Optical sector backs Optrafair

Optrafair, the UK’s longest running and largest optical exhibition, has received the resounding support of the optical sector to extend its partnership with the Mark Allen Group (MAG), organisers of the event since their acquisition of Optician magazine in 2016.

Members of the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians (FMO), which owns Optrafair, had the opportunity to review MAG’s proposal for 2021-2023, alongside a counter proposal from another organiser. MAG’s proposal involves working closely with ABDO, FODO and BCLA, along with the other professional bodies and trade associations who represent the sector to broaden Optrafair’s appeal, improve the education offering and ensure that Optrafair is ultimately the only exhibition that truly represents all sectors of the UK optical industry.

Last week FMO members voted on the proposal, giving their Board of Directors a clear mandate by voting decisively to accept the proposal from MAG. The vote results are a resounding endorsement of the FMO’s long term strategy and MAG’s ambitions to work in partnership with the industry to develop Optrafair.

Andy Yorke, chairman FMO said “As a member organisation we have a responsibility to do what’s right for our members and to listen to them. The scale of the majority in favour of Optrafair and MAG demonstrates the members’ commitment to both the show and to MAG, giving us the support to go forward knowing we have the full backing of the industry. Exciting times lie ahead.

Event director, Ed Wyre said “This is fantastic news. Optrafair is such an important event in the industry and we are delighted to extend the partnership with FMO and the wider sector, allowing us to take Optrafair to the next level. We know there is so much potential for this event, and we now have a clear mandate to improve every aspect of the show – ensuring it continues to address the needs of not just visitors and exhibitors, but also the whole optical industry.

Optrafair 2019 is shaping up to be a fantastic show, but we have not even started yet. We have already started to discuss, with professional bodies and trade bodies, how we can bring the whole industry together for Optrafair 2020. I’ll be making announcements about 2020 and beyond in the near future” Yorke continued.

Optrafair 2019 takes place at Birmingham’s NEC, 30th March to 1st April, packed with new features and a brand-new format for education, it’s an event not to be missed. Full information and online registration can be found at www.optrafair.co.uk

Optrafair is brought to you by the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians and MA Exhibitions, combining some of the most respected organisations serving the optical market.


The FMOs mission is to provide a national platform for optical manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and business service providers to communicate, educate and innovate. FMO plays a key role in educating the public about the importance of looking after their sight and having regular eye examinations.

MA Exhibitions

Optrafair is organised by MA Exhibitions (MAX), an award-winning exhibition business. MAX organises more than 200 events annually, from small, highly focussed seminars to large-scale events. Within MAX’s portfolio there are 14 large-scale events, spread across sectors including electronics, manufacturing, engineering, communications, education, healthcare and print.