NeoCon Ends on a High Note
The 47th edition of NeoCon, June 15-17, was one for the record books with high numbers of engaged professionals flocking to the Merchandise Mart for a jam-packed, three-day show. Drawing more than 50,000 influential attendees from across the country and globe, the floors were bustling and vibrant until the show close on Wednesday. They all came to take advantage of the powerful keynotes, top-notch exhibitors, fresh educational programming and invaluable networking opportunities. Adding to the excitement this year was the unveiling of a brand new river-facing park in front of the Merchandise Mart, as well as the launch of an enhanced and super-intuitive NeoCon app. Improved way-finding and thoughtfully designed layouts on the 7th and 8th floors elevated the NeoCon experience.
Susan McCullough, Senior Vice President at The Merchandise Mart, comments, “NeoCon has long been the ultimate conference and exposition for those in commercial interiors. This year, the show was even better then ever thanks to many new initiatives and events. Enthusiastic show-goers and exhibitors kept NeoCon buzzing until the final hour of the very last day. It’s become clear that the show has grown in size and scope and is on a great track for years to come.”
Keynote sessions and the majority of the CEUs and seminars were sold out. Patricia Urquiola’s Keynote (presented by IIDA and Haworth) was a smash hit, kicking off the show on a high note. A major rainstorm cancelled second day Keynote presenter Jason Silva’s flight (and therefore presentation sponsored by ASID and OFS Brands), but it did not dampen spirits. As skies cleared, attendees descended upon the gorgeous new park on the Merchandise Mart’s South Drive for NeoCon and Interior Design magazine’s HiP at NeoCon party featuring live Blues music and some of Chicago’s favorite food and drink. On Wednesday, rising stars and keynotes Martin Lesjak and Anastasija Sugic (presented by AIA Chicago and Mohawk Group) set the tone for a successful last day, with many attendees staying until the show wrapped up that afternoon.
Exhibitors and attendees observed the pervasive energy throughout. Here are some of their enthusiastic observations:
“2015 was our best NeoCon yet. We had nearly double the number of people visit our showroom this year compared to 2014. Many of our new products focused on leveraging technology to further encourage movement in the workplace. Show attendees were intrigued by the concept of combining technology with ergonomics and minimal, functional design to make work environments more intelligent and healthy.” – Chris Gibson, VP of Marketing, Humanscale
“For 2015, we focused on helping customers envision themselves in their own expression of a Living Office. Knowing that NeoCon organizers were forecasting higher attendance, and that visitors to Herman Miller always expect us to up our game year over year, we created an exhibit-based environment that created an opportunity for a completely different kind of showroom experience. The buzz at the show was electric. We hosted more groups than ever before, and all three of our showrooms were busy from 9am on Monday morning until we had our last customers leave late Wednesday afternoon.”- Tim Straker, Global Customer Experience Director at Herman Miller
“This was a banner year for HBF & HBF Textiles at NeoCon. In addition to receiving a slew of prestigious awards for both brands, our updated showroom featuring the new products was extremely well received. The quality of designers, specifiers, architects, and media with whom we were able to interface was unparalleled.” –Rick Fox, General Manager, HBF & HBF Textiles
“NeoCon is a very important week of the year for VARIDESK. It is the best place to meet with clients, foster new relationships and gain valuable insight on the direction of the industry.”- Jason McCann, President and CEO of VARIDESK
“I’m representing a small business in Chicago and NeoCon has been a great source for networking and making meaningful connections. It’s cool to see so many new and innovative materials in one place. There was a lot to see that I would not have been exposed to otherwise.”-Vincent Martin of Aoko and JPI Creative
“The show is really fantastic and dynamic with out-of-the-box solutions we wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.”- Ebony Magnus and Jessica Sender of Michigan State University Libraries
“The show is great! There are so many floors filled with inspiration. It’s exciting to see all of the new trends.”- Interior designers Jessica Bailey and Alina Mokrzan
NeoCon is owned and produced by Vornado Realty Trust | Merchandise Mart. Vornado Realty Trust | Merchandise Mart, a division of Vornado Realty Trust, is a leading owner and operator of integrated showroom and office buildings, as well as trade show facilities, bringing buyers and sellers together through market events, trade and consumer shows, and conferences each year. We are committed to creating sustainable environments in the properties we manage and the communities we serve.
Vornado Realty Trust, based in New York City, is a fully integrated equity real-estate investment trust. Vornado’s common shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange and are traded under the symbol VNO