Looking at Optrafair in a different way

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Optrafair is the UK’s leading optical exhibition and it is a very important event for Boots Opticians to attend, not only as a networking opportunity, but also to land the right messages about our business."

It was obvious from the offset, that this year we wanted to stand out at the exhibition, to show presence and to be able to discuss fantastic opportunities we have on offer currently both from a recruitment and a franchise perspective.

I knew that from attending previous large events at the NEC, to truly stand out, we needed something to grab people’s attention and differentiate us from the crowd – which is where the idea of ‘Grab our Specs’ came from.

In true Noels House Party style, people stepped into a dome and once the wind machine was turned on, they were to see how many ‘specs’ they could grab – offering on the spot prizes along the way and some fantastic large prizes (such as a spa day and a driving experience) to the overall winners across the three days. It took an hour or two for people to fully embrace it, but once they did – you couldn’t get people out of there! Including many members of our Leadership Team!

Of course, it wasn’t all fun and games, we had two dedicated meeting rooms built on the stand for great conversations to be had – whether that be with press, future optometrists, franchise interest or someone wishing to talk confidentially.

One of our other highlights of the stand was the fabulous Geri, our personal barista for the event, his coffees/hot chocolate/teas were great and everybody loved him, how somebody remembers everybody’s drink like that is beyond me, everyone was very impressed. I think the spectacle shaped coffee sprinkles also helped!

We had CET presence at the event, Dr Margaret Woodhouse ran a session called Testing Children with Learning Disabilities – This was great as we used the stand as a meeting point and it gave people opportunities to network whilst waiting for the session to begin.

I think one of the main things I learnt about being part of Optrafair is to not be afraid of the unknown, yes I was asked questions I didn’t know the answer to, but that was fine – I found out the answer, or at least the person who could answer it and was able to offer them a delicious coffee in the process.

Next year I want it to be bigger and better – I wonder if Noel himself is free?

Jennifer HR Assistant, Boots Opticians