It’s that time of year and designers are already ramping themselves up for the annual industry event. With two new show categories, approximately 1,000 exhibitors, and a new student design gallery, the 42nd NeoCon® World’s Trade Fair, being held June 14-16 in Chicago, is poised to be the most comprehensive event yet.
As the worst of the economic downturn falls behind us, the focus among the A&D community is now on preparedness for the upswing, according to MMPI senior vice president Mark Falanga, who predicts that attendance this year will be greatly improved over 2009. “Last year, the downturn really came as a great surprise and it really was a big shock to the industry…The marketplace is much more stable now,” he says. “I believe we will have a strong attendance here at NeoCon® as firms get ready to take on a lot of pent up demand. I think design firms recognize that…their staffs need to be prepared.”
To better serve industry needs, two new targeted shows will be running in conjunction with NeoCon® at the Merchandise Mart—Buildex Chicago (Floor 12) and The Lighting Pavilion (Floor 7). Buildex is an expo and conference that will highlight building products to better attract and retain facility manager attendees, while the Lighting Pavilion will introduce innovative contract lighting products and solutions. An educational track, featuring 10 CEU/HSW- and LEUaccredited seminars, will also be held at the Lighting Pavilion on topics such as sustainable lighting, energy efficiency, and LED technology.
In conjunction with both of these dimensions, NeoCon® will host 150 CEU-accredited seminars, industry association forums, and featured programs, with a newly introduced Career Development Educational Track for industry professionals looking for a job or to build their current skills.
Additional daily keynotes will be presented to round out the educational offerings. Majora Carter, former executive director and founder of the non-profit Sustainable South Bronx, will discuss innovative green strategies on Monday, June 14 at 8 a.m. in “Green the Ghetto and How Much It Won’t Cost Us.” Yves Behar, industrial designer and founder of fuseproject, will address on June 16 at 12 p.m “Design in the Age of 360°,” exploring the new role of designers in contemporary culture. Other speakers include: Michael Graves, architect and founder of Michael Graves & Associates, and Margaret McCurry, one of Architectural Digest’s AD 100 Top Designers for 2010.
Attendees will also have the opportunity to see the debut of the Furniture Revolution Gallery, a new exhibit concept that will display student design prototypes. “There are a lot of young designers who are very creative. Students want people to see their designs, and they’re just looking for the right opportunity and platform to do so,” says Kari Kemerer, director of marketing for NeoCon® shows.
Contract again will unveil the winners of its Best of NeoCon® Award at an exclusive breakfast, being held on June 14 at 7:30 a.m. at Chicago’s Renaissance Hotel. (Tickets are available for $75 at www.Contract-Network.com.) The annual product competition honors new and innovative commercial interiors products in 44 categories.
Products being introduced at NeoCon® 2010 can be viewed in the product categories listed at ContractDesign.com.
For more information and for a full list of educational opportunities, visit NeoCon.com