Pompeo August

Starting Strong at LEDucation 2023

Jason Gridley Uses his phone to show 7276 people registered for LEDucation
Jason Gridley Shares a Live Registration Update

LEDucation has begun, and despite a minor freight elevator issue during move-in, the mood is optimistic. The people we spoke to were mainly exhibitors, and their feedback was positive. They expressed bullishness towards the event, as it continues to gain more registrations than prior years, with a total of 7276 registrations so far, including virtual attendees. We spoke to Jason Gridley of Conexsys, who pulled out his phone to show us the registration numbers, reminding us that this figure also includes virtual attendees.

During move-in day, a few exhibitors complained about the drayage costs, with one manufacturer being charged over $30,000 to move four crates. However, drayage was the only complaint we heard during the entire day and night.

The virtual conference also kicked off with a bang, with high attendance numbers in several sessions. Wendy Kaplan, the Program co-chair, shared attendance numbers:

  • How Lighting for Circularity Delivers Economic, Environmental and Social Value (190)
  • Lighting Effects for Learning with Spectral Shaping (200)
  • How to Avoid Common Visual Issues in an Operating Room with the Right Light (230)
  • Fundamentals in Backlighting Design (266)
  • New Retail Lighting Trends and Concepts to Brighten Your Sales (240)
  • Melanopic Lighting: What Specifiers Need to Know (137)* This was occurring at 6:30pm, so she was very pleased with this number.

The first day of LEDucation ended with two parties. The LEDucation Speakers Cocktail party was significantly improved from previous years when it was a sit-down dinner. Attendees had the opportunity to network, and your humble editor spoke to Tzu Hao and Hsin Ying of Borealis Lighting Studio, who discussed their talk on “Lighting Design Workflow: An Exploration of a Designer’s Software Toolkit” scheduled for Wednesday at 9 a.m. They plan to use real-life designs to discuss the various software and outline the pros and cons of each.

Balloon spelling out WILD
The WILD Balloon Created Visitors at the event hosted by Synergy

The Women in Lighting + Design event hosted by Synergy was also a highlight of the evening. 300 people registered for the event and there were probably more during my visit.  The location on Broadway was stunning, and the food was excellent.

People posing for a picture at WILD Event in New York    People posing for a picture at WILD Event in New York

We appreciated that mocktails were also available in addition to adult beverages. The band was spectacular, and attendees had a great time networking.

Sharon Maghanagi, the Global Operations Director for formalighting, spoke to us about the Collected Light Exhibition, which is moving to Milan in time for Euroluce. We visited this unique exhibition when it was in London last year, and we covered it in the December issue of designinglighting (dl).

Power couple Megan Carroll and Jim Toole
Power couple Megan Carroll and Jim Toole

Throughout the day and at both parties, we spoke to several manufacturers about the economy. We will report on those discussions later this week. Overall, LEDucation is off to a promising start with strong attendance and positive feedback from exhibitors and attendees.