NeoCon - our thoughts

Now in its 48 year, NeoCon opened its doors in mid June at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, to over 53,000 attendees.

NeoCon is the largest trade show for commercial interiors in the world and covers one million square feet of exhibition space, three floors of showrooms and a floor of temporary exhibitors. The event is the perfect destination for seeing thousands of new products from furniture and textiles to floor coverings and technology across all industry sectors.

The event was attended by all the big players you'd expect, Herman Miller, Steelcase, Haworth, Knoll, Okamura, GunLocke (part of HNI, represented in the UK by By Bailey) to name a few, with Vitra, Senator, Boss Design holding up the European side.

Scott Davis, our Director of International Sales and Rhian O’Neill, Portfolio Manager packed their comfy shoes and flew over to Chicago to see as many of the 450 exhibitors as possible. Here they share their key trends.

Real wood is in. By far the most popular material at the show, even wood-effect vinyls are being applied to steel storage products to give a timber illusion.

Bringing the outdoors inside is continuing its rise. From planters as room dividers to plant paintings hanging from walls, greenery was everywhere.

Soft to Touch
Vinyl covered soft seating made entirely of polyurethane foam, without a support frame, was popular throughout the show.

Wellness in the workplace was firmly in the spotlight.  Sit-stand options are now mainstream and rocking stools which supporting flexibility and freedom of movement gained a lot of attention. As well as a few giggles, spills and ‘concentration faces’ as visitors tried them out.

Power was integrated into desks, pedestals, soft-seating and lockers as manufacturers looked to benefit from 'Tech' disruption.

The days of only writing on white-boards are long gone! Virtually every showroom had some element of “writable” furniture, whether on meeting tables and desks, seating and storage or , then now traditional, walls.

Finally, in the 'Why didn’t we think of this before?’ category, Nucraft and HON exhibited storage cabinets with integrated fridges – just perfect for meeting room credenzas.