I just had the strangest — and most wonderful — dream. I was in Dallas for the winter market and it was, like, 75 degrees out. Yes, in January! I saw tons of buyers all over the Trade Mart, starting on Wednesday before the opening bell, and they were all smiling and ready to update their stores with the latest and greatest.
And that was where the dream got really good. It seemed like just about every exhibitor had updated their spaces, making significant investments in both presentation and product. I saw cutting-edge configurations of fixtures never seen before: side-lit LEDs in sculptural forms, Alexander Calder-like silhouettes illuminated from above, kinetic chandeliers that could easily expand and contract in size, and all sorts of “invisible” light sources courtesy of solid-state technology.
Showrooms incorporated color-changing LEDs to accentuate architectural elements, fabulous mannequins wearing materials derived from or inspired by fixture materials, elaborate full room settings that would make lighting instantly relatable to consumers, plus dangling typewriters … just because.
I saw tech-savvy sales reps — not an oxymoron — zipping about with their iPads, entering ample orders and conjuring up instant information about the products on view. And the parties were over the top, pulling out all of the stops to entertain attendees and accentuate the positive energy the permeated the entire event.
This is a dream from which I have no interest in waking up. And the good news is that I don’t have to. Because it all really happened — and then some! Retailers arrived at market determined and certainly left inspired. If even a fraction of that momentum carries over to stores’ own selling environments, our industry will be unstoppable this year. You’ll have everything you need to make your clients’ dreams come true.