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100% Optical’s industry-wide census has already generated over 5,000 registered visitors, set to attend the first international annual optical show to be held at ExCeL London in February, 16 – 18, 2014.

The census, commissioned by Media 10 to create the industry’s most comprehensive database of UK and international Opticians and Optometrists, has revealed a significant demand among UK professionals for an international industry platform in London, along with a number of industry insights.

The independent Optical Census was conducted by Market Makers, the UK’s biggest B2B telemarketing company, by telephone to Opticians and Optometrists, and was designed to enable 100% Optical to reach every active trade professional in the UK. Census respondent, Waqar Ahmed, Optician/Owner of Henry J Rose opticians in Hull and Halifax said: “I’m definitely going to 100% Optical."

Mr Ahmed has had both practices 3 years. He explained that multiple retailers are his main threat and that he hopes to stem their advance by spending more time with customers. He added: “It’s hard but I try to add more of a personal touch to dealing with customers. Something you don’t find at multiple chains. I like to spend more time with my customers.”

Media 10 has also ascertained from the census that there are 5,450 independent optician practices in the UK. Furthermore, over 58% of optical professionals spoken to were already aware of the 100% Optical event and were either owners or at managerial level within the practice.

100% Optical Marketing Manager, Saul Leese said: “This survey has provided us with the vital insight necessary to deliver an exhibition and education programme that not only meets but also exceeds the needs and expectations of all sectors of the Optical industry both here in the UK and overseas. It’s vital that we deliver a show on a par with leading events in Europe and our research has given us valuable insight into what people want from a trade event.”

Common areas of concern among opticians is how to encourage parents to bring their children at an early age for an eye test. Over 9% of opticians voiced this as a concern. A further 13% of independent opticians also conveyed the need to create a more dynamic practice like their counterparts on the continent.