Unless you’re a Mayan, I guess, 2012 is shaping up rather nicely. It’s certainly off to a good start if you’re Bill Winsor, President and CEO of the Dallas Market Center , who issued a statement last month in the middle of the strongest lighting event that venue has seen in years. “Day three of market continued a boost in attendance over last year’s double-digit increase,” he wrote. “Plus, a record number of temporary lines, new and expanded showrooms throughout campus, standing-room-only seminars, and busy registration lines all point to a successful January Market in Dallas.”
It was the kind of good news — so long in coming and so very welcome — that just couldn’t wait for a post-show press release to share. No spin required. And enough bodies bore witness that it was inherently validated by all in attendance. I’m sure everyone would agree: That Dallas Market rocked!
So now what?
Well, first of all, I hope you conveyed a portion of the excitement from that show to staff back at the ranch. I’m sure you saw product that knocked your boots off, and you absorbed a lifetime’s worth of merchandising magic brought to life by exhibitors. Not everything might have been practical to purchase or put into practice in your own store, but there was certainly enough inspiration to remind us of our industry’s creative potential. And there could be modified versions that would work in any environment. For example, few stores have the space or budget to replicate Hinkley Lighting’s  full room settings, but perhaps a single wall could be decorated to represent a room, with a few well-chosen accessories and a single piece of furniture as a “serving suggestion” for a fixture. Even the company’s “less is more” approach should hit home and encourage those last showroom holdouts to eschew the intimidating “sea of chandeliers” still sadly associated with our segment among consumers.
As with the annual American Lighting Assn.  (ALA) Annual Conference , what really makes a difference is what happens when participants return afterwards, brimming with new ideas and pumped up with the kind of adrenaline that enables you to actually implement them. We all want to hold on to the good feelings we experienced at the winter market, and nothing will feel as good as the sell-through that makes it possible for us to start the cycle all over again.
As you play back your January 2012 Dallas Market highlight reel in your head, think about the aspects that “wowed” you most and how those might translate into something you could execute for your own customers. Let’s radiate this positive energy throughout 2012 — and beyond.