LightFair officials estimate that 10,000 people attended the first day of the event in Las Vegas on Tuesday. By the looks of things, that’s probably accurate.
Most of those 10,000 people were slow-walking the event. Many of them wanted to get a good look at what was inside every exhibitor’s booth, commenting to the people with them, and taking in the surroundings. If you were on one side of the convention center and needed to get to the other side in a hurry, you were probably going to run into a traffic jam.
Also, most exhibitors seemed to have longer conversations with attendees. 5-minute meetings from past LightFair events were now more like 20-30 minute meetings, and there was a lot of movement around the exhibitors’ booths to see a wide variety of products.
RAB Leaves The Lights At Home
In a giant convention center filled with 327 exhibitors and hundreds of thousands (if not a million) lights, one booth has a grand total of zero light or lighting products. Instead, there are four giant cubes of melting ice for people to watch.
RAB lighting is showing attendees its commitment to sustainability in its products by using only the ice cubes with an embedded QR code. The code takes you to a video explaining RAB’s sustainability initiative, with the video including the words, “The choices we make matter” and “Tread lightly before it’s too late”. RAB employees stood near the melting ice to explain RAB’s commitment to sustainability. Ross Barna, Chief Executive Officer of RAB Lighting, told tED magazine the booth is not only to explain RAB’s commitment. It is also asking attendees to consider the fragile nature of our environment and, “make choices, today, that will reduce their environmental impact.”
“RAB’s commitment to sustainability goes well beyond the energy efficiency of our products,” Barna added. “We are designing and redesigning our products to reduce our environmental impact by making them lighter, smaller, reducing and eliminating coatings, and using recycled, waste, and other low-impact materials. RAB’s sustainability commitment separates us from our competitors—as solving the technical challenges we tackle is an immense undertaking that few, if any, are equipped to pursue. It’s our hope that not only will our work significantly reduce our environmental impact but also help support the sustainability initiatives of our customer base.”
Behind the booth, RAB did have two meeting areas where it met with partners.
At LEDVANCE, Everything Is New
Charlie Harte, Vice-President Marketing and Customer Experience, explained to tED magazine that this year’s event is much more bright than last October’s LightFair in New York City, which is the reason why there is so much more of the color orange at the LEDVANCE booth.
As opposed to 8 months ago, LEDVANCE has 40 people working the booth, and their appointments are almost entirely back-to-back as people constantly are filtering through the space to talk with LEDVANCE representatives.
Visitors are seeing all new products, especially controls. LEDVANCE has an entire section of its booth dedicated to new controls, along with three other sections of products that were recently introduced. Harte says even the packaging for the products is new for LightFair.
Harte says the LEDVANCE goal is to grow by 3-4 times where it is right now, and being at LightFair is a strong kickoff to reaching that goal.
Keystone Keeps “The Pedal To The Metal”
“We’re in a crowded space so you have to do something to stand out.”
Keystone’s Chief Executive Officer Ira Greenberg described the company’s all-out approach, which included more than 40 employees and hundreds of products inside its exhibit booth. A never-ending large crowd inside the booth started when the trade show floor opened at 10 am, and the booth was still extremely full after 4 pm. Keystone told tED magazine a part of the reason for the success is the non-stop effort to be in front of as many people as possible. That includes the Keystone Live video program based at the company’s Philadelphia headquarters, the Keystone Live Tour that sent four mobile showrooms around the country over the past two years to display products, and even the “Takeover” issue of tED magazine’s digital-only June issue.
We want to push and come up with new ways to reach customers,” Greenberg said. “It’s also a tough labor market, and being aggressive with our marketing and branding has helped us find the right people to fill our positions.
“We are thinking differently. It’s finding those touch points that are unexpected and in some cases surprising. It may be difficult to achieve, but we want to prove that we can do it,” Greenberg added.
Greenberg is happy with how his booth at LightFair turned out, but says the real success of exhibiting at a trade show is not by the number of orders you write, but, “It’s the energy. It’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it. It’s the power in presenting it.”
Keystone believes a big part of its success over the past two years comes from increasing marketing and messaging from the very beginning of the pandemic. “People slowed down, but Keystone’s perspective remained that the market is growing, and we should keep progressing,” Nick Baranowski, Keystone’s Marketing Director told tED magazine. “We went really big. We kept the pedal to the metal the whole time. We never throttled back.”
Greenberg added that the Keystone messaging and effort are both far from over. “It’s not just product innovation, it’s marketing and processing. It’s just another area of our company. We pull that thread a little further and go a little deeper. We don’t settle. Any time our name and logo are on something, a display, shirt, a pen, it has to be based on quality.”
Baranowski added that while the pedal remains firmly pressed down, there’s still another gear and Keystone plans to keep moving forward.
GE Current, A Daintree Company Officially Becomes “Current”
You probably have heard of GE Current, a Daintree Company. You can forget that. At LightFair, the company that a lot of people just called “Current” officially became “Current”.
With a simple, crisp, clear black and white logo that has a computer chip next to it, Current describes the brand change as “our inflection point of what we’ve been and what we will become.” The release adds Current is focusing on “Flow”, which will create the best customer experience through two-way dialogue, trusted partnerships, and aligned thinking.
Jim Benson, Vice-President of Enterprise Marketing and Communications, said Current has more than 50 employees working at their LightFair booth this year, and can’t even count the number of products on display. It’s a far cry, and an incredible set of circumstances, for Current since LightFair was last held in New York last October.
“This has been an incredible moment in our company’s history with the new brand, and we wanted to show it off,” Benson told tED magazine.
Current describes the brand change as a “boldness to embrace change and take risks to develop solutions that fulfill and exceed a customer’s business objectives”, and it has been living within that statement for the past 8 months. At LightFair last October, the former GE Current had a 10 by 10 booth. This year’s booth is much larger. Add in the acquisition of Hubbell Lighting, and it’s been an interesting stretch of time.
“In a very short period of time, we had LightFair in October, then we acquired Hubbell Lighting in January, created a new leadership team in February, and now a new brand at LightFair in June,” Benson said. He added that people working in the Current booth in Las Vegas were working for Hubbell Lighting during last year’s LightFair.