MIDO 2020 celebrates
50 years

February 20, 2020

50 years of history and growth in the eyewear business

On May 14, 1970, MIDO opened its doors to visitors for the very first time. At the entrance to Pavilion 30, under the wording “MI-DO – OPTICS AND OPHTHALMOLOGY EXHIBITION”, eight flags, including those of the EU’s founding members: Italy, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxemburg, waved in the breeze. Ninety- five exhibitors displayed at the show, occupying a surface area of 3,000 m2; 67 Italian companies and 28 overseas sales agents representing 39 international manufacturers. 34 foreign nations were represented at the first MIDO, from all continents.
Just two years later, in 1972, there were 230 exhibiting companies and 7,000 visitors, not just from Italy, but from 50 countries around the world – a resounding success, especially if one considers the times and the transportation options, not nearly as convenient as today’s.
And so it went on with (in 1978) exhibition space soaring to 24,000 m2 and the number of exhibitors climbed to 400. For the arrival of the new millennium, MIDO updated its advertising concept with the slogan “The future is here”. Visitors to the show explored the most daring expressions of an eclectic and experimentation-oriented fashion system comparing and contrasting the entire spectrum of products developed by the international eyewear industry. The new millennium brought celebrities to Mido, engaged by the industry’s ‘big names’ to increase their sales. In 2015, MIDO again had record-setting attendance, with close to 50,000 visitors, 56% of them from foreign countries and a 10% increase in the number of Italian visitors.
From that moment on, exhibitor numbers grow steadily, as do media exposure and attendance numbers.
For 2020, the year of the 50th anniversary celebrations MIDO has undertaken a dual plan of action that is divided into several parts.
These include plans over the next 3 years to obtain ISO 20121 certification, which defines event sustainability management practices that must be able to reduce the harmful social and environmental impacts of the event while contributing to strengthening relations with stakeholders.
A ‘Stand up for green’ award for the most sustainable stand will be presented at MIDO 2020.
The importance of sustainability is the basic premise – a pivotal asset in future development and a driver of modern business. To celebrate its anniversary, MIDO also commissioned journalist and author, Adriano Moraglio and optician- optometrists, Silvio Maffioletti and Sergio Cappa, to write two books that trace the history of the show and of optics. The former, written by Moraglio and published by Giunti, is a novel entitled Through the looking glass: Mido, 50 years a global crossroads. Interweaving fact and fiction, it narrates the 50 editions of MIDO through the personal and professional adventures of a family of opticians.
The latter, written by Maffioletti and Cappa, published by Medical Books, is entitled History of optics. A work of importance to the industry, it examines the history of optics from the 1300s to the present day.


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