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The Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) and Media 10, the multi-award winning creators of 100% Optical, are delighted to announce a new partnership. The new partnership will involve a number of exciting cooperative initiatives in the run up to and including the 2015 100% Optical event which will take place at London’s ExCel on 7-9 February. 100% Optical was launched in February 2014 and has established itself as the UK’s largest audited trade event for optical professionals.

At the event itself, ABDO members will be able to take advantage of some great benefits including CET qualifying education for dispensing opticians; advance notice and priority access to social events and the ABDO Arms, a new bar area at the show where ABDO members will be able to network and socialise in this specially designated area for ABDO. In addition, ABDO, the Association of Optometrists (AOP) and 100% Optical will be working together on tackling major issues facing the optical industry on the Main Stage at the event.

ABDO maker-feature

ABDO, the AOP and 100% Optical will also be hosting a brand new event feature the Frame Workshop. This will provide a place for ABDO members to come along and have a go at making frames by working alongside some of the most experienced craftsmen in the business. Visitors will get the chance to see how some of the highest quality frames are produced and get to understand all the processes involved. Algha Works, famous for producing eyewear to the stars (including Johnny Depp, Eric Clapton and Rihanna), and the UK’s last frame maker will showcase their skills and techniques.

The Frame Workshop will also feature 3D printers, so that visitors can have a go at designing and printing frames to see just how this technology has evolved and how it may be used in practice in the future. 100% Optical will be working with London based designers Mette, who have created a ‘Maker Carousel’ concept, a space that can allow several groups to be engaged in making frames with different materials on the show floor, in an open environment.

ABDO frame-workshop

Michael Potter, ABDO’s head of marketing and communications, said: “We are confident that ABDO members will benefit from the Association’s partnership with 100% Optical; which will provide members with priority access and unique incentives to attend this innovative exhibition, an opportunity to refresh and enhance their skills, find out what’s new, network with their fellow professionals, have fun, as well as gaining CET points while they are there. Not least 100% Optical is hosted at a major London venue that’s within a relatively easy travelling distance for a significant percentage of our members.

“The partnership with 100% Optical is one of a number of exciting initiatives that ABDO has planned for 2015 with a view to attaining greater engagement with its members. It will also provide a new platform for ABDO to voice its aims and to outline the vital role it plays within the optical sector.”

Nathan Garnett, Event Director for 100% Optical, “We are delighted to be working with ABDO as we want to deliver an event that is designed specifically for the professional, by the profession. It is really exciting to be working with ABDO on a feature like The Frame Workshop, as we are keen to deliver something unique and of real value to ABDO members. We are also looking forward to seeing as many ABDO members as possible in the ABDO Arms for drink!”

100% Optical now has the backing of both of the main professional membership associations: ABDO and the AOP which together cover over 20,000 optical trade professionals. 100% Optical burst onto the scene this year with over 5,000 professional attending the inaugural 2014 event at the ExCeL centre over three days. The eclectic mix of exhibitors and high quality show design have raised the bar for optical events across Europe, and London can now boast an event to rival other major European cities.