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News, Breaking News

SILMO Sydney 2019 postponed after negotiations collapse

07/12/2018By Matthew Woodley
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SILMO Sydney 2019 has been postponed, in a move organisers have said is in the best interests of the local optical industry.

The cancellation was announced on Wednesday in an email sent to exhibitors by the event’s organiser, Expertise Events. In it, the managing director of Expertise Events, Mr Gary Fitz-Roy, stated that the decision was made in an effort to put the health of the industry before short-term profits.

SILMO Sydney 2019 was due to take place from July 5–7 and finish less than two weeks before the first day of the newly announced O=MEGA19 fair in Melbourne. However, Fitz-Roy said this situation was untenable, which prompted him to open negotiations with ODMA, the co-organisers of O=MEGA19.

Gary Fitz-Roy, Expertise Events managing director
“In the best interests of the wider optical industry, but with much regret, we thought commonsense must prevail so we have postponed our 2019 event.”
Gary Fitz-Roy, Expertise Events

Fitz-Roy explained that he presented ODMA’s chair, Mr Robert Sparkes, with three options during a meeting on October 9; to have SILMO and ODMA run single optical fairs in alternate years; to join shows from 2021 and have Expertise Events run the newly combined show; or to continue as normal.

According to Fitz-Roy, Sparkes also proposed another option, which was to move next year’s SILMO show to Melbourne and have it co-locate with O=MEGA19, as ODMA had supposedly committed to more space than it needed.

Fitz-Roy said SILMO and Expertise Events were prepared to consider the “bold move” and absorb any losses that may have arisen to demonstrate a long term commitment to the industry.

However, he stated Sparkes, the ODMA board and its new partner for O=MEGA, Optometry Victoria, had not responded to numerous attempts to generate follow up discussions, which led to the decision to postpone the Sydney show.

“If you, the exhibitor, has to continue to choose between SILMO and ODMA each year, you will have to pay to attend two shows to get what the rest of the world gets in one show. The only other alternative for you is to only attend one show and only get part of what the rest of the world gets in their shows,” Fitz-Roy wrote.

“Therefore, in the best interests of the wider optical industry, but with much regret, we thought commonsense must prevail so we have postponed our 2019 event.

“Our focus has always been on delivering quality buyers for your products and we believe we would have delivered on that promise again in Sydney, being the biggest retail base, however this tough decision just re-enforces our plans and commitment for 2020 and makes us even more determined to achieve these goals.”

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It’s expected a full program for SILMO Sydney 2020 will be released in the near future.

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