May 25, 2023
LightFair Retracts its Las Vegas 2025 Announcement
Oops! Show organizers now state that a well-produced video announcement about LightFair 2025 location was a mistake.
On Wednesday evening, a video posted to the official LightFair YouTube video channel provided a professionally-produced recap of LightFair 2023 in New York, and also announced that LightFair 2025 will be in located Las Vegas.
We received a phone call from LightFair Executive Director, Dan Darby, late morning on Thursday informing us that the video had incorrect information and that it was accidentally posted on the LightFair YouTube channel. Darby indicated that a third party marketing agency manages the video production and also has the keys to drive content onto the official LightFair YouTube channel.
YouTube is the second-most visited website in the world, so when LightFair’s official channel announced LightFair 2025 in Las Vegas, that’s an official announcement. The video likely caused dozens viewers, including inside.lighting, to believe that the well-produced video announcement on the official LightFair channel would accurately state the LightFair 2025 location.
The video was removed from the LightFair channel earlier today.
LightFair 2025 Location Still TBD
Darby elaborated further, “The date and location of LightFair 2025 has yet to be officially determined. Attendee and exhibitor surveys will be issued following the 2023 LightFair Trade Show and Conference, with results guiding our decision about future locations and dates that best suits industry needs,” said Dan Darby, show director.
Below is the original article posted by inside.lighting.
Despite LightFair’s official stance that there is no official plan to relocate LightFair 2025, we predict – without any insider knowledge – that there is a good possibility that it will still happen.
NOTE: The article below was originally posted at 9:28am on May 25, and includes information that LightFair states is not accurate.
Pivot: LightFair Bets on Las Vegas in 2025
NYC plans scrapped as organizers opt for Western U.S. venue
Amidst a flurry of whispered rumors during LightFair 2023 in New York City, inside.lighting confirmed on Wednesday night that the next LightFair event, scheduled for 2025, will switch venues from the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York to the Las Vegas Convention Center – the location of many past LightFair events, including last year's LightFair 2022 rendition.
LightFair, which announced the change from an annual event to a biennial event last year, is still officially slated for New York in 2027 and 2029. More on that later.
The return to Las Vegas comes as the event continues to reinvent itself post-pandemic amidst a more challenging exhibitor landscape. Additionally, competing for attendee attention in New York is becoming more difficult.
The continuous growth of what has become North America's largest annual lighting trade show and conference, LEDucation, has had an impact on exhibitor and attendee motivation to return to Manhattan for LightFair, which usually occurs approximately two months after LEDucation.
It's way too early to talk about LightFair 2027, but that is the next LightFair currently slated for New York City. We imagine that date will remain intact until the organization has a good read on how LightFair 2025 in Vegas is shaping up support-wise.
West Coast lighting events
Whether or not you agree with Mel Tormé and G-Eazy's notions that the West Coast is the Best Coast, the lighting people in the Mountain and Pacific time zones have proven to have the robust market size and lighting appetite that can bring considerable support to large-scale lighting events. LightFair's move will seek to tap into that potential.
The organizers of the popular biennial Southern California event, LightShow West, went bankrupt during the pandemic, but Endeavor Business Media swooped in to reincarnate it with LightSpec West. The inaugural LightSpec West 2022 in Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) was met with measured satisfaction and is expected to return to a different Southern California venue in Fall 2024.
One year ago, LightFair was an annual show that was committed to alternating between New York and Las Vegas through 2029. When LightFair shifted to a biennial event, it pulled the Las Vegas events for 2024, 2026, and 2028 – which also likely caused LightFair to incur some cancellation expenses. It's possible that part of the negotiation was to cancel three but reschedule two of the events for different years – 2025 and 2029.
For this reason, we predict – without any insider information – that Vegas will also be the site of the 2029 show.
The current updated official plan:
2025: Las Vegas
2027: New York – due to the LEDucation factor, we predict that another Eastern time zone city could possibly be the host.
2029: New York – but we predict this will be another Vegas event.
LightFair has been and continues to be the largest lighting event in North America. The show owners have proven to make thoughtful pivots in response to what the market is seeking, and the show’s triumphant return to Las Vegas appears to be another response to stakeholder desires.