Over the weekend MIDO 2021 took place virtually. For my consumer readers, MIDO is one of the biggest optical trade shows but due to the ongoing pandemic, the organisers had to move the event online.

So, what did I think about MIDO 2021 Digital?

Well, the event started on Saturday 5th June, I was being organised and got myself all set up and registered on Friday 4th. I also wanted to have a play around just to get myself familiar with the platform. It was easy to use and easy to navigate. I also liked how it was all laid out and I liked the fact the schedule was always on the banner at the top.

On Saturday, I was all good to go. For me as an eyewear blogger, my main objectives for attending optical shows pre-pandemic has always been to spot trends, find some new exciting brands, new innovations, meet the brands in person and try on as many glasses as I possibly can. You can only truly get the feel of a frame by trying them on and playing around with them. Of course as you can imagine, being an online event, some of those things were not possible. For me, seeing a frame virtually is just not the same as me being able to feel them, try them on and play around with them. Of course, this is no fault of Mido, it is just how it is with the pandemic. This is a new way of working for everyone and we all need to adjust our mindset.

I felt MIDO did a fantastic job with being inventive and introducing creative people to the digital show such as photographer Albert Watson, chef Massimo Bottura and designer Fabio Novembre. MIDO also brought in a lot more interesting speakers throughout the 3 days, the talks were not just about optical but also trends by WGSN, new and innovative materials by Materially and a chat about independent eyewear brands, plus a whole lot more. Personally, when I attend any shows, I barely have time to listen to talks even though I always found MIDO have some fantastic speakers. My time at optical shows is always back to back meetings. So for me, it really was a nice experience to be able to enjoy some of these talks and hear all about these interesting things that relate to the optical industry.

I will have to put my hands up and admit, I was not glued to my laptop throughout the show because that is impossible with two small children. Nevertheless, the chat platform was good, I always got a notification so I could jump back on my computer and be able to connect to different people. The lounge area was great too.

Was MIDO Digital 2021 a success?

I think given the circumstances we are in, I think they did well with almost 50,000 interactions on the business platform, 438 display pages, over 5,700 registered users and 50% international attendance. I think these are some impressive stats. The B2B platform will remain open from now until the February 2022 live show so buyers and exhibitors can carry on doing business virtually.

I am (like everyone else) highly excited to visit a live show and we will all meet again in MIDO 2022, the date is set for 12th February 2022. I would love to see MIDO incorporating some of the digital elements into the live shows moving forward. For time poor press like myself, it was so great to be able to listen to some of the talks, something I am never usually able to do at the live shows.

See you all in February 2022 and in the meantime, keep up to date with MIDO by visiting their website.