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The Global Interior design community once again descended on Chicago’s Merchandise Mart aka The Mart June 11 – 14, for its annually gigantic showcase of the wonderful world of interior design. NeoCon has served as the world’s leading platform and most important event of the year for the commercial interior design industry since 1969. As stated in the NeoCon 2022 Program guide, NeoCon 2022 was a wonderful confluence of innovative design, exciting new products, inspiring programming, and our outstanding community!
NeoCon is most definitely an invaluable resource for you if your business is involved in any aspect of the interior and even exterior construction and design business; because as in any profession in order to survive and even more so thrive it is important to know about as much of the latest tool, techniques, suppliers, best practices and resources. NeoCon can also be invaluable to you if you’re a DIYer, student, or might wannabe.
The Mart, which is the world’s largest year around and permanent exhibition under one roof devoted mostly to a single industry, The Mart has its own zip code and a million Plus square feet of showrooms, exhibit, and event spaces. With most of it involved in or utilized for NeoCon, you most certainly will find an overwhelming amount of products, services, technology, presentation, exhibitions, networking, and more.
NeoCon caters to the interior design professionals of all aspects of the building industry from homes to residential high rises, single-store build-outs to multiple unit commercial builds, offices to multi-use mega high rises, and much more. In particular, a lot of the permanent showrooms of The Mart and exhibitors of NeoCon, cater to the design needs of the office, hotel, restaurant, and residential; as well as institutions, such as the library, museum, hospital, university, etc.
Some NeoCon Sponsors + Exhibitors cater specifically to niche aspects of interior design such as:
- Behr Paints is a powerhouse in both interior and exterior paints with both a permanent showroom and a 7th-floor showcase exhibit.
- Samuels & Sons, which specializes specifically in trims, especially tassels, as well as serving great tamales
- Mohawk Group, the experts of multipurpose and multi-function carpeting + hard surface coverings, with a considerable line of environmental sustainability offerings.
- Framery, a Finnish company, established in 2010 in Tampere, manufactures furniture, soundproof phone booths, workspaces, and pods for offices, airports, and other business and public environments.
One of the most compelling aspects of NeoCon, for many, especially me, is open to all showroom and networking events. At these events you get to know some of the key players of the brands, get to talk in-depth to product specialists, browse casually and meet new people. Did I mention they serve good food + libations?
- Mohawk Group did their annual Showroom food and drink events.
- Franmery had an early cocktail bar and a later craft beer bar, in their exhibit with their signature sales staff all dressed in matching cool kid clothes.
Speaking of, did I mention, did I mention there are also parties? Behr Paints hosted a group on the summit of the rooftop of the London House. Talk about a great view and cocktails…!
Some notable design, creative, and production masters participating in many of the presentation and panel discussions, included:
- Nick Cave, Artist
- Bob Faust, Principle + Creative Director, Faus
- Lilly Diego, Design Director, Gensler
- Shashi Cann, Founding Partner, SC COLLECTIVE
- Bruce Mau, CEO, Massive Change Network
- Royce Epstein, A&D Design Director, Mohawk Group
Industry-focused organizations also produce off-site events to enhance the In-Chicago experience for the thousands of participants from around the world. Key organizations contributing to the production of NeoCon include:
- USGBC (US Green Building Council)
- IIDA (International Interior Design Association)
- Design Museum of Chicago
- CIDA (Council for Interior Design Accreditation)
- AAHID (American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designers)
- AIA Chicago (American Institute of Architects)
- ASID (American Society of Interior Designers)
- BIFMA (Business Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association)
- DCASE (Department, Cultural Affairs + Special Events, City of Chicago)