NeoCon took over the Merchandise Mart in Chicago for three days in early June this year. So big it has its own zip code, the Mart was filled to capacity with new furniture, fabric, carpet, wall coverings, flooring, and more. Couldn't make it? Here's the show in a nutshell.
Attendance rose from 50,500 in 2006 to 52,600 this year, making it the most populous NeoCon to date.
Zaha Hadid, scheduled to appear as the IIDA keynote speaker, canceled at the last minute, leaving a full auditorium with a scratchy and oft-interrupted satellite phone interview.
For the first time ever, a lighting product (Haworth's Brazo, above) won the Best of NeoCon Best of Competition Award from Contract magazine.
Word on the street was that things were more subdued this year, with fewer flashy new product releases. Could the residential downturn be reining some companies in?
More than 1,200 companies exhibited on the show floors at the Mart, in spaces ranging from small temporary booths to newly redone, 20,000-square-foot permanent showrooms.
Registration for continuing education seminars was up 46 percent from last year, and attendees had 123 courses to choose from.
More people means more congestion at an already gridlocked Mart, and this year even the stairs were jammed. Next year might require a new strategy. Antigravity boots?