Interview with Amélie Morel, chairwoman of SILMO PARIS
The new advertising slogan for the 2023 edition of the trade fair is “Generation SILMO”. How did that tagline come about?
A.M.: Several reasons – both rational and emotional – led us to this choice. For more than 50 years, SILMO Paris has remained the first and oldest professional trade fair to participate in the life and history of the world’s optics and eyewear industry. Several generations of men and women have contributed to its development and have borne witness to the progress of both the business and the event.
In fact, a number of companies have been exhibiting every year at SILMO Paris since the first time it was held in Oyonnax in 1967! The Morel company is a great example, since it has never missed a single edition.
The tagline “Generation SILMO” also expresses that continuity: the feeling of passing something down from one generation to the next, through historical companies large and small. That dimension is so important for the dynamics of the industry whose professionals come from different horizons: young and not-so-young share their views, forging ahead together. And so, through the years, SILMO Paris has naturally become a gathering place where people are clearly delighted to assemble.
Does that mean that the notion of belonging to an industry is truly real and important?
A.M.: SILMO Paris is built on the idea of communities standing for the same values and having the same – or nearly the same – ambitions. You can even call us a big family. That is precisely how the “SILMO Family” concept came about, based on that observation.It is a meeting place for every initiative, showroom and trade fair that we organise across the globe.
Of course, this isn’t the magical world of make believe – there can be tensions, disagreements and objections –, but in the end, SILMO Paris manages to align all its energies to satisfy the entire optical and eyewear field.
Is the event’s long-lasting success also a question of maintaining the same structure and fundamentals, generation after generation?
A.M.: Each generation develops attitudes and behaviours that result from the socio-economic context in which it is brought up. But the symbolic “Generation SILMO” concept is also a way of laying a foundation and demonstrating the trade fair’s strategic continuity, edition after edition, with one chairmanship leading smoothly into the next in a coherent whole.
SILMO Paris is also such a solid institution because of the stability of the organisation. Each member of the supervisory board is thoroughly involved, and the logistics teams remain present and attentive throughout the year.
People are truly attached to this ambiance and cohesiveness, and both exhibitors and visitors feel an affection for it. That constancy is confirmed, generation after generation, despite the crises that we have endured, such as COVID. Thanks to its long-term vision and foresight, SILMO Paris has won over every generation.
Much more than just a trade fair, it is a gathering place. Is the event’s long-lasting success also a question of maintaining the same structure and fundamentals, generation after generation.