December 11, 2017

Dedicated lounge will give independents the chance to share innovative ideas at Optrafair

A new lounge set up exclusively for independents will give eye care professionals attending Optrafair the chance to share best practice and get one-to-one sessions with industry experts.

The hub, sponsored by the National Eyecare Group, will be dedicated to helping visitors improve their independent practice across all areas of the business.

Independents will be invited to use the lounge to network and exchange knowledge with peers while suppliers will be on hand to answer questions. Visitors will also be able to take advantage of exclusive content and offers specifically tailored for them.

Phil Mullins, director of business development at National Eyecare Group, said: “Independents are the life and soul of the profession and this is a chance for us and Optrafair to show how much they are valued by giving them a dedicated space to call their own.

We want it be somewhere they can spend time and really feel they are getting something valuable from Optrafair. We want it to be an event, not just an exhibition – so that people go back to their practices armed with new ideas to help improve their practice.

The event marks the 40th anniversary of the very first Optrafair, held in 1978. It will feature an array of top speakers and demonstrations from leading suppliers.

The independents lounge will host exclusive sessions from a number of speakers and exhibitors.

Mr Mullins added: “I’ve been involved in the industry since 1988. Back then, 80 or 90 per cent of the market was independents, now it’s around 20 per cent. We need to do more to help them thrive.

Independents offer something different. Whether it’s different designs, unusual prescriptions or innovative thinking, independents provide an alternative and the lounge is a place where they can come together to share ideas.

There isn’t a rivalry between independents, they want to work together. The lounge allows them to do that.

Optrafair will take place from April 14 to 16 at the NEC in Birmingham. For more information, and to register for the event, visit

About the organisers

Optrafair is brought to you by the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians, MA Exhibitions and Optician magazine, combining some of the most respected organisations serving the optical market.

Notes to editors

For interviews, call Daniel Owens from Orange Juice Communications on 07909 916668 or email