CHICAGO, IL -- NeoCon recently announced the 2021 Best of NeoCon jury. After an extensive nomination process, an exceptional group of interior designers, architects, facility managers, procurement professionals, design consultants and enterprise clients has been carefully selected to judge the coveted competition. The 2021 jury brings together industry leaders, facility managers and active specifiers from top firms and companies such as HOK, Amazon and Perkins & Will, with expertise ranging from commercial, healthcare, education and technology sectors. With about half returning and half new participants, the jury will be tasked with selecting the best of the best from 58 product categories across a range of verticals. Early indicators point to a record number of submissions, with entries up more than 20% over previous years at this time in the competition. 

“As one of the founders, I’ve been managing the Best of NeoCon Competition for the entirety of the program’s 31 years,” said Eileen McMorrow, director of the Best of NeoCon competition. “The 2021 edition expands upon the competition's rich tradition of community and product excellence. In partnering with theMART, we’ve grown the jury and broadened the submission categories to be in line with the latest trends and shifts in the commercial interiors industry.”

“Being a juror for Best of NeoCon gives an unparalleled access to the latest products and innovations within the commercial design world,” said veteran juror and senior workplace strategist at Amazon, Khoo Koss. “Hearing the why’s and how’s are as important as seeing the actual product or solution itself. This is also an opportunity to provide valuable feedback and to hear from others with diverse expertise and backgrounds within the juror team. I am a firm believer that shared feedback can truly elevate the industry.”

In the days leading up to the show, Best of NeoCon jurors will split up in teams and visit all participating showrooms and booths to conduct thorough product evaluations before deliberating and making their final determinations. Participating exhibitors will have the opportunity to present products created within the last 18 months to this group of highly vetted industry professionals. 

Winners will be announced on-site at a live special awards ceremony on the first day of NeoCon, Monday, October 4, at theMART. The event will also be live streamed online. Dynamic industry veteran and publisher/editor in chief of officeinsight, Bob Beck, will serve as this year’s Master of Ceremonies for the official awards celebration and will announce the winners in each category.

New this year, winners will receive a physical Best of NeoCon Award. The striking, translucent blue, sculptural object was conceived by award-winning design firm and NeoCon partner Maiarelli Studio and produced by the material specialists at NeoCon exhibitor 3form. 

Juror Mackenzie McCulloch, director of design/interiors at HOK, said, “I have always found the material aspect of what we do as designers to be very fascinating and I am excited to hear manufacturers speak in-depth about their product development process. NeoCon is so important because it serves as a ‘watering hole’ for many to gather and to experience products first-hand that would not otherwise be accessible.”

To see the full list of 2021 Best of NeoCon jurors and for more information on Best of NeoCon submissions, visit https://neocon.com/programming/best-of-neocon or explore NeoCon’s “Meet the Jury” campaign on Instagram. Additional jurors will be added in the next few weeks to accommodate the volume of submissions.

Submissions from now until September 2 will be $700, with a final round of submissions open through September 9 for $775.