In late 2009, my team discussed with our friends at the Dallas Market Center  (DMC) how we might jointly be able to show some love to lighting stores who were still taking quite a business beating at that time. After all, that segment represented the epicenter of both of our respective universes, as well as for the advertisers and exhibitors that directly support us.
That collaboration became the Showroom of the Year Awards , first presented at the June 2010  Dallas Market and now a must-attend event each summer show. Our organizations proudly recognize six deserving retailers with awards every year, while also honoring several others as exceptional finalists. Our initial call for entries was “an invitation to make history” during our debut presentation. Now I’m hoping you’ll help make more history by submitting your entries  and nominations  for our first modest milestone: our fifth annual Showroom of the Year Awards.
Just as before, any lighting retailer with a brick-and-mortar location can enter  the awards. And anyone in the industry can entries  and nominate  a store — you’ll find both forms at www.SOTYAwards.com . What everyone will appreciate this year is that we have pared down and simplified the process, particularly for nominations. While questions still encompass a 360-degree view — the better for judges to “see” you with, my dear — there are fewer of them and they are more focused.
We’ll feature  the finalists in our April 2014 issue, and I’ll have the pleasure of announcing the winners with our DMC partners during the June 2014 Dallas Market. Whether you get to take home a top prize, bask in the glory of finalist accolades or simply use this occasion to acknowledge and celebrate what you and your staff have accomplished, I salute you in advance and hope to see your well-deserving hat in the ring.