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Crystal Vilkaitis, owner of Crystal Media, will present on what is up and coming
in social media and provide a review on why video is the best way to reach
and engage consumers. She will highlight the latest updates in social media
and what to expect as business owners market themselves online. She will also
explain how video earns businesses free reach and entices users to engage.
Additionally, a panel of ALA members will share their experiences developing
online sales systems. Members will discuss basic concepts and opportunities
that are a must for lighting showrooms, and also participate in a question-and-answer session on the advantages and pitfalls of online sales.
Successful Sales Strategies
Experiencing success in business means many different things and comes
from a variety of places. However, there are some steadfast rules to consider
in operating a business that apply to most everyone. For example, the
importance of the customer experience. During conference, Ryan Estis, chief
experience officer for Ryan Estis & Associates, will present on how the customer
experience can accelerate business growth. Today’s customers require a
sophisticated sales strategy. Ryan will share case studies that highlight how
businesses can affect their bottom line with a focus on category expertise and
consultative selling. Just as the lighting industry is transforming, so should
business owners’ approach to leadership and the customer experience.
Mark Okun, LS, principal of Mark Okun Consulting, will also present on how the
customer experience and sales process is evolving. He will discuss how today’s
sales process starts long before the customer walks into a showroom, and how
critical it is to place the focus on the customer.
These are just a few of the many seminars and presentations planned for the
2017 ALA Annual Conference. To view a full schedule and event details, visit
ALAConference.com and click on the conference brochure. Registration and
travel details are also available at the conference website.
Government Engagement Updates
Government Affairs Committee Rebrands
In order to put forward a more inviting presence with ALA’s many government
partners, the Government Affairs Committee has rebranded and is now the
Government Engagement Committee. Having a positive relationship with
ALA’s government partners is vital to achieving successful outcomes,
whether it be regulatory or legislative. Therefore, the committee determined
it was important to have a name that projects a more welcoming and
Canada Updates Efficiency Regulations
ALA appreciates having a positive relationship with the staff at Natural
Resources Canada (NRCan). Over the years, NRCan and ALA have collaborated
to advance harmonized regulations between Canada and the U.S. Currently
underway, Amendments 14 and 15 address the standards for ceiling fans
and ceiling fan light kits. ALA’s Canadian Engagement Committee is actively
involved in the proceedings, which are expected to be completed by the end
Leaders of the lighting industry will descend on Washington, D.C., for the
annual fly-in, May 17-18. Over the two days, attendees will engage with
roughly two dozen congressional offices as well as with key figures on Capitol
Hill. The action-packed trip is an important opportunity to share the successes
and major issues impacting the lighting industry with U.S. elected officials.
ALA has requested meetings with senior Department of Energy (DOE) officials,
ENERGY STAR personnel and face-to-face meetings with important bi-partisan
The need for comprehensive tax reform is long overdue. Republicans in the
House have put forth a proposal that would directly impact the lighting
industry if it were to become law. The proposal calls for a Border Adjustment
Tax (BAT), which would increase tariffs on all products imported into the
country. As most lighting products are imported, the cost to the end consumer
would skyrocket. ALA is a member of the Americans for Affordable Products
Coalition, a group with the sole purpose of defeating the BAT. In D.C., ALA will
advocate for Congress to explore alternative tax proposals.
President Donald Trump also released a tax plan. His proposal calls for a 15 percent
tax rate for businesses and does not include language supporting the BAT.
Both proposals have a long way to go in the legislative process before ever
reaching the president’s desk.
The lighting industry is producing, and consumers are demanding, products
that, thanks to advances in technology, are more efficient than ever. As
products continue to evolve, there will come a point when their maximum
potential will be reached. At that point, continuing to enact new efficiency
requirements would serve little purpose, yet existing statute dictates that
government entities do just that. ALA is driving the conversation to change
the systems that mandate constant updates to energy-efficiency regulations.
Conversations are underway in California to amend Titles 20 and 24, and in
Washington, D.C., ALA is working with the House Committee on Energy and
Commerce to modernize the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1974.
Ceiling Fan Lawsuits
A regulatory review prompted by President Trump’s executive order has
delayed the effective date of the ceiling fan conservation rule. The review,
however, has not delayed the compliance date. Two pending lawsuits against
the DOE have been filed to finalize the effective date in order to prevent the
rule from not coming into force. ALA enjoys a positive relationship with DOE,
and together, a final rule was produced that ceiling fan manufacturers support.
Titles 20 and 24
Changes to California’s Title 24 building codes took effect at the beginning of
this year and changes to the appliance standards laid out in California’s Title 20 take
effect at the beginning of next year. There are several resources available on ALA’s
website to help ensure all members are compliant with the numerous changes.
Slated to take effect in 2019, the next round of updates for Title 24 are currently in
development. The current draft includes very little on lighting, nevertheless ALA
Call for 2017 Pillar of the Industry
Nominees for the 2017 Pillar of the Industry awards are now being accepted.
The Pillar of the Industry are honored during the ALA Annual Conference, which
will be held Sept. 10-12, in Vancouver, B.C.
Each year, the Pillar of the Industry awards are presented to up to three ALA
members for their unique and meaningful service to advance the lighting
industry and ALA’s programs and missions over the previous 18 months.
Manufacturer, manufacturers, representative, and showroom members are
eligible to receive the awards.
Nominations may be submitted by any person or group. To obtain
a nomination form, contact Larry Lauck, ALA executive vice president, at
firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 214-698-9898, ext. 227.