If you are heading to the Las Vegas Market next week, I want to call your attention to several events happening at the show. You are probably well aware by now that former President Bill Clinton will be giving the keynote address. His speech, generously underwritten by Serta, has moved from Monday, Aug. 1, to Tuesday at 6:45 p.m. in the World Pavilions — also known as “the tents,” but don’t worry; I’m sure Clinton’s Secret Service team will demand ample air conditioning. Clinton’s reputation as an engaging speaker is superlative and his focus on globalization is a timely one for the home furnishings industry, so no matter how his politics sit with you, you have to admit he’s a great “get.”
Lest you think there’s no excitement now on day one of the show, it actually kicks off with a compelling presentation called “First Look” at 9 a.m. on the 16th floor of Building B. Monica Pedersen of HGTV and Julie Smith Vincenti give their take on the most important trends to watch for at the market. If you can’t make it to the seminar (or even to the show), there’s a cool companion piece that can be viewed online, too.
Looking to localize the trend landscape specifically for lighting? We’re partnering with the World Market Center Las Vegas (and sponsor Ellington) to bring renowned trend forecaster Michelle Lamb for “Lamb on Light: Home Furnishings Trends Through a Category Lens” at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 3, on the 16th floor of Building B. Lamb will put broader home furnishings trends in the context of how they apply — or could apply — to lighting.
Gift for Life will host its first Las Vegas event, moved from Tuesday to Monday night to accommodate a certain world leader. The Up on the Roof party runs 6-8 p.m. on the Skyview Terrace, 16th floor of Building B. $20 tickets benefit DIFFA.
Another worthy cause that week I must mention, even though it’s two time zones away from Las Vegas, is the annual Goombay Bash to raise money for cancer research. Chicago-area Hortons Home Lighting will once again bring its casual Caribbean celebration to Navy Pier on Saturday, Aug. 6. Tickets are $150, and donations are also accepted for anyone unable to attend. Lighting folks are largely responsible for its success — more than $600,000 was raised in 2010 alone — so here’s hoping we continue to step up.