At the recent Silmo show in Paris, Martine Breton, publisher of Envision: seeing beyond magazine, met with Cirillo Marcolin, president of the Italian optical industry association (ANFAO) and the MIDO trade show, to discuss the future of MIDO. Here is the text of their conversation.
MB: MIDO 2014 was so impressive. I’m thinking particularly of the ‘Out of MIDO’ initiatives, the Midounvolto fashion show and the participation in Fuorisalone. How have these initiatives kept MIDO at the forefront of the optical trade show scene?
CM: We recognized that it wasn’t enough simply to work with the exhibitors who take part in MIDO. We wanted to change our focus for exhibitors and consumers and the solution was to take advantage of the trade shows related to our business. We decided that the best one was the furniture show, Fuorisalone. It is the most important show in Milan and it’s tied to a number of initiatives around the city.
We also understood that we don’t always need to work alone. We decided to take part in Pitti Uomo (a series of fashion events in Italy), which is so important in the textile business. We created a partnership with them, POP-EYE (which explores the link between eyewear and fashion), with about 20 companies participating. The formula was very successful and we plan to continue with ‘Out of MIDO’ and Pitti Uomo in 2015.
MB: Please tell us about MIDO’s new partnership with Silmo.
CM: We used to see Silmo as a competitor but that changed this year. We realized that we were facing the same challenges and that by working together, we could give exhibitors at both shows a better experience. We asked ourselves what we could give show participants that they didn’t currently have and the answer was market research. So we engaged a company to conduct research in the European market that will be available to the exhibitors and customers of both shows. The research will be done every six months to ensure that it is equally fresh for MIDO in February and Silmo in September.
At present there are no plans to merge the two shows. We believe that our new cooperation is a win-win proposition for both of us.
MB: Under your leadership, decline has never been an option for MIDO. At the same time, are you finding the ongoing Eurozone economic situation a strain?
CM: We studied the situation and decided that MIDO’s goal should be to offer everything to the industry. We want to serve everyone who attends the show – not just the Italian market.
It is important to maintain our leadership and this led us to change our logo and our ad campaign this year. We felt these moves were important to reinforce the identity of the MIDO brand.
We need to attract people to MIDO and our task is to meet their needs – to compel them to visit by providing new offerings every year. This is the only way for us to succeed.