lightcongress returns this year on march at the grand hyatt, new York, but in a slightly different form. Established in 2003, the forum was initially created as a media precursor to the industry's main U.S. tradeshow, Lightfair, with the discussion mainly focused on lighting trends and products. Jeff Johnston, president and CEO of Greystone Partners, the media relations firm for the event, explains: 'LIGHTCongress was more promotions oriented than it is now, primarily built around exhibitors at Lightfair. The content of the panels was relevant information, but relevant to the tradeshow itself.' Since then, LIGHTCongress has evolved into a more content-driven event, this year offering four master panel discussions that, according to Johnston, 'are at a higher level as far as relevance to the industry, architects, designers, and the media.' While past discussion has tended to focus on 'obvious areas,' such as LEDs and sustainability, this year's panels will expand to other issues involving lighting. One new topic, light and health, is an issue that Johnston feels will 'draw a lot of interest from consumer media.'

The planning for this year's forum was overseen by an advisory board. Other new features include the availability of AIA continuing education credits for qualified participants and open attendance. Architectural Lighting is also supporting the program as a media sponsor. For more information, visit A|L