CMA Global, a Daegu-based supplier of optical accessories. A veteran of five previous events and confessing to be impressed by the 2018 turnout, Sales Manager Sue Cai said: "There are definitely more manufacturers at the show this year. As they represent our core market, that equates to more opportunities for us. I also think there's a more even – 50:50 – split between overseas and domestic manufacturers this time around."
Already a supplier to more than 200 companies, including such big names as Nikon, Seiko and Hoya, CMA has recently added T-shirt pouches to its product portfolio. Handy for holding sunglasses or phones, the pouches have proved to be a hit in South Korea, with the company having already produced bespoke editions in association with a number of the bigger domestic businesses, most notably LG, the Seoul-based electronics giant.
Despite the upbeat testimonials of many of the exhibitors, not all the event's participants were quite so impressed. Indeed, dismissing it as quite pedestrian, Fanny Shi, the Sales Manager of the Jiangsu Convox Optical Company, said: "The show is just so-so. Although we are getting a lot of interest from visitors from India and Pakistan, they want everything to be very cheap."
Despite the presence of the Brits, the South Koreans and representatives of nearly 100 other nations, Chinese optical manufacturers still managed to dominate the event, with a good showing for all the mainland's key spectacle production centres – Dongguan, Shenzhen, Xiamen, Wenzhou and Danyang. Despite the vast number of Chinese companies jostling for attention, a few genuinely managed to stand out, including Zhejiang-based Taizhou Linhai Duqiao.
Established in 2007, the company sells under the LOSU brand both domestically and internationally, while also having achieved good results by selling through Alibaba over the past five years. Dropping a hint as to why the company has done quite so well, Sales Manager Jackie Zhu said: "Part of the secret of our success is that our glasses are made from TR90, a flexible thermoplastic that's virtually impossible to break."
While there was a vast number of mainland glasses manufacturers in situ, the number was almost matched by the size of the country's accessories and diagnostic contingents. One of the most noteworthy operators in the latter sector was Chongqing-based Yeasn, a specialist operator in the lens-calibration market.
Commenting on both the growth of the event and the particular focus of his own business, Sales Manager Wang Zhilun said: "This show grows every year and continues to become ever-more international. In terms of scale, exhibitor numbers, scope and the potential for deal making, it is clearly the most important event of its kind in China, which is why we chose it as the ideal launch platform for our digital refractor optical evaluation system."