Ottica Italiana magazine, the official Federottica mouthpiece, has partnered with MIDO since the first edition of the exhibition. Let’s cover their relationship through the words of Andrea Afragoli, Chied Editor of Ottica Italiana and President of Federottica.
How was the relationship between MIDO and Ottica Italiana established?
A full answer to this question will be possible during MIDO, thanks to a surprise we, at Ottica Italiana, are preparing. In any case, back in 1970, a synergy between the world of associations – at the time, Federottica and AIO – and the world of industry was achieved. Following other minor experiences, this led to the creation of the great Milanese exhibition we all know today. Ottica Italiana, as Federottica mouthpiece, was obviously on the front lines from the beginning.
What is the general opinion of Italian opticians regarding MIDO and how it has evolved over the years?
MIDO was, and continues to be still today, an absolute point of reference. The world has massively changed, multisensorial experiences have often been replaced by solely visual experiences, but the necessity to actually be able to touch the products, to test the equipment has still remained intact. Certainly, there was, and particularly from the south, a time when, people “went up to Milan” for purchases, while today MIDO is mainly – but not exclusively – a showcase. As I was saying, though, it is not enough to just leaf through a catalogue or look at a website to better understand our world. Not to mention that MIDO is, basically, a party for all of us: who can honestly say that they never ran into an old colleague or a former fellow student among the stands or in the halls, finding himself suddenly elsewhere, in addition to unquestionably feeling much younger? These emotions alone are worth the trip to Milan.
In your opinion, what are some of the significant events from the exhibition which have contributed to the growth of the entire industry?
There have been countless events and, often, they have ended up becoming part of the history of Italian eyewear and optometry. It is, therefore, impossible to mention all of them. On a personal note, I can certainly say that the presentation of the Registro in Optometria e Ottica (Optometry and Optics Register) on behalf of the TiOptO interassociative board was a moment rich in expectation and hope for the future. There was a great number of participants, mainly all standing, listening to us speak, and almost in complete silence. It was a wonderful day.
What role does MIDO currently play on the international scene?
The first and primary role is obviously that of being a showcase: the greatest showcase in the world. This is the case for the industry professionals, obviously, but also in a more general sense, for the public as well. During MIDO, mainstream media also covers the eyewear industry, and this – in its non-randomness – is widely positive. Plus, MIDO is a place for encounters, agreements. If those halls could speak...