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Return date set for SILMO Sydney

05/04/2017By Matthew Woodley
Expertise Events has ended weeks of speculation regarding the possible return date of its SILMO Sydney optical fair by announcing the show will go ahead in July next year.
Gary Fitz-Roy, Expertise Events managing director
Gary Fitz-Roy, Expertise Events managing director

The announcement was made on Monday night (April 3) in an email sent to SILMO 2017 exhibitors, which also included a post-show report and a letter explaining the dispute between ODMA and Expertise Events in the months leading up to the show.

In the email, Expertise Events managing director Mr Gary Fitz-Roy said feedback from both exhibitors and visitors had convinced him to run SILMO Sydney again next year, adding “We have moved the dates to Friday 20 to Sunday 22 July, 2018 to avoid conflict with other major international optical trade events, and to allow the inclusion of a broader range of exhibitors.

“The time of year also establishes a new trade year and change of season allowing exhibitors an opportunity for a strong start into the new financial year.”

According to the post-show report, there were 2,264 visitors over the three days, nearly 1,000 less than the pre-registered number of 3158. However, 51% of those attendees were identified as primary decision makers and nearly two-thirds made purchases at the show.

Meanwhile 70% of exhibitors described SILMO as ‘very good or excellent’ and 75% indicated they were likely to return next year.

These figures came despite a protracted legal battle between Expertise Events and ODMA in the lead up to SILMO, which Fitz-Roy said disrupted operations and hampered management’s ability to promote the show.

“SILMO Sydney would have been even more successful if not for the fact that ODMA’s actions restrained us from promoting to particular lists,” Fitz-Roy wrote.

“The case disrupted our operations – we could not (and did not), for example, promote the show to our exhibitor and potential exhibitor lists – and our people [staff] had to focus on putting together evidence for the case. ODMA’s actions not only affected SILMO 2017 negatively but also, by extension, affected its own members (some of whom exhibited at SILMO 2017) and members of the broader industry.”

ODMA’s Federal Court injunction on Expertise Events was dismissed (thrown out) by Justice Burley, less than a week before SILMO’s opening day and since then ODMA has declined to comment while the matter was still before the courts.

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A case management hearing was scheduled to take place on March 31 to determine court cost liabilities, however, there had been no announcement on its outcome at the time of going to press.

More reading:

Post-show Report

Expertise Events letter

ODMA loses Federal Court case, injunction dismissed

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