President's Letter - January 2019
Another year has come to a close and the new year is upon us.
Over the years, when you look at the challenges and opportunities that we have faced together, it is inspiring to see how our ALA families of manufacturers, manufacturer representatives, and retail showrooms have stood together to meet them. The bonds in the lighting industry run deep.
Like most industries, our industry is changing. We must openly and honestly discuss challenges and embrace new opportunities in front of us. ALA retailers are surviving competition from multiple channels of distribution and navigating a web of sales tax policies. Fortunately, this past year, ALA’s work in support of tax fairness was impactful and helped lead to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of sales tax fairness.
ALA operated industry networking round tables at our annual conference tackling issues such as IMAP/UMRP, whitelisting, drop shipping and its effects, stocking expectations, Proposition 65, and more. In 2019, ALA will continue offering forums to have positive dialogues between manufacturers, showrooms and manufacturer representatives.
Moving forward, members need to evaluate opportunities for their businesses and determine their path to tap into the connected products marketplace. By 2023, the smart lighting business alone is estimated to be valued over $20 billion. ALA will continue developing educational programs and courses to help take advantage of this growing market.
During Lightovation next week, ALA has scheduled more than 20 committee, board and foundation meetings, as well as educational offerings and networking events.
Together with DMC, we have planned a series of seminars on digital marketing for your business, including the topics: Propel Your Business Forward in 2019 Using Digital Marketing and Social Media Tools; Digital Marketing Workshop: Google Maps; Social Media Workshop: Facebook; and Social Media Workshop: Instagram.
Additionally, we have planned three CLC-credit seminars with Peter Romaniello, IALD, at the cost of $44 per course. These topics include: Analyzing and Comparing Recessed Fixture Selections: What to Look for on a Spec Sheet; Specifying Linear Light Sources: What to Look For & What to Avoid; and Taking the Fear Out of Lighting Control Systems.
All seminars will be hosted in the Seminar Room in The SMART Center, TM 4826. Pre-register to reserve your spot in each course and ensure you receive credit for attending.
For details and registration information, click here.
ALA will hold a Women in Lighting event Wednesday Jan. 16, from 5 - 6 p.m., in the Hinkley Lighting showroom, TM 3210. There will be a featured presentation by Brad and Melissa Smith of R.A.D. (Rape and Aggressive Defense). They will provide tips and scenarios on what to look for and how to respond in dangerous or uncomfortable situations. Following the presentation, the floor will be opened up to anyone who has stories or experiences of their own they would like to share with the group. Attendees are encouraged to bring new or gently used accessories to donate to the non-profit Attitudes & Attire, which is dedicated to promoting personal growth and job-search skills for women.
ALA and ART have again partnered to host Cheers with Peers for the ALA Young Executives and ART Under 40 groups. This year’s event will be hosted in the Varaluz showroom, TM 4507, on Thursday, Jan. 17, from 5 - 6 p.m. Lightovation attendees are encouraged to come enjoy tiki-themed beverages and an interactive networking activity.
Proposition 65 Meeting
On Dec. 10, Eric Jacobson, ALA president and CEO; Michael Weems, ALA vice president, government engagement; and Clark Linstone, chair of the ALA Government Engagement Committee, met with the senior leadership of California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Awareness (OEHHA), the state agency that oversees Proposition 65. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the impact of Proposition 65 on the lighting industry and how to bring clarity to ALA members regarding the confusion surrounding Proposition 65 warnings. ALA was encouraged by the meeting, and will work to explore several alternatives that could bring paths of relief for manufacturers and showrooms in the lighting industry.
Further information will be provided as the situation develops. For information on Proposition 65, please look here. For Q & As for retail showroom members not located in California, review this recent article in Lightrays.
ALA Free Content and Promotion
Are you looking at ways of improving your content and SEO strategies for your website? ALA offers myriad resources to help you drive consumer sales. Our focus is on providing a variety of promotional tools for you to utilize as is, or to customize for your particular business. It's easy to connect with your customers through utilizing and sharing content on the ALA website, ALA blog, Bright Ideas e-newsletter,Lighting magazine, the ALA Newsfeed, and our lighting trends videos.
We encourage you to place the ALA logo on your advertising materials, website, shipping boxes, etc. That is just one of the many ways your membership provides added value to your brand.
I hope 2019 brings much success for your company to expand your sales of lighting, ceiling fan, controls, and connected home products. Thank you for your continued support and dedication to ALA and the lighting industry.
Eric Jacobson, CAE
President and CEO
American Lighting Association