LIGHTFAIR® International (LFI®) set a record at McCormick Place in Chicago May 6-10, with a significant increase in registration over last year. The show featured 600 exhibitors – including 66 first-time exhibiting companies – and 136 manufacturers headquartered outside the U.S.

Sponsored by the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), and produced by AmericasMart® Atlanta, LFI continues to be one of the world’s largest annual architectural and commercial lighting conferences. The floor featured a product mix of nearly 50 categories that included controls, IoT (Internet of Things), decorative, alternative energy, software, site and roadway, digital signage, healthcare, and hospitality.

The LFI Innovation Awards® highlighted the industry’s most innovative products and designs introduced during the last 12 months. The Awards saw 238 entries from 108 exhibiting companies spanning 14 categories, with each submission judged by an independent panel of lighting professionals.

The 2018 LFI Conference curriculum offered 150 hours of education and contained 73 courses taught by 121 industry experts. The new Smart Cities Forum (sponsored by ARROW ELECTRONICS, Booth 214) and the new courses in the Light & Health Forum (sponsored by VISA LIGHTING, Booth 2061) covered the latest breakthroughs in those areas. LFI also continued to offer Spanish and Portuguese translation for eight select seminars. Two keynotes headlined, including Danielle Feinberg of Pixar Animation Studios and Hugh Herr from the Biomechatronics group at the MIT Media Lab.

New events in The HUB gave attendees the opportunity to make connections with colleagues from a diverse array of disciplines. Opening day speakers were Anastasia Su and Martin Lesjak, co-founders of product design firm 13&9. Lesjak is also the CEO and creative director of INNOCAD Architecture.

Additionally, the Chicago Architectural Cruise gave attendees the opportunity to explore the city on a docent-led tour on May 8. Those interested in learning about navigating the beginning stages of their career in the industry attended the “Student and Emerging Professional Roundtable” on May 9. The New Exhibitor Pavilion was a gathering place for viewing the latest innovations from first-time exhibitors while enjoying refreshments.

The new and improved LFI app provided attendees with a personalized schedule, tools to easily and quickly navigate the trade show floor, quick access to important event information, and a networking feature to provide the ultimate on-site experience. Attendees and exhibitors connected to LFI via social media during the event and can continue to interact throughout the year on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.