March 17, 2022
3 Riveting Questions About LEDucation
Has LEDucation outgrown the Hilton? Is it still a NY show? Who was the big winner?
NEW YORK, NY – LEDucation 2022 has wrapped up the two-day trade show and conference at the New York Hilton Midtown, and by most accounts, it was a very worthwhile show.
When we asked attendees and exhibitors “how is the show on a scale of 1 to 10?” we frequently received responses greater than 10 – with the leader of one large manufacturer who wasn’t blessed with the best booth space location, calling it a “20.”
Seeing products and attending content-rich seminars was, of course, the main draw. But many attendees cited the “homecoming weekend” or “reunion” feel to what felt like a “coming out party for the lighting industry.”
With over 4000 lighting people attending the two days, most of the nearly 400 exhibitors left happy. As we made the rounds, we asked lighting people for feedback and are pleased to provide answers to 3 riveting questions about LEDucation:
Has LEDucation outgrown the Hilton?
The early years of the event were held at the two-star Hotel Pennsylvania on Seventh Avenue which, mercifully, is currently undergoing a long-overdue demolition. As the show expanded, the upgrade to the Hilton was well-received and continues to be well-received by most.
As the floor plan and exhibitor plan were being developed in 2021, event organizers chose to expand the exhibition from two large event spaces to four areas that spanned three levels of the hotel – mainly to provide more spacing for public health reasons. The strategic placement of multiple escalators allowed for better flow between the areas than many anticipated, yet our unscientific observations and exhibitor feedback indicates that the fourth floor Americas Hall II received considerably less foot traffic than other areas.
Event organizers have clustered the exhibitors by local NYC agent – and year-after-year have rotated the agents as equitably as possible through the more-desirable and less-desirable locations of the show. Most of the factory-direct companies and OEM-focused lighting companies were assigned the lower traffic Americas Hall II this year.
In the end, the consensus is that it’s a large show that does look like it may be close to bursting at the seams, but that is exactly what attendees often cite as large part of the show’s appeal. Compared to a convention center venue, the smaller square footage makes the show more manageable for attendees. The catered lunch, cleaner bathrooms and hospitality-focused staff provides a more pleasing experience to many.
Consensus: Keep the show at the Hilton and maintain the NYC agent brand grouping rotation. Of the lunch options, many raved about the roast beef with arugula aioli and horseradish on a ciabatta roll.
Is LEDucation a New York show?
We asked this simple yes/no question to dozens of lighting people over the two days. The most consistent aspect of the responses is that almost all respondents didn’t give a simple “yes” or “no” answer.
New Yorkers consistently acknowledged that the show has certainly pulled attendees from other large Northeast cities but stated that the largest segment of the design community that attends LEDucation is derived from the tri-state area.
Most out-of-town manufacturer exhibitors described the event as a regional or national show, with many noting the uptick in lighting agents attending from all over the U.S. and Canada.
Many of the New York lighting agents with whom we spoke largely believe LEDucation is a New York show and that is the main reason why the event is pulling attendees from other regions.
Consensus: LEDucation is a New York centric show that has wide regional and national appeal.
Who was the big winner?
Naturally, this question has been on the minds of many lighting people. The winner of the inside.lighting booth raffle for a $100 Exxon Mobil Gift Card is Lindsay Duval of Available Light in Boston. Sadly though, that might not be enough to cover the return trip from New York to Greater Boston.
Consensus: Lindsey Duval was the big winner. Others receiving mentions were specifiers, exhibitors, the LEDucation event, live business events in general, agents and lighting people who missed in-person energy.
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