November 13, 2023
LightFair 2025 Bets on Las Vegas
New York out, Las Vegas in for LightFair’s next edition
The commercial and industrial lighting industry is set to converge in Las Vegas for LightFair 2025, a significant change from its previously announced New York location. This pivot to Las Vegas reflects a strategic move by the organizers, adapting to industry dynamics and stakeholder preferences.
Dates and Location: LightFair 2025 will illuminate the Las Vegas Convention Center from May 4 to 8, 2025, with the exhibit hall open the typical three-day midweek span May 6 to 8, 2025. This event will be part of the inaugural Las Vegas Interior Design Week, which includes the HD Expo + Conference and the Las Vegas Design Center (LVDC) at the World Market Center, a venue that is owned by LightFair part-owner, ANDMORE.
What's New: The 2025 edition marks a transition to a biennial schedule, allowing more time for innovation and technological advancements in lighting design. Over 400 manufacturers and 15,000 attendees are expected, enhancing the reach and impact of the event.
Shift from New York to Las Vegas
LightFair was initially slated to alternate between New York and Las Vegas until 2029. However, the evolving landscape of the industry and the success of other lighting events have necessitated a reevaluation.
Some of the factors that may have influenced the pivot to Las Vegas include:
The shift of LightFair to a biennial event led to the cancellation of certain dates, likely incurring some costs. This has led to a reorganization of the schedule, with Las Vegas now set to host the 2025 and potentially the LightFair 2029 edition.
The growth of LEDucation, now North America's largest annual lighting trade show that takes place in Midtown Manhattan each March, has diminished the appeal of hosting LightFair in New York shortly after.
The robust market in the Western U.S. presents a promising opportunity for LightFair 2025, drawing on the region's strong lighting markets.
Recent Vegas History:
LightFair was last held in Las Vegas in June 2022, an event marked by tentative exhibitors and attendees as business travel and trade shows continued to be affected by pandemic challenges.
During LightFair 2023 in New York City, a video mistakenly announcing LightFair 2025 to be held in Las Vegas was mistakenly published on the official LightFair YouTube channel, only to be retracted the next day by Executive Director Dan Darby, citing incorrect information and an accidental post by a third-party marketing agency.
LightFair is jointly owned by three organizations: ANDMORE (formerly International Market Centers), the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), and the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD). Prior to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, each of these entities benefited significantly from the event's revenues, with shares exceeding $3 million each.
However, the 2020 cancellation of LightFair, which was slated to be held in Las Vegas, presented substantial financial challenges. This unforeseen cancellation led to the IES incurring penalties amounting to $1.2 million — a financial burden that, we believe, was similarly absorbed by both the IALD and ANDMORE.
LightFair's Strategic Adaptation
LightFair's decision to move to Las Vegas and switch to a biennial format illustrates its responsiveness to market has positioned large scale lighting exhibitions. The move is seen as a strategic adaptation to maintain its position as North America's largest lighting event.
While New York is still tentatively scheduled for the Javits Convention Center in New York in 2027 and 2029, the success of the 2025 Las Vegas event may influence future decisions. The competition from LEDucation and the appeal of other Eastern time zone cities are factors that could lead to further venue shifts.
LightFair's move to Las Vegas for 2025, along with its strategic changes, underscore its commitment to evolving with the industry's needs. It remains an important industry event for lighting professionals, offering a unique blend of innovation, education and networking opportunities.