According to organizers, registration for NeoCon was up 6% from last year, drawing 53,000 enthusiastic professionals from around the world.

“This show is very special for us—this was only our third year and we've built incredible relationships and had the opportunity to show people something new each and every year," said attendee Michael Dardashti, director of business development, Snowsound. "NeoCon serves as the annual stage for manufacturers to share what they've been working on for the last year (or often times longer). NeoCon itself is a hub for collaboration and learning: companies showcase their innovations for the specifying community, and end users are exposed to a wealth of award winning design solutions—all under one roof. Stories are shared, questions are answered and the level of engagement between the different types of attendees makes it both an exciting and rewarding time for all.” 

The 100% occupied NeoCon showrooms, five of which were new additions, were buzzing all three days. Those in attendance were the first to experience theMART’s newly designed public spaces. The transformative $40 million dollar renovation included a striking new Grand Stair opening up to a large multi-purpose space on the second floor, a modernized urban food hall, an expanded riverfront park with alfresco seating and more. Also bustling with activity was the newly redesigned 7th Floor Exhibit Hall. Offering a comprehensive, easy-to-navigate experience, it received rave reviews from exhibitors and showgoers. Insightful and robust programming and a wealth of special events, parties, awards ceremonies and inspiring exhibits made for a productive and fun show.

Kicking off the first day of the show was Paul Scialla, founder and CEO of Delos, and founder of the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). Scialla delivered a powerful presentation in which he shared emerging innovations and evidence-based research about how to design buildings specifically to support the health and wellness of the people who live, work and learn in them. Hot on the heels of winning a Tony Award for his scenic designs for She Loves Me, David Rockwell, founder and president of award-winning architecture and design firm, Rockwell Group, was met with an enthusiastic crowd for his keynote. Rockwell unveiled a workplace collection with Knoll rooted in the cornerstones of Rockwell Group's practice: hospitality, user-choreographed experience and theater. The next day’s keynote was met with equal success. Oana Stanescu, partner of the visionary architecture studio, Family, spoke passionately about what architecture/design can do for a community and how architects and designers can make their visions come to fruition to benefit others.

"NeoCon has exceeded our expectations in its ability to connect us to the global contract furniture market," said attendee Eric Vecchione, director of business development, Uhuru. "It is by far the most effective trade show we participate in and we plan on growing our presence next year.”

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