Is it just me or does it seem like June gets earlier and earlier every year? Manufacturers pulling together new product portfolios for the summer Dallas Market  surely feel that way. The question is: Will this edition bring enough buyers to justify their efforts?
Spring show momentum has been strong, with significant attendance increases  for Lightfair  and steady growth for High Point  — plus continued positive news  from the home building front. The Dallas Market Center  (DMC) is certainly putting their best foot forward to ensure that those who do attend are rewarded with exceptional programming — proudly, some of it is even being put on in partnership with us.
At an opening night cocktail party in Trade Mart Loft 4, we will present the fourth annual Showroom of the Year Awards  with DMC. One Showroom of the Year winner will be announced in each of three dollar-volume categories (Under $2 Million , Under $5 Million  and $5 Million and Over ). Finalists at all revenue levels are also eligible for specialty awards in merchandising display, community involvement and a new award partially chosen by readers for social media efforts. The event will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 20, and is open to all market attendees and exhibitors with no tickets or reservations required.
Another repeat performance for us this market is our semi-annual Showroom IdeaShare, which we host with ART – The Creative Home Furnishings Network . This popular roundtable brings lighting retailers together to discuss common issues and share solutions. This is happening on Friday, June 21, at 3 p.m. in WTC 166. You don’t have to be an ART member  to participate, but you do have to reserve a seat since space is limited. E-mail me  or ART Executive Director Sharon Davis .
Something brand new this market for us is that one of our own will present a session in DMC’s Tech-Know Spot , a dynamic educational forum on the third floor of the Trade Mart that covers a range of technology-related topics. Joel Hughes , our Vice President of eMedia and IT, will explain “Google’s Changing Landscape” at 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 20. Trust me — this guy is the E.F. Hutton  of Google expertise.
There’s so much more going on in Dallas, including a Total Home + Gift keynote with Bill Rancic  at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 22. (Watch for our Q&A with him in our June issue.) And if you haven’t already heard about Brick & Mortar Lighting , we expect that to gain momentum at market as well. This movement seeks to call attention to vendors who have a "buy online" option for consumers on their websites by allowing those who don’t to display a special decal in their showrooms. As long as these designations are accurate (and the movement’s website  asks for feedback to ensure its running list  of “approved” manufacturers is correct), I think it’s fine to recognize certain companies to show that you appreciate the way they do business (or don’t). I’ll be curious to see what our IdeaShare group has to say about this. Hope to see you at all of the above!