NeoCON turns 50

NeoCON turns 50

NeoCON turns 50


    Chicago, on Lake Michigan in Illinois, is among the largest cities in the U.S. Famed for its bold architecture, it has a skyline punctuated by skyscrapers such as the iconic John Hancock Center, 1,451-ft. Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) and the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower. The city is also renowned for its museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago with its noted Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works.

    NeoCon celebrated its 50th edition as the world’s leading platform and most important event of the year for the commercial design industry. Held every June at The Mart in Chicago since 1969, NeoCon serves as the launch pad for innovation—offering ideas and introductions that shape the ‘build-it’ community into the future.

      Chicago’s historic Merchandise Mart was opened in 1930, it was the largest building in the world, with 4,000,000 square feet (372,000 m2) of floor space.

      The industry’s major manufacturers showcase thousands of new products and services in categories including Furniture, Fabrics, Flooring, Interior Building Products, Interior Finishes and Technology.

      Representing markets ranging from Workplace, Healthcare, Hospitality, Retail, Education, Public Space and Government, the commercial design community converges each year at NeoCon to connect, learn and do business.

      This spring, ten new permanent showrooms made their debut at NeoCon 50 including David Edward, Innovant, DARRAN, GMi Companies, LINAK, NappaTile, Segis USA, SurfaceWorks, Trinity Furniture, and Scandinavian Spaces spread across floors 3, 10 and 11.

        Scandinavian Spaces

        NeoCon has evolved into an international design hub that brings together more than 50,000 professionals for networking opportunities as well as dynamic and diverse learning experiences. Its powerful conference program is at the forefront of thought leadership, delivering distinguished speakers.

          Cindy Allen introducing HiP Award Winners at the opening ceremony for NeoCon 2018

          For the first time, Steelcase, Coalesse and Turnstone, along with an extensive new network of partners, come together in expanded and redesigned showrooms on the east wing of the third floor of the historic Chicago Merchandise Mart. The showrooms have already been recognized for Best of Competition and Best Large Showroom at NeoCon 2018. Two distinct areas complement one another within the new showrooms: the Steelcase WorkLife demonstrates how a ‘smart + connected’ workplace can improve the employee experience and drive innovation, and the all-new Steelcase WorkCafé features a dynamic ecosystem of spaces designed to support the wellbeing of people and foster connections at work.

            This year NeoCon welcomed the home and lifestyle showrooms into the groove, it was great to stroll through the beautifully appointed Janus et Cie showroom which is right next door to the expansive Holly Hunt Showroom on the 14th floor. The Maya Romanoff space had a cool touch and feel presentation with some hot new wallpapers.  Tufenkian started a ‘To the Trade Only’ program where you can only see the private collection after showing your credentials. The Bradley Showroom has a stunning collection of wallpaper artist mixed in with custom furniture and really cool polished cement sinks.

            One of my favorite spots was the award-winning HBF Showroom which had a nice vibe of colorful fabric and sultry furniture. Yes, I said it – sultry furniture.  You’ll see . . .

              Holly Hunt Showroom Chicago – 14th floor – The Mart
                WALLPAPERS AT THE BRADLEY SHOWROOM -6th floor – The Mart
                  Janus et Cie Showroom @ The Mart on the 14th floor
                    Maya Romanoff Showroom @ The Mart 6th floor
                      Tufenkian Carpets Chicago @ The Mart – 14th floor
                        HBF Showroom @ The Mart -3rd floor
                          HBF Counter Stool @ NeoCon 2018
                            HBF Showroom – Steven Rappos *HBF + Mary Jo Miller *HBF Creative Director + Ghislaine Vinas *Designer – custom award-winning textile collection for HBF + Jaime Vinas

                            Knoll, which is rumored to be leaving The Mart sometime in 2019 incorporated a ‘people counter’ in their showroom.  Just to give you an idea of how busy it was at 10:04 am on the first day – 576 people had already entered the showroom.  Kudos to the Merchandise Mart for keeping each floor and each showroom at cool and comfortable 68°F.  I heard no complaints about the temperature as I was eavesdropping through the crowded corridors.

                            Thank you Interior Design Magazine, The Merchandise Mart and Janus et Cie. Your hospitality was beyond welcoming and your presentations are always #sochic.

                              Knoll Showroom @ The Mart – 11th floor
                                the shortest elevator queue – 20+ people @ The Mart – NeoCon
                                  loved this art installation @ The Mart – NeoCon
                                    Cindy Allen, Editor in Chief, Interior Design Magazine – It’s 5th year, Interior Design’s HiP Awards at NeoCon Honors Industry People and Innovative Products. This unique initiative honors commercial industry pioneers and achievement in product applications.
                                      Annie Block – staircase madness at Marshall’s Landing during NeoCon and the HiP Awards.
                                        Winners and nominees at the HiP Awards – NeoCon
                                          NeoCon – 2018 @ The Mart – Chicago – Interior Design Magazine
                                            Award Winners from Gensler – NeoCon 2018 – HiP Awards – Marshall’s Landing
                                              Christie Boyle, Chrysanthemum Partners + Susan McCullough, SVP at The Mart + Lisa Simonian Vice President, Marketing at The Mart
                                                Randi Pastrovic – CARNEGIE @ NeoCon 2018
                                                  Marilyn Mendell @ NeoCon – The Mart

                                                    The Crowded Corridors at NEOCON quick video clip




                                                        Rio Hamilton

                                                        Rio Hamilton is a business development professional with vast marketing and sales experience.He specializes in brand promotion for the luxury interior design and lifestyle industries. Rio works with companies, individuals and groups on concentrated brand identity and elevation. He has a popular website that chronicles "the who's who" at design and fashion events throughout greater New York.

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