Insights into the forces shaping our industry.
Attending a much smaller, but impactful LightFair from the Lighting Recruiter’s perspective
Cass, Jacque and I attended LightFair 2023 in New York City May 23 – 25. While the event may not have attracted the massive crowds as it had pre pandemic, it was a valuable experience from our perspective. One of the primary advantages of attending LightFair lies in the networking opportunities it provides; from meeting people 1 on 1 to the networking events such as WILD. While the general consensus was the show is decreasing in popularity, with LEDucation becoming significantly more prominent, it seemed the people we talked to had more time for meaningful conversations and they felt the same way about customers they talked with. Overall, this year felt less rushed and more impactful.
Revenues were up year to date for the majority of the people we met with (including manufacturers, rep agencies, design firms and distributors), with a few saying they were flat. Everyone felt the rest of the year looks promising for business, with supply chain problems and recession concerns subsiding.
Based on our conversations at LightFair, the main focuses for hiring in the next quarter are on Sales, Supply Chain and Product Management on the manufacturing side. Distributors are focusing on Quotations, Project Management and Branch Management. And the demand for Lighting Designers at lighting design firms has increased significantly since the pandemic.
One highlight was the WILD Networking event. We were encouraged by how well attended it was and to see so many men in the audience supporting this amazing organization. We had insightful conversations about accommodating parents in the work force, how to support equal pay, promoting diversity and inclusion, etc.
Overall LightFair affirmed the resilience and growth potential in the lighting industry. We left with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and anticipation for the possibilities ahead.