Texas is famous for many things – not least of which is its size. Texas is big. It is twice the size of Germany, and if it were a country (which, of course, it once was) its GDP would rank 13th in the world.
Austin is the capital of the Lone Star State, and Houston is its largest city. Dallas is perhaps Texas’best-known city, because US President John F Kennedy was assassinated there, as he made his way to make a speech at the Dallas Market Center.
Fifty-five years after that tragic event, the 46-hectare Dallas Market Center (DMC) is now famous for its exhibitions and trade shows, which attract around 375,000 visitors annually. This number is startling given that the DMC is not open to the public, but only to exhibitors and buyers.
The DMC comprises four buildings: the World Trade Center, Trade Mart, International Trade Plaza and Market Hall. Together they house nearly 2,300 permanent showrooms with more than 35,000 product lines from manufacturers around the world.
Each January and June, lighting buyers (including us) head to the four-storey Trade Mart building for the Dallas International Lighting Show, known these days as Lightovation.
Although traditionalists might still regard Italy as the home of lighting design, this Texas trade event is a massive drawcard for buyers. The sheer size of the show and the range of choices in terms of style, materials and price-points mean that Lightovation is not to be missed.
Every six months the lighting landscape expands, as new exhibitors present their latest ranges and tempt buyers with innovative styles.
The June event attracted its largest (northern) summer attendance in six years and saw a 22% year-on-year increase in attendance. It also featured the opening of the 550 sq.m. #SMARTCenter – a new event and programming space. It will provide Lightovation attendees with even more opportunities for networking, collaboration and learning.
Custom Lighting has attended Lightovation regularly for many years, and we look forward to catching up with long-time suppliers and discovering new and exciting products.
It’s easy for us to spot first time attendees. They look a little bewildered at first, wondering where to go and what to see first. The exhibition packs a lot into a few short days and can be quite overwhelming – even for the most seasoned buyers. Thankfully, we know our way around now, and can always find something new, different and surprising.
Texas is famous for its entertaining too. After the first day of Lightovation earlier this year, we attended the Moroccan-themed ‘Lighting After Dark’ party. So did hundreds of other buyers and exhibitors, attracted by the opulent setting, the complimentary cocktails and the delightful food.
The evening was a great networking opportunity, and we picked up a number of valuable tips ahead of our second day looking for new and exciting lighting products.
Custom Lighting will again be well represented at Lightovation when the next event is held in Dallas in mid-January 2019.
Many of the designs we sourced in Dallas in June are now in our Custom Lighting showroom in Armadale. We’d love to show them to you and hear your views on how they will complement your home and garden decor.