The 2020 international optical events calendar has suffered a double blow in recent weeks after the cancellation of some of the last remaining major trade shows.
Due to ongoing uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Silmo Paris and Vision Expo organisers have scraped their respective shows, with Silmo unveiling new dates for 2021.
The European show, among the world’s major optical fairs, was scheduled to take place from 2 to 5 October at Paris Nord Villepinte after organisers originally planned to run the event this month.
“However, at this juncture where the registered exhibitors were about to make additional expenditures to finalise their participation in the trade fair, and where visitors were about to begin making travel plans, there were still uncertainties as to whether the trade fair would be able to take place as planned,” Ms Amélie Morel, chairwoman of the Silmo Association, said.
“In the absence of immediate visibility, the Silmo executive board met with its partner Comexposium, and took the unfortunate decision to cancel the Silmo 2020 Paris event.”
Prior to the cancellation, there were 688 registered exhibitors. Last year there were 1,000 exhibitors form 42 countries.
Morel said Silmo 2021 will now take place at the same venue from 24 to 27 September.
In the absence of the 2020 show, Silmo will still run small weekly events throughout France and parts of Europe from October to November 2020.
Additionally, the 2020 Silmo d’Or awards will go ahead, and the Silmo Academy will continue with plans to grant a scholarship to support a scientific research project in vision and optics.
COVID-19 spike impacts Vision Expo
After deciding to consolidate the separate Vision Expo East and West shows in Las Vegas from 23-26 September due to the pandemic, organisers have now cancelled the show due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
“With the health and wellbeing of everyone in attendance at the show as the show organisers’ primary concern, Vision Expo, along with the Venetian Resort, developed a multi-layered, in-depth plan to ensure the safety of everyone planning on attending,” according to a Vision Expo news release.
“Despite these efforts and a strong interest from the industry to participate, the decision has been made to cancel as a result of Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s announcement on Monday, June 26 sharing that Nevada ‘will remain in Phase 2 of reopening plans through the end of July due to current trends of the coronavirus infection’.’”
Last year, Vision Expo West attracted 760 exhibitors form 68 countries, along with 15,000 eyecare professionals, buyers and influences.
Ms Fran Pennella, event vice president, at Reed Exhibitions, added: “While certainly disappointing, the decision to cancel Vision Expo West 2020 is prudent and necessary. Without having visibility on when the state of Nevada will be ready to roll into future phases or what the future phases will allow for, coupled with the unfortunate spiking of COVID-19 cases in the region, we know it is in the best interest of everyone in the vision community to not move forward with the show.”
- This story was updated on Tuesday 28 July to include information about the Vision Expo cancellation.