Here's our well-informed, yet completely unscientific gut-feel opinion about whether in-person Lightfair will occur in October.
LAST UPDATED JUNE 3, 2021:
During a June 2 press conference that took place at the Javits Convention Center, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo explained how large venues are reopening in New York:
- Radio City Music Hall is reopening to 100% capacity and requiring all ticket holders to be vaccinated.
- Citi Field, home to the New York Mets, will reopen to over 90% capacity
- And the one that should get Lightfair fans excited: Governor Cuomo announced that the very popular New York International Auto Show will take place August 20-29 and that "the goal is one million visitors to the Javits Center over 9 days."
MAY 24, 2021:
On Sunday May 23, over 15,000 fans witnessed the New York Knicks' soul-crushing, last-second playoff Game 1 loss to the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden.
Madison Square Garden is just a few crosstown blocks away from the Javits Convention Center where Lightfair 2021 is expected to be held in late October.
Even though the Knicks didn't seem to anticipate that NBA superstar Trae Young would take the Hawks' final shot, Madison Square Garden officials carefully planned many well-executed precautions for the game including:
- Requiring proof of vaccination or proof of a recent negative COVID test. They even had onsite testing with estimated 30-minute turnaround times.
- Opening the doors 90 minutes early, to control crowd flow.
- All fans were required to wear a face covering while inside The Garden, except when eating, drinking or when seated in a designated fully-vaccinated seating section.
- All tickets were digital and The Garden encouraged cashless purchases for food and merchandise.
Across the East River: On Saturday, Barclays Center hosted 14,391 fans for the Brooklyn Nets playoff game.
At the Javits Center:
- In recent weeks, the International Esthetics, Cosmetics & Spa Conference was quietly removed from the Javits Center's late July schedule.
- NY NOW, an August 8-10 trade show event for wholesale retailers is now expected to be the first post-COVID major event at the convention center.
MAY 4, 2021:
The simple truth is that one knows for sure whether Lightfair will take place in New York City later this year. Lightfair people are working hard to plan the in-person trade show & conference. Exhibitors are moving forward with plans to build their booths. Attendees are booking hotel rooms – all in hopes of convening for the important lighting industry event.
A number of factors will impact whether the in-person event actually takes place including:
- Government mandates (New York State and New York City)
- Venue – How flexible will the Javits Convention Center be with continued uncertainty? At some point event contracts may get to a toll gate ultimatum of “pay a huge chunk of money or pull out.”
- Stakeholders: Lightfair people are working closely with exhibitors, partners and other stakeholders to ensure they act in the consensus best interest.
MAY 4 UPDATE: What’s happening in New York:
A coordinated strategy set in place by the Governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut indicates that nearly all COVID-related restrictions will be lifted on May 19. There are some exceptions including those for large-scale venues:
Lightfair, October 25-29
We are 98.8% confident that the event will be able to accommodate 15,000 or more attendees.
(Past events reportedly had 28,000+ attendees)
Three Reasons Why Lightfair May Happen
- We are still 144 days away and most of the U.S. population is expected to be vaccinated by then.
- The Javits Convention Center is immense with super high ceilings and the flexibility to effectively space things out.
- The “Safer Floor, Safer Show” initiatives that Lightfair announced in 2020 provide many smart measures to help keep attendees and exhibitors safe.
Three Reasons Why Lightfair May Not Happen
- The New York International Auto Show somehow demonstrates that NYC is not yet ready to host hundreds of thousands of visitors.
- The emergence of a gangster Covid variant that is unfazed by Covid vaccines.
- Bill de Blasio
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