I’ve never actually set foot in New York’s Javits Convention Center — I made an attempt in February for the winter edition of NY NOW but was thwarted by the weather and the biggest sporting event of the year (Super Bowl XLVIII). Lucky for me, looks like I’ll get another chance.
It was announced last week that the 26th annual Lightfair Intl., the mother of all architectural and commercial trade lighting shows and showcase for cutting-edge LED technology, will return to a newly renovated Javits in 2015. The show will run May 3-7, with Pre-Conference from May 3-4 and Trade Show and Conference from May 5-7.
Lightfair is staged annually in alternate East-Coast and West-Coast locations — the 2014 edition will be in Las Vegas June 1-5. The show hasn’t been held at Javits since 2009 due in part to the $465-million renovation and expansion project that wrapped up in 2013, and Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Convention Center was the East-Coast site during this time. The last edition in Philly — Lightfair 2013, my first — set new all-time attendance and trade show records with 26,026 registrants.
The 2015 show location was determined by a unanimous vote of Lightfair partners and a customer poll. Exhibitors and attendees will benefit from a significantly enhanced show environment at Javits with energy-efficient lighting, daylighting from a 240,000-square-foot glass curtain wall and a 6 3/4-acre green roof that tops the center.
Lightfair initially parted from its longstanding location pattern when it announced in late 2012 that the 2016 show will take place in a new West-Coast city — San Diego. This move changed up the staging in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center, which began in 1998, continued in 2001 and then recurred again in even years from 2004-2012.
The San Diego Convention Center’s size and scale, together with its proximity to extensive lodging and transportation resources, was a defining factor in the 2016 location decision. The city also emerged as the clear preference among Lightfair’s global customer population.
While I haven’t been around for many a Lightfair, my impression is this: The show, and what it brings to a host city, has grown so exponentially over the last decade that the pool of plausible locations has never been larger. It may be that we should all be prepared to follow Lightfair around the country in the future — at least it’s already set in stone that I’ll get my chance to tour Javits in 2015, though.