6 Sept 2006
Focused On Success(HKTDC Optical,2007)
Hong Kong Optical Fair 2006
Swank Int'l Optical Co Ltd sees the 14th Hong Kong Optical Fair as a terrific opportunity to promote its name and build relationships with its customers.
"We want to showcase our capabilities and let people know that we are a major force in the industry," states the 1973-established firm's chief executive officer Dicky Tong. "This fair is extremely important for us as it attracts good quality customers."
Swank, which produces about 500,000 injection-moulded, metal and handmade acetate frames per month, plans to show its latest double-injection styles, along with vintage and retro models. "Oversized frames, aviator styles and cat's eyes are the coming trend," Tong reveals, "and there will be slightly more metal frames compared with the last couple of years."
To be held from November 8-10, 2006 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, and organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), the fair promises an exciting preview of the latest trends as well as the newest developments in the optical industry.
Major exhibitor categories will include contact lenses, sunglasses, goggles, lenses, frames and mountings, parts and accessories, related chemicals and materials, manufacturing equipment and technology, optometry instruments, spectacle cases and holders, related packaging materials and associated services and publications.
In terms of trends, lightweight materials such as plastic, titanium and the use of magnesium and carbon fibre have become increasingly popular with consumers.
Frames made of metal/plastic or metal/wood combinations are also attracting attention. Spring hinges that allow temple pieces to flex backward and forward are being widely used, while polycarbonate and acrylic material are boosting the sports eyewear sector. Temple logos and accents with crystals, coloured stones and diamonds are also becoming a prime source of added style.
A number of specialised zones gradually added over the years have greatly enhanced visitor experiences at the fair. One such zone is the Visionaries of Style - Enjoy Your Vision in Life Section, which is co-organised with the Vision in Life Workshop. Now in its third year, this section features elite international eyewear brands with eye-catching designs, innovative use of materials and marketing savvy.
"Some buyers not only want to visit manufacturers but also wish to gauge the retail trends," enthuses Wah Ming Optical Mfy Ltd director Douglas Cheung. "This section draws more retailers to the show, creates more traffic and helps give even more international recognition to Hong Kong."
An exhibitor at the optical fair since its inception, Cheung says the OEM/ODM firm manufactures a full range of metal, injection moulded, acetate and titanium frames. "This is our home-court event," he asserts, "and it serves as a major contact point to meet new and existing clients and to show off our latest lines."
Also returning for the third consecutive year is the Retail and Shop Design, Equipment and Technology Section. This will have the most up-to-date equipment, technology and services on display, all geared to help build the success of a new retail establishment or enhance an existing one.
Exhibits will encompass communications and IT; design and construction; display, furniture and fixtures; illumination, lighting technology and accessories; point-of-sale equipment and technology; promotions and packaging and security equipment and services, among others.
To promote the section more intensively, a special directory of exhibitors will be published. In addition to the Hong Kong Optical Fair, the booklet will be distributed at other fairs serving industries with a strong demand for highly effective retail design, fittings and services, including Hong Kong Fashion Week, the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show and the Hong Kong Watch and Clock Fair.
One of the most important value-added highlights of the fair is the Hong Kong Optometric Conference, featuring renowned speakers from Hong Kong and overseas. The conference is designed to stimulate discussion of ophthalmic issues within the optometrist community.
Another favourite is the Eyewear Trend Seminar, where expert speakers will offer insights into future developments and trends in the fast-changing world of optical styles. Also not to be missed is the eighth edition of the trend-setting Hong Kong Eyewear Design Competition, which provides a glimpse into the styles of tomorrow and showcases the creative talents of Hong Kong designers.
Written By Andrea Pawlyna
Rising exports of Hong Kong's spectacles, frames and lenses underline the industry's strength as the territory gears up to host the 14th Hong Kong Optical Fair, one of the region's most important optical events.
"The Hong Kong optical industry has a very big influence on the world optical industry," says co-organiser the Hong Kong Optical Manufacturers Association's 2004-2006 president Michael Ng. "We export worldwide, and since we are centrally located in Asia the fair is an ideal place for exhibitors and buyers to meet and view all the new products that are being introduced."
Last year's fair broke all records for exhibitor and buyer numbers. A total of 577 exhibitors from 20 countries and regions participated, an increase of 9.5% over the previous year. More than 8,800 visitors from 92 countries and regions attended.
Furthermore, Hong Kong's optical exports grew by a healthy 13% to HK$4.28bn from January-May 2006, compared with the same period the previous year. The US was the territory's dominant export market, with a 27.2% share, followed by Italy (18%), the Chinese mainland (10.2%) and France (7.5%).
"Exports should continue to be strong for the rest of this year," Ng predicts.
The statistics reflect the industry's generally positive economic market outlook, with Hong Kong maintaining its status as Asia's largest exporter of spectacles and frames.
"Hong Kong is the second-largest exporter of spectacles and frames in the world after Italy," remarks TDC senior exhibitions manager Anne Chick. "The industry successfully specialises in medium- to high-end frames for importers and renowned international brands on an OEM/ODM basis at modern manufacturing bases on the Chinese mainland."