Chicago—NeoCon, held June 11–13 at The Mart here, rang in a historic 50 years as the leading platform for commercial design, serving as an incubator and catalyst for the future of the industry. Record attendance and increased volume over the duration of the show underscored exactly how important this annual gathering is for members of the industry to come together and share, learn and inspire one another.
“NeoCon 50 had a remarkable energy,” said Byron Morton, vice president leasing, NeoCon Shows. “The permanent showrooms, 7th floor exhibit hall and seminar spaces benefited from three solid days of traffic.”
Breakthroughs in the fields of sustainability, materiality, integrated technology and acoustical performance were some of the top trends seen throughout the show. An overall commitment to a softer, more comfort-based approach to workspace design was evident. The movement was further solidified by exciting announcements including Herman Miller’s acquisition of contemporary Danish furniture brand, Hay, and Steelcase and West Elm’s partnership—set to provide a more expansive array of workplace furniture. A marked yet diverse focus on wellbeing in the workplace also took center stage. From privacy solutions to biophilic design, workplace solutions exhibited a people-centric approach.
NeoCon 50 also added ten new permanent showrooms and 100 innovative 7th floor exhibitors to its already robust line-up. Conference program attendance was strong thanks to thought-provoking marquee presentations featuring Art Gensler, Cheryl Durst, Nick Thompson, Cindy Allen, Robin Klehr Avia, Gisue Hariri, Lauren Rottet and Carol Ross Barney, as well as over 100 accredited seminar sessions. Dynamic installations, activations and interactive exhibits rounded out the show. Tuesday night’s The Future is Party, presented by Mohawk, was a high energy affair with more than 3,000 guests celebrating NeoCon’s 50 years.
The 50th edition also marked the launch of a new, aptly titled podcast, NeoConversations. It will serve as the voice of the industry throughout the year, featuring insight into new trends, design solutions, and relevant, impactful issues.
NeoCon 2019 will be held from June 10-12 at The Mart.