The Vision Council and the European Sunglass Association (ESA) held their first co-hosted meeting for members last week, following their merger announcement in October 2012. The two-day Spring Conference was held May 23-24 at the Praia D’El Rey Marriott Golf & Beach Resort in Portugal and was attended by nearly 60 vision industry professionals.
“It was a great pleasure to host a lot of people from leading companies in the optical industry at our Spring Conference,” said Francesco Pellegrini, president of the ESA. “The wonderful location and great time spent there proved to be the perfect mix for our meeting, offering solid networking opportunities, open brainstorming sessions, valuable content and quality speakers. This is such a great opportunity for our members. It’s a unique time where business borders are no longer seen as a barrier or hurdle. Competition is replaced by cooperation between suppliers and customers, manufactures and distributors, and among brands. I would like to recognize Shamir Portugal as our special host and for their kind and warm welcome, in addition to the European trade magazine editors for taking time to attend our event.”
The 2013 program featured several sessions on hot topics designed to help industry executives expand their businesses in a global marketplace. Interactive breakouts focused on market data and statistics, European and American regulatory issues, and the latest in product design. On Thursday, attendees received an exclusive preview of S/S ‘14 and F/W ‘14 megatrends for eyewear from Sandrine Maggiani, trend director – Europe for Stylesight, a leading fashion trend forecasting and analysis service. In the evening, members were invited to a networking reception followed by an intimate gala dinner. The meeting also featured two hot-topic panel discussions on new and emerging retail trends in optical and the current Rx sunwear market and hidden opportunities.
“We appreciated very much the brilliant organization of the conference held at the Marriott by both the ESA and The Vision Council,” said Pascal Jaulent, co-founder, president, and art director of Face à Face. “The international statistics presented by The Vision Council were of major importance for our evaluation of volumes and values on the major western markets for optical frames and sunglasses. The presentation of major lens industry layers added to the great benefit of the seminar. We particularly enjoyed the networking opportunities. It is always a great pleasure to see our friends and meet new people.”
The European Sunglass Association – currently presided by Mr Francesco Pellegrini – was founded in 1994 thanks to initiative of several optical industry companies to meet the common demand to federate the interests of all the parties involved in the European sunglass market. Rod Lane, Managing Director of Fabris Lane Ltd., UK, has been the first to chair this non-profit organization born with the purposes of supporting the growth and development of the European sunglass business, protecting the optical industry, members and end consumers through high quality products, proposing norms and raising topics of interest such as European and international standards for sunglasses. In October 2012 The ESA announced the merger with The Vision Council on the occasion of Silmo in Paris. Both parties signed a comprehensive Joint Operating Agreement – effective immediately – with the goal of fully merging the ESA into The Vision Council within 12-months.