The highly-anticipated 2021 edition of LightFair returned with overwhelmingly positive feedback about in-person connections, product discovery, and networking presented against the backdrop of a refined Trade Show and robust Conference offerings—more than 230 established and emerging brands alongside new exhibit floor programming, and 35-plus educational sessions presented in multiple formats—at New York’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, October 25-29.
“Holding LightFair 2021 reengaged and reunited the lighting industry,” said Dan Darby, show director. “Despite many challenges of the last eighteen months, this year’s trade show and conference proved to be imperative and beneficial for the lighting community’you can’t beat the power of human connection.”
Over five days, LightFair drew in attendance from forty-eight states and sixty-five countries.
This year’s event also attracted a high concentration of specifiers and designers from the New York design community, one of the most booming lighting design communities in the world.
In-person connection was key at LightFair this year, with a majority of exhibitors reporting quality networking and connections coming from the trade show.
“Attendees spent more time in our booth this year than they ever have in years past,” said Jeanne Stark, VP Marketing, Intermatic. “We are incredibly pleased with our decision to show at LightFair this year, and we can’t wait to show in 2022.”
Lisa Reed, founding principal, Envision Lighting Design, added, “I love Lightfair! It was just so good to be here in person again and it was great to see all the new attendees. It’s been really great to be here and see and touch and feel the lighting products.”
The 2021 edition of LightFair drove energy and excitement throughout its reinvented trade show through the addition of new educational events, coordination of pavilion tours and introduction of the Designery, a new exhibit hall destination offering twelve CEU-accredited seminars.
The addition of education on the trade show floor allowed attendees to learn about product design and immediately discover related products in the exhibit hall.
“There is no LightFair that I have gone to that I haven’t learned a lot. It’s a place to see what’s happening in the marketplace,” said Chris Davis, outside sales manager at The Lighting Agency in Denver, Colorado. “From a design structure standpoint, we saw trends, we saw colors and everything else. You don’t get that moment of surprise – that ‘wow’ when looking at a magazine or online.”
Dane Sanders, president of Clanton & Associates in Boulder, Colorado added, “LightFair is how we make connections throughout the industry, so it was especially important that it was in person. LightFair really opens your mind to everything that’s going on. Being able to learn from other experts by attending seminars as well as seeing what products and technology are available really helps to keep your career going in the right path.”
Partnerships with hallmark design communities, such as NYCxDesign, as well as New York design schools, including the New York School of Interior Design, also flourished this year, opening the door for enhanced design collaborations at LightFair for years to come.
“It was so important to be in and amongst the energy, talking about design and lighting and the intersection of the two,” said Elissa Black, executive director of NYCxDESIGN. “To be able to wander those fabulous aisles and see all of the different uses and creativity behind the design of lighting right across the spectrum has been wonderful.”
LightFair’s lighting industry association owners, International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) reported industry-wide success at the 2021 edition.
“Being back at LightFair in 2021 feels like coming back home,” said Ashley Robbins, interim CEO of IALD. “It’s been great for our community to reconnect, share hugs and really have that in-person interaction. We are really grateful for this opportunity.”
“It’s been a crazy year. Most of us in the industry are not introverts but we’ve had to practice being introverts for the last 20 months, so we were gangbusters excited to be here,” said Megan Carroll, president of the IES New York City section and specification sales manager for Illuminations, Inc. “Even though it was a refined show, it was simple, it was artful, and it was important that we were here.”
New product discovery was a focal point on the exhibit floor, according to Gillinder Glass who presented its brand in the New Exhibitor Pavilion.
“This is the biggest lighting industry event,” said Christina Jansure, vice president of sales for Gillinder Glass. “This is our first time exhibiting. We found it very important to have a presence here for our customers to see us and let them know the new technology we’re bringing into the category.”
Along with new product discovery came updated and fresh lighting education at the LightFair Conference. A number of the 35-plus conference sessions, with a collective 82.5 CEU credits, were sold out and at or near capacity.
“Conference programming addressing new and updated technology in the lighting industry allowed many 2021 participants to further their education and better their business practices,” said LightFair’s Darby. “Our conference attendees brought energy and excitement to the seminar rooms, eager to learn more about the future of lighting.”
Those unable to attend this year’s successful LightFair Conference will have a second chance to learn from twenty-seven recorded, on-demand conference sessions ranging across the six tracks—Application & Evidence-Based Design; Art + Inspiration; Design Tools + Techniques; Experiencing Light; Professional Development + Practice; and Technology—with either ninety-minute sessions or sixty-minute sessions.
More information about the LightFair virtual conference, planned for December 7-8, will be available soon.
The 2022 edition of LightFair will be held in the new West Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center, with the conference running Sunday, June 19 through Thursday, June 23 and trade show running Tuesday, June 20 to Thursday, June 23.
The 2022 event will focus on future-shaping innovations and an incredible attendee experience driven by discovering what’s new, developing connections and furthering knowledge.