July 21, 2021
If You're on the Fence about Attending LightFair...
With LightFair less than 100 days away, it’s time to make decisions. Will you attend the late October trade show and conference in New York?
Each person’s decision to be a part of LightFair is affected by many variables. Attendees are often interested in many things including seeing the latest lighting products and technologies, attending seminars that are pertinent to one’s job, reuniting with current connections and making new connections.
Exhibitor decisions are often impacted by how many people are expected to attend, what is the anticipated quality of attendees relating to the exhibitor’s business, what are the costs associated with exhibiting and what are the downsides of sitting this one out.
Lightfair has recently published some videos and statements of some prominent lighting industry people, Lightfair Ambassadors, who offer many compelling reasons to be a part of Lightfair 2021. Those reasons should be enough to convince many lighting enthusiasts to attend, but here are some other ideas to consider while making your final decisions:
Most lighting people we speak with expect the 2021 rendition of LightFair to be not a big as in past years. We think it’s quite okay if this show doesn’t set a LightFair record for attendees and exhibitors. The show can still deliver excellent value to attendees and exhibitors even without world records.
Exhibitor count may be down, but after a 2+ year hiatus, there will be plenty of new things to see
- Recent LightFair trade shows have had 580-600 exhibitors. Expect fewer this year.
- For exhibitors, this may be a positive factor since fewer competitors will be exhibiting.
- LightFair banned 82 exhibitors from the 2019 show – mainly international importers and OEMs with significant booth violations, so that will affect the numbers, but may improve the overall quality of exhibitors as a whole.
- Currently there are 297 registered exhibitors. At the 14-weeks-out point of Lightfair 2019, there were 466 exhibitors including most of the now-blacklisted 82 exhibitors.
- Cree LED just signed on this week. RAB Lighting just doubled the size of its booth.
- The Lighting Quotient and LEDRA Brands have recently been added, too.
- While there are some notable companies sitting this one out (Lutron, Lumenpulse, Legrand) some of the biggest names in lighting will still be attending in full force.
Attendees – assessing quality and quantity
Fourteen weeks out, attendee registration is currently pacing 7% ahead of the same time period vs. 2019 LightFair.
We don’t have access to the registered attendee list, but we tend to believe that many of the top specifiers and distributors who normally attend East Coast LightFair will once again attend. There may be fewer attendees from places 1000+ miles away from Manhattan, but the New York location could actually have a major positive impact on the attendee count and quality. According to LightFair, 10,734 recent attendees of LightFair live within commuting, day-trip (car/train) distance of New York City.
A significantly higher percentage of East Coast professionals attend the odd-year shows while the majority of West Coast attendees attend the even-year show. Those trends or percentages may not change much as a result of the pandemic.
International presence may be lower, but does that have a big impact on your show experience?
Asia represents a good portion of international exhibitors, but the popular Hong Kong International Lighting Fair takes place the same exact week as LightFair. Many North American attendees often don't value some of the super-economical offshore lighting product exhibitors, so this might be viewed as a good thing by many attendees.
In the past, attendees from 80+ countries have attended Lightfair. The number of international attendees will likely be lower this year. Most North American exhibitors derive most of their business from North American lighting people, so this may have little impact on the overall ROI for exhibitors.
The CEU tank might be full, but the in-person Conference still has major benefits
Many years ago, specifiers could justify expensive LightFair trips their firms with the rationale that they could knock out most/all of the CEU's they need to fulfill their professional licenses and accreditations. Today, with Zoom webinars abundantly available, specifiers need to justify their often-expensive business trip to NYC in other ways.
While lighting professionals can take advantage of online CEU courses, that does not equate with the opportunity for in-person learning coupled with the opportunity to see new products and innovations, or to meet with peers.
What are the impacts for LightFair 2022 in Las Vegas?
With the LightFair 2022 kicking off 7 3/4 months after LightFair 2021, will that further impact attendees from the Western U.S. & Canada?
Will Vegas 2022 LightFair see fewer East Coasters for the same reasons?
See you in New York! / See you in New York?
The lighting industry continues to grow and welcome more and more people into the mix. Despite the industry’s increasing size, it is still an interwoven community of professionals who are often both friends and business colleagues. After 18 months of Zoom webinars and experiencing new products mainly on a computer monitor, we look forward to a slightly different, but still awesome LightFair in October. Hope to see you there!
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