Rise and Shine
April 14, 2009 - 12:00pm

The Thursday afternoon “Hot Dog Bar” says it all. Everybody who’s anybody in lighting needs to show up for the January Dallas Market, specifically on the third and fourth floors of the Trade Mart, where our beloved industry will receive a much-deserved and much-needed boost, care of the Dallas Market Center’s oft-discussed construction project—

not to mention all manner of delectable treats and libations.

 Not only can I not wait to finally walk the Trade Mart’s expanded halls after hearing, reading and writing about it nonstop throughout the past six months, but I can’t wait to be surrounded by all of the hustle, bustle and excite-ment sparked by the unveiling. It’s going to be, well, fun! Don’t you think?

 The DMC obviously plans to roll out the red carpet for us, but so do the lighting exhibitors, whether they’re part of the additional square footage or not. They have to do something special to stand out amidst the hullabaloo. And it’s not all about the free food and booze (although those do admittedly rank pretty high on the market merriment meter). I’ve got my fingers crossed for product innovation, fresh fashion trends—the kinds of things that titillate trade magazine editors.

 We’ve had some decent markets in recent years, but we’ve also had some absolute duds. I’m hopeful the anticipatory enthusiasm will carry straight through January’s event, jolting the entire industry with a potent shot of adrenaline. New design directions will not only give me shivers, I think they’ll tickle the spine of the entire industry. I’m banking on a snowball effect: Market ballyhoo encourages exhibitors to offer their best, inspiring buyers to bring home a hefty assortment of inventive inventory and merchandising ideas with which to tantalize their customers. As it gathers steam throughout the upcoming year, the cumulative effect may allow the industry to at last remove the word “cautiously” from its optimistic industry forecast.

 My fear, however, is that expectations are so high, there’s no way the market can meet them. Let’s make a promise to buck the cliché of a backlash and just bask in the glow—while enjoying the promised junk food and alcohol. How could we go wrong?



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