An interview with Michael Dehn, Group Exhibitions Director, Epoc Messe Frankfurt
Q. What distinguishes Light Middle East to make it a successful fair?
A. Among Light Middle East's many plus points is the fact that it is the only dedicated trade fair and conference catering to the region's lighting and design industries. As such, the show has gained a reputation as the business enabler of choice for the representatives of the industry who gather over its three days.
Light Middle East is part of Messe Frankfurt's global Light+Building brand, which has ten trade fairs under its global umbrella. Light + Building is the world's leading trade fair for architecture and technology which presents the vast range of products and services for the fields of lighting, electrical engineering and home and building automation. With this global expertise at our fingertips, coupled with local knowledge we have developed the exhibition and conference to what it is today.
The exhibition serves as an opportunity to view the latest designs and technologies that are currently impacting the global market. With the region growing in stature as a significant market for lighting technology and fittings, leading international lighting industry majors view Light Middle East as an effective launching platform to a promising market.
As well as attracting international players, does Light Middle East attract the participation of regional manufacturers and suppliers?
Regional suppliers and distributors view the exhibition as a vital tool in their effort to grow their regional presence and access far-flung markets. The number of local and regional participants has been considerable over the years as they continue to build on the advantages being offered by Light Middle East as a highly credible trade platform and the attractiveness of Dubai as a business and trade destination. The exhibition brings together some of the leading industrial experts and promotes dialogue and interaction on key topics including the latest industrial and environmental guidelines and the direction being taken by the industry in the years ahead.
Do you expect Light Middle East to be larger and more successful than the previous edition?
Going by sales figures so far we expect the upcoming edition of Light Middle East to be a successful one with wider representation from international exhibitors and a greater turnout of regional trade buyers and trade visitors. Already confirmed are GE Lighting, iGuzzini, LG, Corvi, ERCO, linea light group and acdc, to name a few. The revival in the region's economic fortunes and key industrial sectors such as real estate and construction are seen as factors that are positively impacting the market for lighting and design in the Middle East. Growing populations and greater levels of consumption as well as large investments in infrastructure and public facilities have also boosted lighting demand across the region.
How is the international lighting market changing and what are the trends that are shaping the industry today?
The market for lighting is being transformed internationally by the advent of new technology and more energy-efficient products. Environmental concerns and the high price of energy have grown the demand for more efficient forms of lighting that are kinder to the environment and consume less energy. The growing use of LED and CFL technology is testament to this. Governments and authorities across the Middle East are putting into place requirements for green building practices that call for the installation of greener forms of lighting which in turn fuel fresh demand for innovative lighting solutions. A wide range of these environmentally-friendly lighting systems will be on display at Light Middle East 2013. Also on display will be a wide range of lighting control systems and the latest in automated systems that are currently the rage globally. The latest technologies that are shaping the international lighting industry will also be discussed at the Light Insight Arabia conference taking place alongside the exhibition.
Who are the typical trade visitors who turn up for Light Middle East?
Over the years Light Middle East has attracted a wide spectrum of regional trade visitors including lighting designers, architects, interior designers, design consultants, engineers, property developers, construction companies, government authorities, representatives from hotels, hospitals, shopping malls, retailers, MEP consultants and contractors.
Could you detail the product profile at Light Middle East 2013?
Light Middle East features a wide range of the latest developments in urban, architectural, theatrical, and retail lighting solutions. The product group includes: architectural lighting, automation, ballasts, compact and normal fluorescent lamps, decorative lighting, display technologies, dynamic lighting, incandescent and halogen lamps, interior illumination, intelligent controls, LEDs, lighting electronics,
lighting controls & solutions, luminaries, multi-room solutions and
optics, to name a few.
What are the Light Middle East Awards?
For the first time ever we are planning the inaugural Light Middle East Awards. The awards have been designed to recognise and reward excellence in lighting and design. The Light Middle East Awards will cover a range of different categories, emphasising the importance of innovative design in various applications.
The award categories are:
- Innovative lighting project of the year
- Sustainable lighting project of the year
- Lighting for Public Building
- Residential Lighting project of the year
- Interior Lighting for a hotel project
- Exterior Lighting for a hotel project
- Retail Lighting project of the year
Nominated projects in the various categories will be shortlisted and evaluated by a jury of select lighting design experts with the final results being announced at the awards ceremony itself being held on the second day of Light Middle East. The Awards will culminate in a glittering gathering of leading lighting designers, industry luminaries and select guests.
Could you give us some detail on the conference programme at the event?
Light Middle East 2013 will feature a comprehensive conference programme, the Light Insight Arabia conference in association with Lux Review. The two-day programme features a high-powered panel of international and regional lighting experts who will present their insights into the key issues affecting the industry. The focus will be on the advent of LED lighting and its impact on the industry. The programme will also include some illuminating case studies of iconic projects from around the world.