This Just In
  • Messe Frankfurt acquired the Thailand Lighting Fair and Thailand Building Fair. Messe has been with the shows since they launched in 2015.
  • JW Marriott will open the 4,000-room Drew Las Vegas in 2020 at the site of the stalled Fontainebleau hotel project on Las Vegas Blvd.
  • Denver OK’d contracts for a $233-million expansion featuring an 80,000-sf rooftop ballroom and terrace at the Colorado Convention Center.
  • The latest numbers rank NAMM’s 2018 show the largest in its 117-year history with more than 115,000 attendees and nearly 2,000 exhibitors.
  • The deadline for nominations for Trade Show Executive’s Trailblazers Awards has been extended to March 16. Got to TSE Events for info.
  • International Assoc. of Amusement Parks and Attractions President and CEO Paul Noland has resigned. CFO Hal McEvoy steps in temporarily.
  • The Aria Resort & Casino $170-million expansion in Las Vegas adds 200,000 sf of flex meeting space, raising total space to 500,000 sf.
  • Gary Musich announced his retirement as Vice President of Sales for Meet AC effective March 2 after 25 years representing Atlantic City.
  • The San Diego Convention Center named ON Site, a GES company, its exclusive sound and rigging vendor and preferred audio visual provider.
  • Board members of UK-based UBM have accepted an offer from Informa for a reported 3.8 billion pounds ($5.3 billion).

Mandalay Bay Convention Center and UBM Invest in LED Lighting That Will Debut at MAGIC Next Week

Danica Tormohlen
, Editor-at-Large
February 8, 2018
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NEW YORK— UBM plc and the Mandalay Bay Convention Center (MBCC) in Las Vegas partnered to co-develop a new LED lighting system which will debut at MAGIC, a semi-annual apparel, footwear, and accessories trade show, next week.

The multi-million-dollar investment includes the replacement of more than 1,000 light fixtures with new LED lights which will not only increase the brightness in the exhibit halls but also reduce energy usage by 85%, according to UBM. MBCC offers more than 1 million square feet (sf) of prime exhibit space, making it the 10th largest U.S. convention center according to data by Trade Show Executive (TSE). 

“UBM is committed to sustainability across its events, so when conversations about partnering with the Mandalay Bay Convention Center to upgrade existing lighting, replace all fixtures and install a new control system came to fruition, we enthusiastically agreed,” said Tony Calanca, Executive Vice President of Exhibitions, UBM. 

Calanca told TSE discussions began in August 2016 and ramped up after MAGIC last February. “We hired an engineer to come and measure the lighting for temperature and color rendering requirements for MAGIC,” said Calanca. “Apparel shows are all about the lighting.”

Together, MBCC and UBM developed three lighting fixture options to test on actual booths in a mock trade show setting last October. Two engineers measured and tested the options, and UBM and MBCC agreed on the fixtures to order. Since then, MBCC has been installing the new lighting around the existing show schedule. Each individual fixture will be dimmable. 

Savings and Sustainability

MBCC offered some key stats on the new lighting system:

  • The new control system is estimated to reduce energy consumption by 85%. This amount of projected energy savings could power all of Mandalay Bay for nearly five days and prevent 900 Metric Tons of greenhouse gases (CO2E) each year.
  • Within the 10-year project life, there will no longer be a need to recycle 26,898 fluorescent lamps, which equals 20.4 miles of lighting.
  • Each of the pre-existing fluorescent lamps contained 4 mg. of mercury, which means the 26,898 lamps recycled every 10 years contained 4 ounces of mercury. It only takes one ounce of mishandled mercury to contaminate a lake for centuries.
  • Each year, 3,000 lamps will no longer need to be boxed a second time then transported to other states for recycling.


“Our goal was to save time, money and energy,” Calanca said. MAGIC is held twice a year in February and August in Las Vegas, and both events rank among the top 10 largest U.S. shows on the Trade Show Executive Gold 100. Last February, MAGIC attracted 76,500 attendees and 5,654 exhibiting companies in more than 1 million net square feet of exhibit space at MBCC and the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), and expectations are even higher for 2018.

“UBM had a seven-figure investment, and Mandalay Bay shared equally in that,” Calanca said. “The investment will pay back quickly for us.”

UBM sells about 250,000 nsf of booth packages for MAGIC at MBCC twice a year, and now those packages won’t now require additional lighting systems. In addition, UBM also holds Licensing Expo and Black Hat at MBCC.

 “This higher quality lighting system will help Mandalay Bay Convention Center — and MGM Resorts International – achieve significant energy savings,” said Chris Magee, Vice President of Sustainable Facilities for MGM Resorts. “UBM is a valued partner and is as committed as we are to the environment. We’re excited to unveil the results of our collaboration.”

Other shows will clearly benefit from this joint investment. “UBM’s partnership with the MBCC, coupled with this new, state-of-the-art lighting system, will provide long-term sustainability for the tradeshow industry, the city of Las Vegas and the broader society in which we live,” Calanca said.

Reach Tony Calanca at (203) 523-7070 or



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