LIGHTFAIR organizers are planning some significant changes for the 2021 event, which is scheduled for October 25-29 at the Javits Center in New York City. Of course, organizers had some significant changes already planned for the 2020 event that was cancelled due to COVID-19.
“If you can imagine Churchill Downs, the horses are in the gates, they are stomping and ready for the gates to open, that’s the LIGHTFAIR staff,” Dan Darby, LIGHTFAIR Show Director, said on tED magazine’s “DistributED with tED magazine” podcast.”Right after the 2019 show, we started looking at what we can provide more ROI for our exhibitors and attendees. So we had some programs and plans teed up and ready for 2020 that we haven’t been able to show yet.”
Right now, the show is keeping an eye on how the country, New York State, and New York City are recovering from the pandemic, along with all of the restrictions and guidelines that go along with it. Darby mentioned on the podcast that every indicators points toward the country’s recovery by the October dates, and his staff is monitoring everything that it can. He reports that since April 10, there have been six safety guideline changes, and his staff is on top of each one as it happens.
“We announced what we call the “safer floor, safer show” program,” Darby added. “In general, masks are required for everyone, at this point. We are still looking to maintain social distancing. We created a food and beverage area in the back of the show floor. People can’t be having their food and beverage and keep their mask on and walk in the aisle at the same time.” He also said all attendees will have a mobile app that will require a health screening before they enter the show floor.
For the first time since 2015, LIGHTFAIR will return to New York City. Darby says it will be a completely new experience, because the city has done a number of projects in that part of Manhattan, including a new look for the Javits Center. “The beauty of the facility down to the expansion of the facility is just going to be state of the art. West Manhattan has changed significantly since the last time LIGHTFAIR was at the Javits Center,” Darby said.
New York was planning to host it’s NYCxDesign event while LIGHTFAIR was in town for the scheduled May event. When LIGHTFAIR moved to the October dates, NYCxDesign moved with it, and will be going on as LIGHTFAIR is happening.
Darby also said this year there will be 40 education sessions, which is fewer than normal years but the event is dealing with social distancing limitation. He also acknowledged that people from other countries or have immune deficiencies will not be able to attend, so it expanded its live streaming capabilities.
There is still plenty of time to register as an exhibitor or an attendee, and that can be done on the LIGHTFAIR website.
“We are bringing a higher quality show floor,” Darby said. “We eliminated 82 companies that we disallowed. That was in direct response to our exhibitors and our attendees and I think our market is going to be really pleased with what they see on the show floor.”
You can listen to the entire “DistributED with tED magazine” podcast with Dan Darby of LIGHTFAIR by clicking here.