It’s that time of year again. Time to start making plans (if you haven’t already) for winter market buying. For most of us, the epicenter of that season lies squarely in Dallas. And this January, there are several show-centric events that may require your pre-registration in addition to making your travel plans .
The day before the start of the Dallas Intl. Lighting Market , retail expert Rick Segel  will be holding a full-day Bootcamp for Successful Retailers . The event will take place 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16, in the Seasons Gallery of the International Trade Plaza (that building on the other side of the World Trade Center). It promises to cover marketing, display, technology and sales strategies. (My personal favorite segment title: “Visual Merchandising for the Artistically Challenged and Financially Handicapped.”) Gold and Platinum packages are available that include sets of Segel’s books and consultation time, but a basic package is $99.
Once the lighting market kicks off, we will once again host our popular Showroom IdeaShare with ART – The Creative Home Furnishings Network . This is an opportunity for lighting retailers to discuss topics of importance to them in a safe environment and learn from one another. Showroom IdeaShare will take place at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17, in the ART office in WTC 166. ART membership  is not required to participate, but you do need to register in advance due to limited space. E-mail me  or ART Executive Director Sharon Davis  to reserve your spot.
I was excited to see so many lighting industry friends up for ARTS Awards  this year — not just in the lighting-focused categories where I expect to see them, but designers and sales representatives as well. And lighting retailers own the International Retailer category this year — we can’t lose!
HGTV host John Gidding will host this year’s ARTS Awards, and as if that weren’t enough eye candy, Swarovski is sponsoring once again, promising another spectacular, sparkling stage setup. Get your tickets here  for the black-tie ARTS Awards gala on Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Hilton Anatole’s Khmer Ballroom, with cocktails starting at 6:30 p.m. Single tickets are $150 ($125 for ART members), while tables of 10 are $1,500 ($1,125 for ART members).
Whatever partners make it onto your dance card this Dallas Market, I hope to see you there!