Before joining Residential Lighting 20 years ago, I interned at the Waco Tribune-Herald in Waco, TX. There wasn’t much to do in Waco — I quickly exhausted The Circle, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Dr Pepper Museum — so I would either escape north to Dallas to visit my parents or tag along with the rest of the young editorial team south to Austin. The resulting memories have always left a soft spot in my heart for the Live Music Capital of the World.
So I was thrilled to hear that this year’s American Lighting Assn. (ALA) Conference, Sept. 22-24, would be held just outside Austin at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa. I just received the Conference brochure in the mail, providing even more information than we were able to include in our special ALA Conference Preview in our May issue.
Keynote speakers for this year’s event are “all-star” favorites from past conferences. The Schallert Group’s Jon Schallert, who provided terrific tips for making your store a destination, returns with a timely topic: “Business Reinvention: The New Normal for Every Business.” And communications expert Shari Harley of Candid Culture will present “Sell More, Grow Your Client Base and Make More Money” — that got my attention!
Even speakers that are new to ALA Conference are already tried-and-true in my book, like Crystal Vilkaitis of Crystal Media, a favorite from ART Conference and the Dallas Market’s Tech-Know Spot, who will explain “Proven Retailer Success Using Social Media: How They Did It and How You Can, Too.”
I’m also proud that Residential Lighting will once again present our Industry Leadership Award during Conference. Our readers will determine the winner, so if you haven’t already voted, you can review our five nominees and do so here.
Of course, much of the value of this event is about the ample networking opportunities in and out of the formal sessions. And I’m equally looking forward to sharing some Shiner Bocks with my industry friends on Sixth Street during the free evening on Monday, Sept. 23. While this year’s program is certainly powerful and pertinent, I’m also hoping the location will inspire us to Keep ALA Weird.