.
Among the other innovations at the next edition of MIDO is its commitment to reduce the environmental impact of the exhibition by promoting Plastic Free policies and the responsible use of water, paper, food, and energy. Also during MIDO, a Stand up for green award will be presented to the most sustainable stand. The goal is to become one of the first sustainable trade shows in the world.
In addition to innovations, the exhibit space: all 7 pavilions, divided into the Fashion District, Lenses, Design Lab, More!, Lab Academy, FAiR East, and Tech areas have been confirmed. The Bestore Award, the international contest for the best optical shops in the world will be held again, along with an in-depth look at the industry in OttiClub, that this year, together with some consolidated appointments, such as the WSGN forecast of the latest trends, will introduce some interesting insights: the new research commissioned by Mido together with Silmo and a new edition of the Mido Outlook, the observatory engages thousands of Italian and global players in a survey that this time is aimed at investing the future development in the market, starting from the most important changes in the last 50 years.
MIDO’s spirit is quintessentially international but with an all-Italian focus on design and style. “It is the ‘group photo’ of all those who make up the vast universe of eyewear, from the big international players, manufacturers, and buyers, to designers and small business entrepreneurs, opticians, and ophthalmologists, by way of the entire global supply chain. The wonder awaits, you won’t want to miss it”.