The 40th annual NeoCon World’s Trade Fair, North America’s largest conference and exhibition for interior design and facilities management at The Merchandise Mart Chicago, attracted approximately 50,500 attendees from around the world. However, this represented a 4% dip from the previous year’s show.
“This year’s NeoCon proved that the furniture industry is strong and is investing heavily in new product introductions,” said Mark Falanga, senior vice president, Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. (MMPI). “With only a slight dip, NeoCon’s attendance was still up 15% from 2005, which is very impressive. With more than 1,200 exhibitors and 352 Best of NeoConNeoCon has remained the show for the industry.”
Leaders from throughout the contract industry commented on NeoCon 2008, hosted from June 9-11:
“Our industry has seen an amazing amount of change in the four decades since the first NeoCon fair. NeoCon and The Merchandise Mart have provided a stable anchor in the midst of this change, ” said Jim Hackett, President and CEO of Steelcase.
“NeoCon has played a vital role in the evolution of the workplace and the growth of our industry. Herman Miller’s Action Office was publicly introduced at that first NeoCon, and the years since have proven the event continues to be North America’s premier showcase for innovative, problem solving design, ” offered Brian Walker, CEO of Herman Miller.
“Traffic is very strong this year. We’ve had a terrific response from buyers and sellers,” commented Peter Brunelle, President and CEO of Inscape.
In addition to the showroom, NeoCon assembles groups of industry experts, leaders, and innovators to provide insight into different areas to keep attendees on the cutting edge of their industries. This year’s line up of keynote speakers included: Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics; Robert F. Kennedy Jr., environmentalist and author of the New York Times bestseller Crimes Against Nature; and Scott Wilson, former Global Creative Director at Nike and Design Director at Motorola.
Next year’s NeoCon World’s Trade Fair will be held June 15-17, 2009, at The Merchandise Mart.