Lightfair Intl.  (LFI), the world’s largest annual architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference, has changed dates and venues for 2011 due to the renovation of New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center , LFI’s traditional East Coast site.
The May 17-19, 2011, LFI trade show and conference will be staged in nearby Philadelphia at the recently renovated and expanded Pennsylvania Convention Center . The move gives exhibitors and attendees the convenience of a continuing East Coast venue, according to show officials.
The show had originally been scheduled for early April in an attempt to work around the New York venue’s renovation plans, but has now been pushed back to its traditional mid-May timeframe. The Lightfair Daylighting Institute will take place May 15-16.
LFI rotates each year between New York City and Las Vegas, being held at the Las Vegas Convention Center May 12-14 this year. The refurbished Pennsylvania Convention Center boasts more than 1 million square feet of exhibit hall facilities, creating the largest continuous exhibit space in the Northeast. The unified space with brand-new offerings provide a fresh environment to enhance the event experience, states LFI in a press release.
The convention center is located in the heart of the city, just eight blocks away from showroom Arch Street Lighting . President Michael Kurland, who has never attended the New York event before, said he might be attending for the first time. “Because it's in Philadelphia, I would attend,” he says.
Large lighting manufacturer Westinghouse Lighting Corp.  is pleased with the temporary relocation of the event to its headquarters. "We're thrilled that Lightfair has chosen our hometown of Philadelphia to host the 2011 trade show. With many lighting industry leaders based on the East Coast, Philly is a centralized location and has excellent resources to provide the support and hospitality which all Lightfair attendees need," says Ray Angelo, President and CEO, Westinghouse Lighting.
The decision to hold the show in Philadelphia was based on exhibitors' and attendees' preferences, and its proximity to original venue. Show organizers also wanted to keep up its tradition of taking place in a unified space, says Tara King, Senior Manager of Media Relations for LFI. “Because Lightfair is so large, we like to keep it within one floor and not broken up. We like to keep it in a cohesive and centralized location,” she says. “Philadelphia was a prime location in addition to its proximity to New York.”
In 2009, the New York event drew a record 23,000 registered attendees for the show's 20th anniversary.
William Hanley, Executive Vice President of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) , says he is pleased with the solution. “Philadelphia, much like New York, will enable LFI to present a dynamic trade show floor and conference in a unique environment to enhance the attendee and exhibitor experience and strengthen the conference programming. It is an ideal solution for LFI’s East Coast show during the Javits renovation,” he says.
The event’s reputation will draw attendees regardless of the location, says Marsha Turner, Executive Vice President of the International Assn. of Lighting Designers (IALD) . “LFI is a world-leading trade show and conference and will continue to attract both attendees and exhibitors from around the globe no matter where the location is,” Turner says. “We are looking forward to Philadelphia being the 2011 platform for another successful East Coast Show and conference.”
Meanwhile, the much-anticipated renovation and expansion of the Javits Center, occurring simultaneously with LFI 2011, will help invigorate the show when it returns to that location in 2013. “Our New York respite will make a future return all the more appealing with the promise of a stunning new Javits environment well positioned to serve LFI’s growing franchise,” says Jeffrey L. Portman, President and Chief Operating Officer of LFI's managing company, AMC Inc.