This story is based on interviews with current LightFair management, past LightFair management, two current exhibitors, and one previous exhibitor who is no longer allowed to exhibit at LightFair.
LightFair management is serious about protecting LightFair from unscrupulous companies. Last August, EdisonReport exclusively published that 28 importers had been banned from the 2020 show. That number is now up to 40. LightFair rejected 119 exhibitor applications in 2019. As of this date, they have already rejected 145 applications for new exhibitors with four more months left to go. In addition, LightFair also rejects attendee applications and has rejected visa applications for some people trying to visit the show. EdisonReport has always complained about companies that exhibit at hotel suites during LightFair, as they pull our customers off the showroom floor. Rejecting visa applications is a small but important step in policing this activity.
Many unqualified companies try to beat the system and misrepresent their identity to get into the show. Here is how this works. Let’s say that BigChinaLED ABC Lighting Company exhibited in 2019 but was never on the official exhibitor list. They sublet a portion of a booth from BigChinaLED XYZ Lighting who was an official LightFair exhibitor. LightFair management spent much of the 2019 show gathering data and evidence against these types of companies. So, in 2020, both companies would be banned from exhibiting because they broke the rules about subletting. Since BigChinaLED ABC has been busted, they will submit to exhibit in 2020 under a new name. But LightFair finds out that it is the same company and prevents them from exhibiting. LightFair doesn’t stop there. LightFair will then look at the list of individual names of exhibitors from BigChinaLED XYZ and will track them to 2020 exhibitors. Next, they look those individuals up on Linked In, and if their profile shows they still work for BigChinaLED XYZ or BigChinaLED ABC, LightFair knows they have another potential company subletting.
This is just one of the techniques LightFair uses to verify and approve/reject exhibitors.
In addition, EdisonReport has learned that LightFair has had at least one phone call with the F.B.I. regarding protecting Intellectual Property at the Las Vegas show. The F.B.I. is concerned about IP theft and regularly monitors several shows in Las Vegas. We were not able to confirm if the F.B.I. will be monitoring LightFair this year.
We applaud LightFair management for finally getting serious about unqualified and unscrupulous companies invading LightFair.