A Vibrant NeoCon 51: Energetic Edition Underscored Event’s Enduring Value
CHICAGO, IL -- The 51st edition of NeoCon, held from June 10 to 12, 2019 at The Mart in Chicago, IL, was a resounding success, further establishing itself as the premier, global platform for connecting, learning and conducting business in the commercial interiors industry. This year’s event was marked by robust attendance and a palpable energy that coursed throughout the show, as the commercial A&D community immersed themselves in everything design.
The NeoCon Plaza, an experiential outdoor environment sponsored and outfitted by Haworth and Haworth Collection, as well as by Sunbrella Contract and Econyl by Aquafil, was a hit with attendees who used it to connect, collaborate, relax, recharge, unwind and enjoy the outdoors. A direct example of the movement of incorporating the outdoors into the workplace, the space -- which was designed by Gensler Chicago in collaboration with Forward Fruit Branded
Environments -- was just one of many amenity-filled features show-goers enjoyed. A captivating educational program, headlined by keynote presenters, Robin Standefer, Stephen Alesch, Ilse Crawford and Liz Ogbu, in addition to new designer-led tours of notable Chicago spaces, dynamic installations and can’t-miss industry gatherings, rounded out the 51st edition.
Byron Morton, vice president of leasing for NeoCon, said, “The success of any given built project lies in how effective, useful, enjoyable and healthy it is for those who occupy the space. Applying that measure of success to NeoCon 2019, I think it’s fair to say it was a strong, vibrant edition. Whether it was connecting with colleagues outdoors in the NeoCon Plaza, taking in the powerful keynote presentations and seminar offerings, or exploring the many floors of showroom and exhibitor spaces, innovations and activations, the design world was treated to an inspirational and productive experience.”
A testament to the continued strength and enduring value of NeoCon, seven new permanent showrooms opened and several tenants unveiled renovated new spaces designed by top firms, just in time for this year’s edition. New tenants include Hightower -- which was honored with the IIDA/Contract Magazine Showroom and Booth Design Competition for Best in Competition overall and for Best Small Showroom -- as well as Kwalu, Beaufurn, Montisa, Cumberland
Furniture, Emeco and HAT Contract. Eighty-five new-to-NeoCon brands joined the roster in the NeoCon Exhibit Hall on the seventh floor, which also featured many returning exhibitors who opted for larger spaces for the 2019 edition. Trends included ancillary spaces, phone booth-like structures, a focus on acoustics, amenity spaces and outdoor-oriented solutions.
Showrooms and exhibitors shared some of their observations:
- “The organization and management of NeoCon was absolutely optimal,” said Giuseppe Pedrali, CEO, and Monica Pedrali, sales and marketing director of Pedrail. “We were a firsttime exhibitor this year and had both an installation on the first floor, as well as a booth on the seventh floor, which was designed by Milan architecture firm, Calvi Brambilla. We were impressed by the level of both designers and dealers that attended the exhibition, which included leading A&D firms from the U.S., Canada and overseas. They enthusiastically welcomed our collections, showing great attention and interest in the products presented."
- “Tarkett’s NeoCon 2019 will be remembered by very robust traffic throughout the show’s three days,” said Chris Stulpin, CCO for Tarkett North America. “We met with numerous workplace customers, as well as key end-users from across all segments. Design firms were very well represented from a diverse geography, and our strategic channel partners came out in droves. We were thrilled with attendance and even more excited by the overwhelmingly positive response to our products from both existing customers and new relationships.”
- “We had high expectations for NeoCon this year, as we significantly promoted our expanded presence at the show, along with all of the new product families we’d be previewing,” said Kurt James, marketing director for Claridge Products. “So we were ready for heavy booth traffic, but the volume, consistency and quality of attendees truly exceeded our expectations. I would say this year’s show was outstanding for us on all levels. We knocked it out of the park.”
- "We are extremely happy about the overall experience at NeoCon,” said Samu Hallfors, CEO and founder of Framery. “Our stands captured a lot of attention and traffic and we had plenty of really good meetings and interactions throughout the fair. Our latest innovations were very well received, and people can't wait to get their hands on them in the fall. Naturally it's also always nice to be recognized with awards both for the booth and our innovations."
- "This year's show was historic -- full of excitement, launches and conversations that showcase the huge potential of the commercial industry to continue breaking ground with innovative solutions,” said Jeff Collum, president and CEO of Teknoflor. “There was vibrancy around HMTX's presence and a feeling of power and promise around our Teknoflor brand."
- "Our first NeoCon marked a significant milestone for Luxxbox as we continue to expand into the North American market, providing holistic acoustic solutions to designers around the world,” said Jason Bird, founder and creative director at Luxxbox. “NeoCon presented the opportunity to meet with existing and new clients, and launch new lines including our Waffle Discs and Leaves. We're thrilled with the recognition our products received in the various awards programs, including Best of NeoCon, The HiP Awards, and Product Innovations Awards for Blade and Linea acoustic lights, some of our most progressive solutions to date."
- “We had a terrific Neocon 2019,” said David Crimmins, vice president of sales and marketing for Allermuir | Senator. “We felt a strong increase in traffic compared to prior years, driven primarily by award winning product introductions like Kin, our new showroom in The Mart and overall strong macroeconomic conditions. We found customers engaged, inspired and actively seeking products with inspired design and immediate availability.”