There’s an incredibly important show this month — so major that it lasts six days. Oh, yes — you know exactly which one I’m talking about. Or do you? Because there are no fewer than three such shows in an unprecedented trade schedule pileup all happening right about now. I’m certain that at least one of them is already on your radar, if not your agenda.
Light +Building in Frankfurt, Germany, runs April 15-20 and is probably the most anticipated global lighting event in terms of technology next to Lightfair Intl. Encompassing all electrical aspects of building design with an emphasis on energy efficiency, the show draws more than 180,000 attendees to the massive Messe Frankfurt complex every other year. And while its broader focus results in a greater relevance for commercial architecture, we all know how rapidly new advances now move from the contract to residential sectors, so I know a number of showrooms attending Light + Building for their “first look” at the future. Plus there are a number of halls devoted to decorative lighting, creating a Euroluce-caliber high-design experience.
Even without Euroluce held in tandem (it’s held every other year), Milan’s annual Salone Internazionale del Mobile remains a significant force for home furnishings. Held April 17-22 this year, the event has continued to bring in at least 270,000 trade visitors over the past five years, plus some 30,000 consumers who show up for a single open-to-the-public day. Disciples who worship at the altar of amazing furniture design make their pilgrimage here to be among the cutting-edge styles and their creators before anyone else.
Back on our shores, the High Point Market Week in North Carolina ranks right up there among these world-class trade events. In fact, the semi-annual show is in a league of its own in terms of size — 10 million square feet of showrooms encompassing more than 2,000 exhibitors of furniture, accessories and decorative lighting who will be showing April 21-26. It may not have the modern slant of Milan, but it’s the best barometer of incoming décor trends since it includes all of the major furniture lines at every price point, right alongside the accents than enhance them.
High Point Market bills itself as “the next six days that matter.” Whether that’s true for you depends on what matters most to your business, be it solid-state lighting’s latest progress or the most compelling colors to incorporate into your next vignette. I would argue that it all matters to our industry. Safe travels, wherever they take you.