The Dallas Market Center’s official post-show release from the June Total Home & Gift Market validated what many exhibitors had indicated anecdotally during the event: While the lighting segment did experience a dip in attendance, the market overall exceeded expectations, drawing buyers from all 50 states and 45 countries. And market hospitality like the Thursday night Enlighten party (pictured) kept everyone invigorated.
“We were pleased with the steady market traffic and positive energy,” says Bill Winsor, Dallas Market Center President and CEO. “This June’s market experienced a slight decrease in attendance due to the current economy, but lighting companies are strong and savvy enough to navigate through this downturn.”
About 20 percent of Total Home & Gift buyers where first-time attendees — no doubt drawn in part by the lowest hotel rates in five years, negotiated for the show. The registration of 55 major buying groups helped buoy traffic, and Dallas Market Center welcomed 70 new exhibitors.
Things may have seemed sleepier on the lighting floors, with some prominent spaces even dark for this market. But 92 percent of the lighting-focused area remained leased. And Dallas Market Center officials are quick to point out that their venue is still home to more than 10 times the number of lighting resources when compared to other markets.
“The Dallas Lighting Market continues to offer the largest concentration of permanent lighting fixture companies in the world,” Winsor says.
Lighting showroom buyers who did make the trip were treated to a Dallas Market Center-sponsored seminar from Texas Christian University educator Laura Prestwood, in addition to the always-valuable slate of ALA-hosted seminars led by Norm Brown, CLC, of Norburn Lighting & Bath. A lighting-focused Enlighten party followed the DMC seminar, transforming the Trade Mart fourth floor expansion area into the “Lumen Lounge” with heavy hors d’oeuvres, drinks and a DJ.
“We will continue to do everything we can to support the lighting industry and look forward to the partnership for decades,” says Winsor.