Four full halls, 40,000 square metres of space and about 450 exhibitors from 26 nations. From 25 to 27 January 2013 opti 2013 in Munich presents a comprehensive overview of what’s happening in optics and design. Trade fair expert Daniel Gundelach advises optics professionals on how to prepare for the first highlight in the sector’s calendar for 2013 – and when to start organizing their visits to the show.
“A week beforehand at the latest, that’s when you should begin getting ready for the fair,” Daniel Gundelach says. If you want to book appointments in advance you should start even sooner. As he says, “A month before the fair there’s a much better chance of getting the slot you want.” How much effort visitors put into these preparations depends on what they want to achieve at the fair, he says. Is the main idea to cultivate existing contacts or is it about getting a full picture of what’s happening in the market? An hour is enough to do some preliminary research in the online catalogue, according to Gundelach, “but that’s an absolute minimum.” People who want more in-depth information and would like to book appointments should allow more time – about three to four hours.
Comprehensive and useful information: the online catalogue
opti’s website offers trade visitors “very good options” for all their requirements, whether a brief overview or comprehensive research. The online catalogue is the most comprehensive and useful means of getting ready for the fair. It enables trade visitors to conduct a targeted search for exhibitors, brands and products and also to sort companies by country, Gundelach says. And it contains links to websites and telephone numbers for contacts, hall plans, information about product innovations and an organizer function. The free opti app is an ideal guide for the journey there and for the time at the trade fair, Gundelach believes. “It makes the detailed planning easier. It helps with looking for exhibitors and offers additional information such as the opti forum programme.” For trade visitors opti is an opportunity for updating their knowledge and for gathering lots of information, Daniel Gundelach stresses. This, after all, is where the entire sector comes together. So it makes sense to consider beforehand what you want to know and which channels of information can be used for this: lectures at the opti forum, meetings with colleagues or discussions with exhibitors. For these, Gundelach recommends a list of the topics and key questions that you want to address. “Then you can be sure at the end of the visit, that you’ve covered all the important things.”
Intelligent time-planning at the fair
The trade fair expert warns that you should not make too many appointments when you are drawing up your schedule. His advice is not to book up more than three quarters of your time at the fair. For even with a fair as compact as opti it can still take several minutes to get from an exhibitor in Hall C1 to another in Hall C4. “This, too, is part of good preparation: look at the routes and optimize them. Also, you must not forget that the halls are full of visitors and that you need some time to make notes after the discussions.” Before visiting the fair, opticians should review how their business went in the previous year, advises Gundelach. Which models sold well, which less well, and – is it time to try out something new? “At opti the optician can see all the innovations and coming trends and find out how the market is developing,” he says. “So he ought to know what fits his business and his clients.” Online tickets are available to trade visitors at the opti website. This is where they can also get information about visiting the fair: alongside tips about hotels and restaurants in Munich, there is also, for instance, information about special travel offers. Trade visitors from abroad can even get support with visa matters – on the opti website.
Daniel Gundelach is the head of trade fair consulting at the trade fair construction company Meplan, associate lecturer at the private university Campus M21 in trade fair, event and congress management and also guest lecturer at Munich’s University of Applied Sciences.