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LIGHTFAIR 2018 Do’s and Don’ts

LIGHTFAIR 2018 Do’s and Don’ts

lightED catches up with a couple of experienced expo attendees to get their take on what distributors should expect at this year’s show.


It’s the expos of all expos when it comes to the world of lighting. Distributors, manufacturers, and designers from all over the world meet once a year to check out the latest and the greatest. That show is LIGHTFAIR International 2018, taking place May 8-10 in Chicago.

We recently caught up with a couple of experienced expo attendees to get their take on what distributors should expect at this year’s show.

When asked what he looks for when he attends expos of this magnitude, Cory Schneider, CEO of Lighting Unlimited, says, “I expect to see consistency with my contacts. I want to meet the CEO.” Based out of Arizona, Lighting Unlimited is now one of the largest lighting distributors in the Southwest.

Spencer Miles, General Manager and Vice President of Pacific Lamp and Supply Company, agrees. As one of the oldest and largest distributors in the Pacific Northwest, they want to see the latest and greatest. They also want to talk to someone and not be expected to seek out representatives.

“I don’t want to meet with marketing people,” Miles says. “I want to meet with salespeople. I’m a sales guy. I want to meet with the people who want to do business.”

In addition to meeting with the right people, customer service is key for both Schneider and Miles. They want the salesperson to take the time necessary to have a valuable meeting. Miles says he can spend an average of an hour at one booth alone. If you want his business, be ready to spend some time with him.

Both distributors have a game plan before they even set foot in the door. They know exactly who will be there and whom they want to meet.

That doesn’t count out the new guy, though. Schneider says he will still take the time to go up and down each aisle to check everything out. One bit of advice for the booth holders: save your money on the free stuff. “I honestly don’t want it,” he says. “It takes up too much space in my suitcase.”

Miles, on the other hand, does like one handout – the brochures. It gives him something to go back and ponder once the expo is over. However, both gentlemen say they pretty much have their minds made up before they even walk in the door.

All things considered, Schneider says there is one exhibit that can sway his decisions, though: the LFI Innovations awards. He makes a point to check them out on the first day of the expo. “I need to see what is up and coming and who is behind it,” says Schneider.

Distributors, like so many others, are at LIGHTFAIR for one thing – knowledge of what’s new in the industry. “I go to a lot of expos throughout the year,” Miles said, “LIGHTFAIR is the road map of the lighting world.”

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Diane Duenez

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