Spring is flying by, and summer vacation is almost here. With June Light Club just around the corner, we’ve squeezed in a quick Q&A with TLA Marketing and Events Director Dawn Webber.
Keep reading for highlights from the April event and the inside scoop on why you need to register for our next Light Club event.
For those of you just joining us, TLA’s Light Club event offers two different times to attend for each session so you may notice us referring to either the “Lunch” or “Happy Hour” event in our conversation below.
We committed to offering two separate time slots to make it convenient for our clients to attend when it works best. Historically, Lunch has been more popular but are excited to share that in April, Happy Hour was equally well-attended. It was awesome to see our attendees, manufacturer reps, and Team TLA meeting and mingling during our first big, live, in-person event since 2020.
Thank you to everyone that made our April’s Light Club event a success!
I absolutely love what I do! To me, love is giving your heart without expectation, and I put a lot of my heart into creating Light Club with the hope that the lighting community would find value on several levels.
Light Club aims to provide value to TLA, our manufacturers, and our specifiers by making all our jobs a little easier.
You can join us over your lunch hour or on your way home from work for education, networking, and fun. What’s not to love!
– Dawn Webber
And now, for a little Q & A with Dawn!
Team TLA: First things first—the hot pink t-shirts are fabulous. Tell us what’s happening in this awesome group photo of Light Club Leaders.
DW: One of my favorite parts of the April event was the amazing collaborative experience I had with the TLA Team. In previous years, I had flown solo on planning and day-of-event management, but this time I enlisted help!
Katrina Lopez from Quotes was slinging beverages at the Light Club Drink Station.
Aundreya Pries from Accounting spent the day with me organizing SWAG, tending to guests and just being an overall rockstar helper wherever help was needed.
Mary Anne Cox in Customer Service has event experience and she proved to be a huge asset wherever we asked her to be.
Nick Johnston, our in-house IT solutions/Building Maintenance Manager/All Around Do Anything Guy is easily one of my biggest supports. He does so much behind the scenes in preparation for the event that makes everything run smoothly. I cannot overstate how his many aptitudes and willingness to take on my most detailed to-do lists contributed to the April event’s success.
Laura Fisher, while not officially on the Team TLA roster, but rather an actual member of the Fisher family, is my symbiotic brain twin. She has a background in large events and is an invaluable partner who enjoys obsessing over the small details as much as I do.
I’m so grateful to have been able to introduce Light Club to our community with this incredibly talented and capable team working together in lockstep.
Team TLA: From the perspective of the attendees, what are the most successful aspects of the Lunch and Happy Hour events?
DW: The biggest benefit for attendees is being able to see over a dozen marquee manufacturers and a curated selection of their latest and greatest products all in one place.
Our guests love being able to see so much new product, chat with each other, and speak with the manufacturer reps in such a short amount of time. It’s the most efficient way to connect our specifier community to our manufacturers.
T-Shirts were a close second, and I can’t wait for people to see the next level of Member Reward for June Light Club!
The food was incredible…
For Lunch, the Mountain Crust Pizza Truck was both efficient and delicious which is a winning combo in my book! We heard a lot of chatter from attendees over their signature Mushroom Mountain Pizza with fontina cream sauce with a roasted mushroom mix, bacon, caramelized onions, fresh rosemary & a drizzle of truffle oil. Guests were able to grab their gourmet grub as it came out of the pizza oven instead of standing in a long line which maximized their time with the exhibitors.
For Happy Hour, I tapped Mike from So Damn Gouda because he’s a foodie legend and has been a part of our Happy Hour events for years. He crafted an artisan grazing table that did not disappoint.
Our custom Light Club cookies were also a big hit with several guests jokingly trying to swipe an armful of cookies from the display into their purses on their way out.
Attendees loved the Light Club vibe: energized, kinetic, and fun.
This series is meant to be nostalgic, playful, educational, and lighthearted – more like a friendly gathering than a traditional tradeshow. It was wonderful watching friends and colleagues who have been separated for the past two years reconnect.
Team TLA: What type of post-event feedback have you received from the guests?
DW: Attendee feedback was overwhelmingly positive! I heard from several specifiers that products they had seen at the show were specified on jobs that very week. While this is never expected, it’s rewarding to know that there is a direct correlation between these in-person events and the written business we hope to earn. It’s always hard to quantify the value of these events, but scenarios like this prove the value is there.
Our Light Club members have been extremely enthusiastic in their efforts to win the awesome prizes up for grabs for those reaching the top levels of membership. I suspect there will be some colleague envy once those prize winners are announced this Fall!
Team TLA: And how about the post-event buzz from the presenters?
DW: When it comes to event planning, I am all about the unexpected details. The goal for Light Club was to create an expanded and elevated experience for both specifiers and exhibitors.
Without giving away my trade secrets, our ability to simplify the logistics for our manufacturers and provide value to our specifiers is what I believe will make Light Club a model for successful events that encourage and incentivize people to want to come back.
The presenters recognized and appreciated our efforts to make their experience streamlined, simple, and fun. Most importantly they will have an opportunity to show their product capabilities and features to the key decision-makers within the specification market in person.
Seeing these products in person is always so much more impactful than through a computer screen or catalog.
Overall, I’d give the event a 9.9. Great attendance from specifiers… Funny how it’s so hard to schedule office calls or even virtual visits, but they came in droves to see the products.
Food/pizza was excellent… The afternoon veggie/cheese and crackers were a major hit. The drinks were good too. The booth setups for entry and the vendor tables were well done. Photography was a great idea too!
People always like to see themselves out and about. The show hours were good too. Just enough length and yet that 2-hr midafternoon gap was greatly welcomed.
– Kevin Gettmann, Western Regional Manager, Ligman Lighting USA
Team TLA: What were your top three memorable moments from the April events?
DW: It’s hard to choose 3, but here goes!
#1 – Joey Bullock, who heads our Project Management team at TLA, has a natural ability to make people laugh and feel welcome and agreed to conduct Man-On-The-Street ambush-style interviews with attendees where he ran around the venue with our cameraman Nick Johnston asking Light Club members some rapid-fire pop-quiz questions for an opportunity to earn points.
This was so fun to watch, and people were really into it! The questions range from technical to downright silly, and you never know which set you are going to get or when your stored cache of knowledge will fail you when put on the spot!
#2 – DJ Aubrey from The Get Down used her music to create the fun and welcoming atmosphere I envisioned for the event. The most memorable music moment for me personally came at the end of Happy Hour when we started playing “Closing Time” by Semisonic at the end of the event because you could tell people were not in a rush to leave.
I was thrilled that they wanted to stay because they were having such a good time, but I had to kindly remind them that “they don’t have to go home but they can’t stay here…” LOL. I’m currently gauging interest levels for a Light Club Night Club After Hours Party for Light Club 2023, so let me know if this is up your alley!
#3 – Lastly, I’ll hit you with some genuine cheese! The entire event was a memorable moment for me. Seeing our hard work come to fruition at this inaugural event and watching the guests and presenters enjoying themselves after a long time apart at Light Club was incredibly rewarding and energizing.
I’m already so excited for the next one (and the next one, and the next one…). Creating a place with a purpose for our leading lighting community to connect, engage and learn is exactly what we wanted to do and we hope people will make attending Light Club events a regular part of their schedule.
Team TLA: And what about the venue? How did hosting at Space Gallery support opportunities for product education, networking, and entertainment?
DW: The layout of the Space Gallery with the indoor/outdoor space, the location, the soaring ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows really made for a great environment.
People had room to roam, and while both events were consistently busy, it never felt crowded or like you had to shout to hear someone. Enjoying the gorgeous Colorado weather while outside grabbing a bite or a drink was a huge benefit and created an opportunity for colleagues to connect.
Attendees were able to “choose their own adventure” as they free-flowed from booth to booth at their own pace. Everything about the venue and format was conducive to a natural and comfortable experience.
Team TLA: Dawn, thanks so much for joining us today! Let’s wrap this up by telling our readers why they need to register today for the June 2nd Light Club event.
DW: Because Light Club is the best! But seriously, there are many reasons to attend, but I’m going to lean on the incentive factor of the prizes for a minute. The more you attend our in-person events and participate in challenges, the greater your odds of winning one of our many incredible prizes. Odds are already good, but you have a lot of control over how good those odds are simply by being an active member.
One lucky Light Club Member will win their choice of a trip for 2 to Europe or a trip for 4 to Disneyland (maybe it will be you)! There are prizes for our top points earners as well including a Ritz-Carlton staycation, Aveda Spa Day for 2, and tickets to the Great American Beer Fest.
These prizes are in addition to the many member rewards that every member gets just for attending events such as our Light Club member T-shirt, our Light Club Member SWAG bag, gift cards to your favorite businesses, and more!