February 26, 2024   

Messe Frankfurt Acquires Stake in LightFair

2024 Lightfair messe frankfurt acquisition andmore imc.jpg

Owners of Light + Building purchase one-third LightFair share from ANDMORE.  Vegas in 2025 and 2027 confirmed.


In a significant development within the lighting industry, effective Friday February 23, Messe Frankfurt has acquired a one-third share of LightFair, marking a notable change in the trade show's ownership structure. This acquisition sees ANDMORE, previously known as International Market Centers (IMC), exiting its stake in LightFair after a 5 ½ year tenure that included organizing just one pre-pandemic event in 2019 and facing challenges in re-establishing LightFair's preeminence in the 2021, 2022, and 2023 editions.


Quick Recap:

The ownership structure of LightFair has changed, with Messe Frankfurt taking over the 1/3 share from ANDMORE – formerly known as International Market Centers (IMC).

The other equal shares of LightFair remain with IES and IALD.

IES will continue to oversee the educational program at LightFair.

The 2025 LightFair event remains confirmed to be held in Las Vegas from May 4 to 8.

The 2027 LightFair event is also confirmed to be in Las Vegas.

The transition leaves the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) and the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) as the continuing stakeholders, each retaining their one-third share in LightFair. IES remains committed to managing the educational program integral to LightFair's offerings, ensuring continuity in the event's academic and professional development components.

Vegas in 2025 and 2027

The upcoming LightFair 2025 is scheduled for May 4-8 in Las Vegas, with LightFair 2027 also confirmed for the same location. Previously slated for New York City, these events aim to benefit from Messe Frankfurt's global expertise and extensive network, potentially elevating LightFair's status in North America.


IES Executive Director, Colleen Harper, adds context

The partnership has been met with enthusiasm within the IES. During our 12-minute Zoom meeting today, Executive Director Colleen Harper used the word “excited” at least six times during the meeting, highlighting the optimistic outlook among the event's organizers and participants.

We asked Harper if ANDMORE wanted out or if IES and IALD sought to make a change. She characterized the ownership change as a more collaborative development: 


"Once COVID hit, and things needed to be completely revamped, I think the three partners together knew that in order to really cement this as a must-attend event in the lighting industry in North America, there needed to be some expertise, some very unique expertise that none of the three of us had. And so I think it was just really great timing from that perspective, that the three of us kind of looked at each other and said, 'How can we make this better?' And very obviously, the best third partner for us and IALD was Messe Frankfurt."

Colleen Harper, Executive Director, Illuminating Engineering Society


ANDMORE exits after a 2018 investment that likely didn't pay off as expected

Since it acquired its one-third stake in 2018, ANDMORE organized one huge LightFair, which took place in 2019 in Philadelphia, drawing more than 25,000 lighting industry professionals. Subsequently, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the event's scale, resulting in a much smaller LightFair in 2021 that implemented mask mandates and vaccination requirements for attendees. The 2022 edition in Las Vegas saw a slight increase in size, yet it remained modest compared to previous years.

In 2023, LightFair experienced a notable first as major industry players Acuity Brands, Signify, and Current opted out of participating. Now the event sees a significant development with Messe Frankfurt acquiring one-third ownership and assuming operational responsibilities. Messe Frankfurt, known for organizing over 300 events globally, including over a dozen in the lighting sector, brings extensive experience to LightFair's future endeavors.

ANDMORE shared the following statement, "Consistent with the model of wholly owning and operating its tradeshows and market centers, ANDMORE has sold its interests in LightFair to Messe Frankfurt, effective February 23.  Messe Frankfurt, owner and operator of Light + Build, the industry’s premier international event, will continue to partner with IES and IALD, the industry’s leading trade associations, creating new opportunities for the LightFair brand and the event’s exhibitors and attendees. This was a deliberative decision by ANDMORE to redeploy capital to growing industries in our universe. The change also gives us the opportunity to fully focus on delivering value to customers in our core gift, home furnishings and apparel markets."


Other Messe Frankfurt lighting events include:
  • Light + Building, Frankfurt, Germany

  • Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition, Guangzhou, China

  • Light + Intelligent Building Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey

  • Light + Intelligent Building Middle East, Dubai

  • Light India, New Delhi

  • Prolight + Sound, Frankfurt

  • Prolight + Sound Guangzhou, Guangzhou

  • LED Expo Delhi, New Delhi, India


Messe Frankfurt's entry into LightFair's ownership is viewed as a strategic move to bolster the trade show's position and influence in the lighting industry. With the support and expertise of its new and existing partners, LightFair aims to enhance its appeal and value to attendees, reaffirming its place as a must-attend event for lighting professionals across North America.