2019 ‘a turning point’ for the lighting industry

A strong rebooking rate of over 50 per cent at the LuxLive 2019 exhibition has defied the general economic narrative and demonstrated a confidence in the widely-anticipated recovery of the lighting market, organisers of the show said today.

LuxLive, top, and lightspace, above, featured a newly launched VIP meeting programme which was widely received with commendation by the targeted buyers who took part.

‘The coming years will see the biggest investment in public-sector lighting in a generation’, said Lux portfolio director James Samuel. ‘And LuxLive will be a key part of that transformation. With economic uncertainty, the continuing squeeze on public sector budgets and pressure on margins, 2019 has been a challenging year for the lighting industry in the UK. That mood has pervaded for an extended period, and no event in the sector has been immune from an understandable sense of caution. However, despite that wariness, exhibitors who put their best foot forward had an exceptional show, with firm orders taken and great relationships established. Our exceptional rebooking rate shows that brands which market themselves positively have made significant gains and will do again in the future’.

Major sponsor Bluetooth described LuxLive as ‘a valuable platform’ to promote its advanced wireless mesh technology to the industry.

‘LuxLive’s focus on relevant and actionable content sessions and presentations from industry leaders is a big reason why it’s a standout lighting event in the UK and indeed across Europe,’ said the tech giant. ‘LuxLive provides us a great opportunity to connect with influencers in lighting and continue to promote the value proposition of Bluetooth smart lighting and its associated benefits.’ Daniel Carel of Ubisys said the show was ‘quite a home run’ for the firm.

The newly launched VIP meeting programme was widely received with commendation by the targeted buyers who took part. The programme was tested in a small scale this year to see how the industry would react to this type of initiative. Buyers from across industry took part in a series of targeted meetings that allowed them to increase their return on time at the event as well as the exhibitors’ return on investment.

‘Perfect meeting matches,’ said the estate electrical officer from Kettering NHS Trust. ‘I already have a follow-up meeting booked with one of the exhibitors.’

A building surveyor from Savills said the programme was ‘very useful’. ‘It really helped to formulate the day for me’.

Steve Davies, chief executive officer of the Lighting Industry Association, said LuxLive was the organisation’s ‘cornerstone promotional event’.

‘This year it gave us another amazing opportunity to meet new and existing members, deliver educational content to specifiers, designers and buyers as well as update the wholesaler community through the EDA Regional Forum. It has been a tough year for the lighting industry as a whole with economic uncertainty coupled with increased international competition. However, if we are to take the opportunities the sector has on the horizon then we all must continue to educate the supply chain about compliance and the dangers and commercial risk of specifying poor products.

‘The LED revolution is all but over but the so called ‘Internet of Things’ or enhanced lighting controls will keep driving our industry beyond the current political turmoil. So it is events such as LuxLive that keep our message alive and gives lighting a platform to broadcast its positive message.’

Lux portfolio director James Samuel believes that 2019 will be seen by the lighting industry as a major turning point, ‘I strongly believe that 2019 will be seen as a turning point,’ he said. ‘There are real grounds for renewed optimism and confidence for the coming year.

‘Political uncertainty will be partially ended with the general election, and whoever wins will end austerity with unprecedented investment in eduction, healthcare, social housing and infrastructural projects. This can only be good news for the industry.’

His plans for the 2020 event include a range of initiatives such as the extension of VIP Buyer Programme and a special public-sector advisory board.

‘This board will comprise specifiers and budget-keepers and they will help us precisely address the educational needs in the public sector. It will target end users with responsibility for lighting in schools, universities, FE colleges, hospitals, healthcare centres, social housing, care homes and sheltered housing. The private sector too, has many bright spots, including warehouse, office and leisure, and we’ll be tailoring our programme to these areas too. Specifically, we’ll explore the opportunities for upgrading from traditional lighting technology to LED, the implementation of smart controls and the transformation of emergency lighting installations to current best practice’.

‘We will build on our key strength in cutting-edge lighting technologies such as IoT and smart lighting controls to deliver a future-facing event. The icing on the cake will be the expected arrival of the Elizabeth Line railway (formerly Crossrail) in the coming 24 months, which will make ExCeL one of the best connected venues in the UK.’

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