Preparation is under way for the optical profession’s flagship event, which will this year celebrates its 40th anniversary

As hundreds of eye care professionals arrive at the Birmingham NEC for Optrafair, between April 14 and 16 at the NEC in Birmingham, event organisers will be proud to deliver a show with four decades of heritage.

Turn the clock back to 1978. The minority government of the day survived a vote of confidence, there was panic buying of bread and Gordon McQueen became the UK’s first £500,000 footballer. It was also the first time a new optometry show called Optrafair was held, in London.

Now fast forward 40 years. Whether today’s government would survive a vote of confidence is up for debate, the only bread shortage is through choice in the cupboards of calorie counting carb-dodgers and £500,000 barely buys you the big toe of a Premier League footballer. Optrafair, however, is still going strong.

A partnership between the FMO and Optician’s parent, the Mark Allen Group, Optrafair is preparing to celebrate its 40th year. The event has now grown to become the UK’s major optical showcase, seen throughout the profession as the launch pad for all that is new in the field, championing innovation and celebrating advances in technology and manufacturing.

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