If you're in the furniture and design industry, you probably know that next week is gonna be big! Everyone from investors, inventors, industry professionals, and interested intellectuals is expected at NeoCon 2014, which kicks off next Monday in Chicago. As North America's largest design exhibition for commercial and conference interiors, NeoCon is by far the most anticipated event for everyone that lives on the cutting edge! In today's article, we'll provide all the info you need to get your heart racing for the biggest design event of the year. Check it out!
What Is NeoCon?
NeoCon began in 1969 with 750 exhibitors as "The National Exposition of Contract Furnishings." It is an annual event that celebrates, showcases, and introduces the newest of the new when it comes to commercial and conference interior design. It's a convention that opens up new worlds for all sorts of markets with cutting edge products and gadgetry. Representatives and visionaries from workplace, healthcare, hospitality, governmental, environmental, retail, and educational facilities will all be attending in hopes to gain insight on the newest information and products to help improve their business. All the biggest inventors and interior designers will be unveiling their newest ideas and designs in order to win the prestigious NeoCon awards. (In other words: If you're important, go!)
Where and When?
This year's NeoCon will take place in Chicago at:
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza
Chicago, IL, 60654 USA
It will be open from:
Monday, June 9 - Wednesday, June 11, 2014
9AM to 5PM
Topics and Showrooms
NeoCon is always a smorgasbord of information and products. This year will cover all the biggest aspects of interior design for commercial, business, and conference interiors. Expect to see brand new innovations and products in the categories of flooring, fabric, lighting, interior building products, finishes, international partnerships, and of course, tech! So, if your business manufactures or relies heavily on any of these things, NeoCon is definitely an event you need to attend.
More than 40,000 industry professionals and designers are expected to attend this year's NeoCon. Interested leaders and patrons with backgrounds in corporate/office, educational, institutional, sustainable, hospitality, healthcare, retail, lighting, will all be in attendance at NeoCon. Most either manufacture products or provide services in these fields, and they use the information from NeoCon's seminars and exhibitions to prepare for future projects.
* Here's the run-down on NeoCon's target audience as described on the convention's website:
40% Interior Designers and Architects
30% Manufacturers and Dealers
10% Managers, Corporate Executives, and Purchasing Agents
10% Interested Others
* Here is NeoCon's list of the top four reasons why professionals attend:
98% Go to see new products and innovations
94% Go to learn about those products and services in order to benefit clients and employers
72% Go to attend social and networking events
42% Attend the CEU Seminars
According to the NeoCon website, "over 700 cutting-edge exhibitors" and representatives will be showcasing everything for commercial and residential interiors at the Merchandise Mart Plaza in Chicago. While a list of A to Z exhibitors is provided on the event website, some of the top names you can expect to see showing off their new products are Dyson, BIFMA, Bentley, Buzzispace, Global Total Office products, Invision, the Interior Design Society, the Mohawk Group, office furniture by Mayline, the National Lighting Corp., Newspec, OFM, the Raynor Group, and a huge host of the top commercial furniture brands and manufacturers from all over the world!
As a hugely influential event in the interior design world, it's only natural that NeoCon's awards are some of the most prestigious in the industry. Five awards groups and competitions will be in attendance to assess products and distribute congratulations. Here's a list of the ones to look out for!
"The Best of NeoCon" by Contract Magazine
This year, the Contract Magazine's "The Best of NeoCon" (BON) turns 25 years old! The magazine honors all the top new commercial interiors products in 43 categories. Fifty jurors will review somewhere around 350 products in 22 hours… all three days before NeoCon begins. As of late May 2014, the products were available via the Contract Network. A mention in this magazine is an award all it's own!
IIDA/Contract Magazine Competition
The IIDA/Contract Magazine Showroom and Booth Design Competition focuses on original design. The competition honors and awards products that exhibit a unique look with visual impact, the best use of space, color, graphics, texture, lighting, and resources. It's all done in the booths and showrooms at NeoCon. The winners will all earn a feature in Contract Magazine for the world to peruse.
Interior Design HIP Award
Interior Design HIP at NeoCon is a first. The award will honor industry pioneers for achievement in design and product applications in 2014.
Product Innovations Awards
BUILDINGS Magazine seeks out the top products for enhancing commercial buildings. The award goes to those that can prove efficiency and sustainability and earns winners a place in the magazine's September issue.
Metropolis Likes Awards
Editors from Metropolis set out to NeoCon every year to seek the spaces, products, and ideas they "like" best. They go in search of things which strike them as "beautiful, useful, and brilliant" and then relay them to the public through an integrated social media coverage known as Metropolis Likes.
NeoCon, naturally, has many sponsors that believe firmly in the power of this head-turning show. 3M Architectural Markets, Buzzispace, AIS, The Global Total Office group, KI, the Mohawk Group, Sherwin Williams, Seeyond, Wolf Gordon, SixInch, and Teknion are just a few of the top brand names that sponsor this prestigious event.
Special Exhibits and Events
Of course, NeoCon is filled with plenty of special exhibits and events for visitors and professionals to enjoy at the 2014 convention. For those interested in events, NeoCon is chock full of them. Don't miss out on the DIFFA/Chicago Believe 2014 Crystal Ball, the IIDA Black Tie Awards Celebration, or the Best of NeoCon Award Winners' Breakfast, just to name a few. In addition, here's some of the coolest exhibitions you won't want to miss:
The Buzzispace Lounge - a world of silence to take a break from all the NeoCon action without having to actually leave the action
Casual for Contract - the best exhibition for outdoor furnishings
"Flight" by Shaw Contract Group
Herman Miller Eames Shell Chair Exhibition - a great place to check out the new Shell Chairs by the Eameses
HOWE 40/4 50th Anniversary
IdeaPaint Wall - if you haven't yet heard of the remarkable dry-erase wall paint that's revolutionizing the workplace, you can meet its creators at this exhibition
The Mohawk Group
… And so many more!
Keynotes and Seminars
NeoCon in a Nutshell
For anyone that wants to promote their business, share ideas, view and review gadgets, or ooh-and-ah at gorgeous interior designs, NeoCon is the universal destination! As North America's biggest showroom for innovative office furniture and commercial products, seating with ergonomic design, superior technology, and corporate business revolutions, NeoCon is always a can't-miss-it event! All the information one could need about NeoCon 2014 is available on their website. Be the first to view the amazing new products that will be turning the commercial business world on it's head before they even hit the shelves!