Innovative Offerings, Captivating Programming and Lively Networking
(Chicago, IL – June 2016) NeoCon is THE North American show for commercial design and the 2016 edition was proof-positive that the industry is alive and growing. More than just a major event, NeoCon has evolved into a true international design hub, as well as a dynamic and collaborative learning community. Registration was up 6% from last year, drawing 53,000 enthusiastic professionals from around the world. The 100% occupied NeoCon showrooms, five of which were new additions, were buzzing all three days. Those in attendance were the first to experience theMART’s newly designed public spaces. The transformative $40 million dollar renovation included a striking new Grand Stair opening up to a large multi-purpose space on the second floor, a modernized urban food hall, an expanded riverfront park with alfresco seating and more. Also bustling with activity was the newly redesigned 7th Floor Exhibit Hall. Offering a comprehensive, easy-to-navigate experience, it received rave reviews from exhibitors and showgoers. Insightful and robust programming and a wealth of special events, parties, awards ceremonies and inspiring exhibits made for a productive and fun show.
Keynote sessions were filled to capacity. Kicking off the first day of the show was Paul Scialla, founder and CEO of Delos, and founder of the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), (sponsored by Groupe Lacasse and ASID). Scialla delivered a powerful presentation in which he shared emerging innovations and evidence-based research about how to design buildings specifically to support the health and wellness of the people who live, work and learn in them.
Hot on the heels of winning a Tony Award for his scenic designs for She Loves Me, David Rockwell, founder and president of award-winning architecture and design firm, Rockwell Group, was met with an enthusiastic crowd for his keynote (sponsored by Knoll and IIDA). Rockwell unveiled a workplace collection with Knoll rooted in the cornerstones of Rockwell Group’s practice: hospitality, user-choreographed experience and theater. The next day’s keynote was met with equal success. Oana Stanescu, partner of the visionary architecture studio, Family, spoke passionately about what architecture/design can do for a community and how architects and designers can make their visions come to fruition to benefit others (sponsored by OFS Brands and AIA Chicago).
Exhibitors shared some of their observations:
• “There is something magical about Neocon, it’s a combination of product, trend identification and passionate conversations. The show was a sensory explosion of the latest trends in corporate design. It is always exciting to explore theMART with our team as we discuss the wallcoverings and fabrics that we have in development and how they relate in the larger context across product categories. Catching my attention at the show this time was the continued movement towards a hospitality vibe in corporate interiors, the fun use of bright primary colors and all shades of blue dominating so many color palettes, and the importance of sustainability being woven into a company’s DNA and not just a product. What I always find most energizing about the show is all about what happens in the chance meetings…with new friends and industry icons. It’s the conversations that take us on tangents that lead to aha moments and always leave me knowing why I am so passionate about our industry after all these years.” – Rick Hickman, VP of Sales, TRI-KES
● “This show is very special for us—this was only our 3rd year and we’ve built incredible relationships and had the opportunity to show people something new each and every year. NeoCon serves as the annual stage for manufacturers to share what they’ve been working on for the last year (or often times longer!). NeoCon itself is a hub for collaboration and learning: companies showcase their innovations for the specifying community, and end users are exposed to a wealth of award winning design solutions–all under one roof. Stories are shared, questions are answered and the level of engagement between the different types of attendees makes it both an exciting and rewarding time for all.” – Michael Dardashti, Director of Business Development, Snowsound
● “Knoll experienced its most successful and impactful NeoCon since our 2010 launch of Antenna Workspaces. Rockwell Unscripted received broad critical acclaim from design juries and trade press. But more important was the positive feedback from our dealers, sales team and clients.” – Andrew Cogan, President and CEO, Knoll
● “We noticed a heightened level of excitement and constant flow of traffic through our showroom, largely in response to our multiple awards including the prestigious Best of Competition for Zones, new Luum Textiles and Studio TK rebranding initiatives, and redesigned showroom. This was definitely one of the best NeoCons in Teknion’s quartercentury-plus of participating in the commercial interiors industry’s premier event.” – David Feldberg, President & CEO, Teknion
● “All of us at Carvart are so proud and humbled by the reception of our guests at NeoCon 2016 for the national launch of CARVART CONTRACT. Not only did we showcase 16 new glass product lines at the show, but we were also recognized by the judges as the BEST of NEOCON, GOLD WINNER for the Architectural Glass category. We are very excited at the opportunity to begin working with designers and dealers in so many new ways in their future glass projects!” – Edward Geyman, CEO, Carvart
● “2016 was a good year for Chilewich and Neocon. The traffic was steady, sometimes overwhelming, and always engaging. I was glad to see the show attracted designers from all over the country. We also saw a lot of potential b2b and international customers. It was the best Neocon in years. I look forward to 2017.” – Joe Sultan, CEO, Chilewich
● “Maars Living Walls was honored to participate in our second Neocon and celebrate our 70th Anniversary together with the community. Winning the Silver and Gold Award in the Moveable Walls category and to be considered for the Best of Competition was a huge highlight and we truly enjoyed seeing our existing and new customers this year. Thank you to everyone who helped make this show extremely successful.” – Robert Craven, Managing Director – USA, Maars Living Walls
● “NeoCon has exceeded our expectations in its ability to connect us to the global contract furniture market. It is by far the most effective trade show we participate in and we plan on growing our presence next year.” – Eric Vecchione, Director of Business Development, Uhuru
● “We’ve been at NeoCon since the beginning, and the show continues to be important to Herman Miller as it brings together the highest concentration of clients, architects, interior designers, dealers, and workplace-focused media in the US. Over the course of three days we are able to connect with new and existing customers and share our latest thinking about people, work and the workplace as well as introduce new products for the office, higher education and healthcare markets. The response (we received) was significant: We had well over 600 scheduled appointments, a jump of over 100 from last year, and all three of our showrooms were busy throughout the run of the show.” – Brian Walker, CEO, Herman Miller
According to Byron Morton, Vice President of Leasing at TheMART, “The camaraderie in our industry really shone through during this year’s NeoCon. The new Grand Stair was a great addition and a popular place to congregate, connect, converse and learn from others. The ongoing dialogue was complemented by thousands of new products, innovations, installations and invaluable networking events, while the showrooms and exhibitors experienced great traffic and high levels of engagement. We are excited to see how this momentum will reverberate throughout the industry this year.”
NeoCon 2017 dates are June 12-14. NeoCon East returns to Philadelphia for the 14th annual edition, November 9-10, 2016 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. More details are available at http://www.neoconeast.com
One of the largest commercial buildings in the world, the 4.2 million SF Merchandise Mart (theMART) is located in Chicago, IL along the Chicago River. Completed in 1930, the building continues to meet the changing needs of the office and showroom businesses it serves. As a GoldEB OEM LEED certified building, theMART is committed to creating and maintaining sustainable environments.
TheMART is owned by New York-based Vornado Realty Trust, a fully integrated, publicly traded, real estate investment trust (REIT) and one of the largest owners and managers of commercial real estate in the United States with a portfolio of over 45 million SF.