Independents' Lounge

New for 2018, the Independents’ Lounge will be a hub on the show floor dedicated to helping visitors improve their practice across all areas of business. Over the last 40 years Optrafair has established itself as the UK’s premier show for independent opticians, who in 2018 will be invited to network and exchange knowledge with peers and meet with a select number of industry experts and suppliers on hand to answer any questions. Visitors invited to the Independents’ Lounge will also be able to take advantage of exclusive content and offers specifically tailored for them – whilst enjoying complimentary refreshments and comfortable surroundings.

National Eyecare Group and its partners Lloyd’s bank, Specs network and VSP are inviting all independents visiting this year’s Optrafair, to join them in the independents lounge area, an exciting new feature zone for this year’s fair.

In addition to a free hot drink, visitors can benefit from networking with other independents and speaking with industry experts, covering a number of business areas. Over the three days of the Optrafair show three main topics will be covered: adding to the bottom line, increasing dispensing value with technology, and building the independent practice.

Phil Mullins from NEG will be on hand to to share with visitors ways that they can save money and make their administration easier. In addition you will be introduced to Lloyd’s bank, who will be available to discuss all matters money; from daily banking, overdrafts, loans, and equipment financing. Richard Hollings from Seiko Optical, will be in the lounge area, showing not only how Specs Network are promoting independent practices to the general public, but how this in turn is helping practices to grow their business. The final key sponsor of the lounge is VSP, who can show how joining their network of opticians can help promote the business by working with businesses who are increasingly looking to improve their employee packages by adding an Eyecare option.

In addition to the main sponsors of the Independents lounge, who will be available on all three days of Optrafair, a number of experts we be available on one or more days. These include Liam Franklin from Orta, who on the Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning will be discussing how to go about recruiting, retaining and training staff to get the maximum benefit for your practice. On Sunday and Monday the lounge will be visited by the Complete Community Opticians, who can discuss how, rather than just sending patients who require a domiciliary away, you can build it into part of you business with their support, which in turn helps you to support families and your local community.

Sunday is technology day at the Independents lounge, with Fitting Box demonstrating their virtual try on technology, which is not only an impressive way for patients to try on frames, but enables you to have an almost unlimited range of frames to show your patients. Along with this, Digitact will be showing the EGrab system, which uses RFID technology to make patients choosing frames a full interactive experience that can truly set you apart from the competition. Add to this a lens meter that can demonstrate the differences between various progressives and VR technology that demonstrates what wearing progressive lenses can be like, then everyone will leave with the ability to increase their dispensing value and increase profitability.

On the Monday, following his presentation in the business theatre, Kevin Holdridge will be in the lounge to discuss how you can benefit from using Google to promote your practice and all things digital marketing. In addition to the experts on hand and the demonstrations, visitors to the Independents lounge will be given a voucher booklet, which contains vouchers of exclusive offers from exhibitors across the exhibition, offering prize draws, additional products or added discounts along with a voucher for the free hot drink at lounges coffee bar.

So if you’re an independent then make sure you visit the Independents Lounge at Optrafair.

Optrafair will take place between April 14 and 16 at the NEC in Birmingham. For more information, and to register for the event, visit