SIOS And SILMO Singapore – Sublime And Sociable

entrance to Suntec Center and SILMO Singapore

What a satisfying couple of weeks to finish up the Winter/Spring trade show season I had at the end of April. In over just a week, I was fortunate enough to visit two fresh new trade show events only a few thousand miles apart from one another.

The first was SIOS, the inaugural Southern Independent Optical Show that took place on Saturday, April 20th at Frisco Hall in Frisco, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. The show was put together by Alexandra Peng of TC Charton and Leo Zupan of Laibach & York as a regional show for the benefit of southern opticians.

Frisco Hall interior
Morning setup for SIOS at Frisco Hall

While the heavy rains that day kept some pre-registered attendees away, there was plenty of excitement for those who did come. From the classes taught by Barry Santini, Kayla Ashlee, and Carrie Wilson to the 40 brands that were exhibited, this was a very well-done first event that exuded professionalism from start to finish. There was a runway fashion show that had the attention of everyone there, good food, drink, and plenty of Southern hospitality. Opticians from as far away as Tennessee and South Carolina came to see what was going on and from what I saw and heard from both vendors and attendees, SIOS was a very successful and memorable first show.

Welcome sign for SIOS
Welcome sign for SIOS

From there it was a short hop, skip, and jump…of only 9,716 miles to the island nation of Singapore and the second SILMO Singapore. Singapore is a 17-hour flight from San Francisco that because of the international date line takes two days to complete. On the flip side, the flight from Singapore to San Francisco coming home landed 15 minutes before we left Singapore, some 15 hours later. Nevertheless, from the relatively wet and chilly weather in Dallas to the warm humidity of Singapore, I was ready to see all that the folks at SILMO had done for their Singapore version that ran from April 24-26 this year.

hall entrance to SILMO Singapore
SILMO Singapore

Some 250 brands from as far away as France and Sweden were present in the Suntec Center showing off their wares to nearly 2,000 visitors over the 3-day event. According to SILMO, 45% of the visitors came from an assortment of countries, including Australia, China, Malaysia, and Indonesia with 55% coming from Singapore itself. Keep in mind, that even Sydney, Australia is a long 7-hour flight to Singapore, so the fact so many Australians made the trip shows what a draw SILMO truly is.

SILMO Singapore seminar
SILMO Singapore seminar

One of the great features of SILMO Singapore is the multitude of ongoing classes and seminars, both free and paid. There was always something to see and do throughout the three-day event. This year, Phernell Walker of Pure Optics joined the litany of international speakers to take the main stage. Turns out he was even on my flight over.

Lars Malmsten, Daniel Feldman, & Phernell Walker
Lars Malmsten of Vasuma Eyewear, Daniel Feldman (yours truly), & Phernell Walker of Pure Optics enjoying Michelin Star street food in Singapore

While SILMO Singapore didn’t seem as busy as last year’s inaugural event, those vendors I spoke with seemed pleased with the quality of attendees and at the same time, the attendees seemed quite pleased with the time they got to spend with the vendors to see the complete lines of eyewear they were interested in. At the end of the day, the connections, the relationships forged, and ultimately the sales that come from those connections are what truly matters.

SILMO Singapore marked my seventh trade show of 2024. I am always amazed at the hard work and dedication the people behind each of these events put into making their shows successful. I have yet to tire of seeing so many shows, so many brands, and so many hard-working passionate people put their hearts and souls into making each show a success. It is that passion that drives me and I suspect each of you to go that extra mile to make a difference in our industry.

TC Charton Eyewear - Made To Fit

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