NeoCon 2012 has more to offer than ever

HomeNewsNeoCon 2012 has more to offer than ever

Chicago — NeoCon, North America’s largest contract furnishings trade show, returns June 11-13 to Chicago’s Merchandise Mart for its 44th year with an expertly crafted line-up of show components developed to educate, inspire and engage the design world. With more than 40,000 expected attendees, 120 CEU-accredited seminars, thousands of new products from more than 700 of the world’s top manufacturers, and perhaps the most impressive line-up of keynote speakers to date, NeoCon 2012 promises three days of pure energy bursting with new innovations, resources and networking opportunities.


Each year, NeoCon taps the brightest minds and industry innovators for its keynote presentations and this year’s show is no exception. Show organizers have lined up four incredible and informative keynote speakers including Richard M. Daley, former Mayor of the City of Chicago, Primo Orpilla, Principal of Studio O+A. Gary Lee, Principal of Gary Lee Partners, and Ian Schrager of Ian Schrager Company. Keynote programs are free to attend, open to trade professionals only, and merit 0.1 CEU credit.

The longest-serving mayor in Chicago’s history, Richard M. Daley has earned an international reputation as a leading innovator in urban development, fiscal policy and government stewardship. As the former mayor, Mr. Daley enhanced Chicago’s quality of life, improved the public school system and infrastructure, strengthened the economy, reduced crime, improved transportation, and made Chicago one of the most environmentally- friendly cities in the world. Sponsored by Allsteel, his keynote will take place on Monday, June 11 at 8 a.m.

Primo Orpilla co-founded Studio O+A in 1991 with his partner (and wife) Verda Alexander because they recognized the need for a design firm in the Bay Area with the ability to respond to dynamic changes in the local tech-based economy. Since that time, Orpilla has directed design and construction for millions of square feet of space throughout the United States. His remarkably diverse client roster includes technology and communications firms, financial institutions, government agencies, developers, non-profit entities, and multi-national corporations. Most recently, the duo was named “Designers of the Year” by Contract magazine. His keynote, sponsored by OFS Brands, will take place on Tuesday, June 12 at 8 a.m.

Gary Lee, an interior design visionary, has earned accolades and rewards that include the prestigious Interiors Designer of the Year and membership in the highly selective Interior Design Hall of Fame.  With his innate ability to communicate a vision for projects, Lee begins the design process with a sense of how the environment will function for the client’s business, how the space will feel, and in planning that considers rhythm and volume before style. His keynote will take place on Tuesday, June 12 at 1 p.m.

Ian Schrager, creator of the boutique hotel concept, has achieved international recognition for concepts that have revolutionized both the entertainment and hospitality industries. His passionate commitment to the modern lifestyle has been expressed through a series of pioneering concepts: The hotel as home away from home, the hotel as a theater, “cheap chic”, “lobby socializing”, the indoor/outdoor lobby, the urban resort, and the urban spa. He is currently working on launching two new hotel brands in various 24 hour gateway cities around the world. His keynote will take place on Wednesday, June 13 at Noon.

Continuing education and professional development have always been an integral component of NeoCon. This year’s conference schedule includes 120 CEU-accredited seminars and industry association forums, giving trade professionals the opportunity to discover the newest trends and techniques from some of the top-names in the industry. This year, NeoCon is pleased to offer a full day workshop that will provide a comprehensive overview of LEED, and is designed to prepare individuals to pass the introductory LEED credentialing exam, LEED Green Associate.  The workshop will be presented on Sunday, June 10th from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be presented by Michelle Cottrell, IIDA, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, ID+C, Vice President & Director of Education at Green Education Services, Author of Guide to the LEED® Green Associate Exam (Wiley, 2010).

Visit for a complete listing of tours, association forums and special events.


NeoCon is the only place to see thousands of new product launches from industry heavy hitters all under one roof. Attendees at the show will be the first to see innovative, next generation products and resources from more than 700 of the world’s top furnishings manufacturers for commercial office, residential, health care, hospitality, institutional and government design environments. Products will span a wide range of categories including: architectural products, artwork and accessories, building products and services, fabric, floor coverings, furnishings, kitchen and bath, lighting, outdoor furniture, stone and tile, sustainable design products, technology, textiles and wall coverings.

Additionally, this premier contract show features a variety of show components, including Fine Design and LuxeHome. Attendees can explore the best in home furnishings during Fine Design at NeoCon®. The Design Center’s permanent showrooms on floors 6, 15, 16, 17 and 18 as well as the LuxeHome® boutiques on the ground floor, boast nearly 200 stunning showrooms, dedicated to residential furnishing, kitchen, bath and building product resources.

Following the tremendous success the past two years, the Furniture Revolution Gallery will return to NeoCon to find America’s next great designer. The Gallery, located on the NeoCon show floor, offers design students and young designers just out of school the chance to get their unique product in front of the world’s top manufacturers.

Additionally, the first floor of the Merchandise Mart will feature the Herman Miller Lounge in the South Lobby; the BuzziSpace lounge for those looking to relax, make a phone call, or meet a colleague; the Green Spot and Sustainability Timeline which showcases new, innovative, sustainable and eco-friendly products from showroom partners; as well as Seeyond, a stunningly elegant wall feature that creates two distinct semi-enclosed work spaces.


There’s a lot to be said for face-to-face interactions and NeoCon offers attendees the opportunity to engage with more than 40,000 like-minded, industry professionals. Show organizers have produced a full calendar of special events for networking and unwinding after navigating the largest contract furnishings show in North America. A full list of special events will be available at in March, 2012.


Celebrating its 23rd year, the Best of NeoCon® (BON) honors new commercial interiors products. These products are introduced to the market in 42 categories ranging from Architectural Products to Workplace Technologies. Forty-six jurors who are interior designers, architects, and facilities management professionals, review approximately 325 products in 22 hours over three days before NeoCon begins. In late May 2012, all products that entered the Best of NeoCon will be available for viewing at .

Registration will be available at in March, 2012. NeoCon attendees are encouraged to pre-register by June 4th to save time and money. As part of a new effort to increase online pre-registration, attendees who register at by June 4th will be admitted into the show at no charge. Attendees who wait to register on-site will be charged $25 for a show badge.


9 a.m. – 5 p.m., June 11 – 13, 2012

For more information about NeoCon, visit the or call (800) 677-6278 (MART).

Outside of the United States call (312) 527-7600. NeoCon is only open to trade professionals with proper credentials.


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