ann kale, principal | ann kale associates
With the exception of the workshops, my experience is that Lightfair has gotten weaker over the years. I empathize with the manufacturers' struggle to make the significant annual investment without seeing the benefits of a well-attended fair. More importantly, if a compromise is not struck, Lightfair will fall to the rising attraction of the smaller regional fairs happening in New York and Los Angeles.
glenn heinmiller, associate | lam partners
As a lighting designer, there are four events that are relevant to my practice: Lightfair, Light+Building, and the IALD and IES conferences. It is not practical for most of us to attend them all every year. Lightfair, at least the trade show portion, should be ever other year. The educational portion of Lightfair is important, but there is a scarcity of programs for the experienced designer. Lightfair is trying hard to be everything to everyone and I think it ends up being not enough for anyone. I'd like to see a show specifically for lighting designers, perhaps an expanded IALD conference. It would be smaller than Lightfair, but exhibitors would have a high-quality, 100 percent specifier audience.
jack mashel, vp, marketing and sales | starfire lighting
Lightfair used to be about what lighting designers do and about what lighting manufacturers do. It had fewer educational seminars, but more specific ones. Virtually all of the leading manufacturers exhibited. Attendees and speakers included architects and lighting designers with national and international reputations. Now, Lightfair is less about designers and manufacturers and more about the show maximizing annual revenue. There are so many seminars the show floor is often left to manufacturers' sales agents, more than specifiers. Lighting technology also does not significantly advance from year to year.
brian stacy, senior lighting designer | arup lighting
In recent years, the lighting community has seen small trade shows or conferences emerge in addition to the major ones. For me, this means the same information and products are repeatedly displayed. Instead, I look at how the European market functions. The whole procurement process is different, and the show structure plays a part in this. Light+Building is every two years with small events in between. I can think of four major conferences/shows a year for the U.S. market, not including regional events. The number of displaying manufacturers is reducing, and it is difficult to keep the seminars fresh. More coordination between the major events could possibly resolve this repetitiveness. Certain topics do not require yearly updates.