LEDs Magazine News & Insights 28 Apr 2021 – Editor’s Column

April 28, 2021

Welcome to the LEDs Magazine News & Insights newsletter for Apr. 28, 2021. I’ll warn you right up front that this newsletter is about events and quite a lot of it is focused on events from our own company and our LED & solid-state lighting (SSL) brands. Some may seem to be bad news while other elements are unquestionably good news. What it all represents is reality in the face of a pandemic and ongoing challenging business conditions.

I will start with the news from our side. We had hoped and believed that we would be able to hold Strategies in Light as a live event in August. We had considered contingencies such as a hybrid live and virtual event. But California appeared to be on a path that would enable in-person conventions in August. Alas, we learned this week that the Santa Clara Convention Center would not be able to host live attendees for our event. So we are rapidly pivoting to a virtual Strategies in Light held Aug. 24–25.

We are still trying to define how the Strategies in Light change will impact our LEDs Magazine Sapphire Awards. Those awards will likely have to be announced online as well. We had been fortunate to enjoy a great run of gala venues in past Sapphire years. But the program is really about recognizing the innovation in our industry more than the party.

Meanwhile, our business unit within Endeavor Business Media did announce a new in-person event for 2022 called LightSPEC West. The event is a reincarnation of the popular LightShow West events and is scheduled for Sept. 21–22 in downtown Los Angeles. We have even hired Danielle Gibbs as event director for LightSPEC West after her time as a principal of LightShow West.

Our Strategies in Light was not the only event pivoting to a virtual format this week. The LEDucation team made a similar move with their event set for Aug. 17–18 in New York City. The organization will instead offer a series of educational and accredited virtual conference sessions.

LightFair International is the event still standing at this point slated for October in New York. But the event is known to be struggling to attract exhibitors. Some travel restrictions will likely remain in October. The organizers have announced a hybrid plan whereby there will be some live presentations that are also presented virtually. That is the same tough puzzle our team had been trying to solve for Strategies in Light should we have gone to a hybrid format.

I will extend my compliments to friendly competitor Randy Reid of the Edison Report and wholeheartedly agree with Randy’s message from earlier in the week. I’d just welcome the chance to go to any event about now. Zoom is great, but it doesn’t approach what can be learned at a top industry event or how many new contacts you make. Randy, we’ve zoomed recently but I hope to see you soon in person. And I’d wish the same for so many more of you in our audience that have become friends and colleagues.

You will find many more stories of interest in the body of today’s newsletter. And always feel free to contact me to discuss content we post or to pitch a contributed article.

- Maury Wright, (858) 748-6785, [email protected]