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Show News & Business

Neocon's Community Platform, NeoConnect, Engages Commercial Design Industry Through Fall 2020

The digital hub, NeoConnect, helped the contract design community network, learn and view product launches in the absence of the physical NeoCon show during Covid-19.

Gray Surya rug with diamond pattern
Malaga, part of Surya's virtual Spring introduction launch, is featured on the NeoCon digital platform, NeoConnect

CHICAGO -- NeoConnect, NeoCon's dynamic digital hub, brought the commercial design industry together throughout the month of June with virtual product launches from NeoCon exhibitors, compelling content from media and community partners, and more than 70 online programs and events.

The digital hub will continue to connect the community by offering new content and resources through the Fall. All of the action will take place on and NeoCon's social media platforms.

According to Lisa Simonian, VP of marketing for NeoCon, "We are so pleased with the response to NeoConnect. It was clear that our community did not want to miss the networking, learning and product launches that they have come to expect at NeoCon every June. June programming attendance was consistently high with registrants representing 30 different countries and we've seen tremendous traffic on our site and social media channels throughout the month.

Simonian added, "Our community truly came together and shared resources and ideas that will help us all work, create and navigate throughout the year ahead. Our partners stepped up to the plate to offer important content as well as creative inspiration and we look forward to continuing to share their contributions with the community for the next several months -- until our major focus shifts to NeoCon 2021."

NeoConnect 2020 June Highlights

Shaw Contracts Rugs showed Archway by Adriana Jaroslavky on NeoConnect In June, NeoConnect showcased the latest introductions from NeoCon exhibitors and original content from its media and association partners. It offered unique virtual moments to connect, network, learn, and share within the industry.

Daily webinars were hosted by thought leaders and innovators in their fields, including Primo Orpilla (O+A), Cheryl Durst (IIDA), Paul Makovsky (Contract Magazine), Jane Abernathy (Humanscale), and Bill Bouchey (HOK). Conversations centered around timely topics such as designing for a new era in the workplace, studying the 21st Century classroom, workplace amenities, new innovations in plastic reuse, and how to hone creativity in everyday life. Several programs were recorded and can be accessed through the NeoConnect hub into the Fall.

In addition, NeoConnect launched "The Silver Lining," a community-driven blog series that features thoughtful narratives from experts in the industry such as Ken Wilson (Perkins + Will), Susan Chung (ASID), Jennifer Busch, and Martin Lesjak (13&9). The ongoing blog series addresses compelling issues such as the impact of COVID-19 on the workplace, design in a post-pandemic world, and the power of research in design.

Tarkett's Sense of Marble rug inspired by the residential trend to geometric shaped designs.

The NeoCon social platforms offered NeoConnect visitors a glimpse at industry leading products, NeoCon exhibitor news and insightful videos including a new Be Well series with #DesignStandsTogether. The venture, organized in partnership with Novità Communications, features design industry heavyweights offering tips and tricks on creative-inspired endeavors and wellness.

Contributors have included Suzanne Tick (Luum Textiles & Suzanne TIck, Inc.), Ghislaine Viñas (Ghislaine Viñas, LLC), Roger Thomas (The Roger Thomas Collection), Royce Epstein (Mohawk Group), Michael Suomi (Suomi Design Works), Mary Jo Miller (HBF Textiles), Doug Wittnebel (Gensler Oakland) and Giona Maiarelli (Maiarelli Studio), with themes ranging from basket weaving, collaging, lap loom production, environmental cleaning, and more.

The much anticipated NeoCon cocktail parties and award shows were also a feature of NeoConnect, with a two-segment HiP Awards ceremony hosted by Interior Design Magazine’s Cindy Allen and a virtual celebratory happy hour hosted by the NeoCon team from the bar at Marshall's Landing.

What's Next

Throughout the summer and into the fall, stay connected to as well as NeoCon's social channels for more new products from exhibitors, fresh editorial content from media partners, and blogs, creativity inspiring videos and more from community partners. Follow NeoCon on the following: Facebook (@NeoConShows), Twitter (@NeoCon_Shows), and Instagram (@NeoCon_Shows).

NeoCon 2021 will run June 14-16, 2021 at theMART in Chicago.

About NeoCon

NeoCon is the world's leading platform and most important event for the commercial interiors industry, held each year at theMART in Chicago. Since launching in 1969, NeoCon has served as the annual gathering place for the commercial design world's manufacturers, dealers, architects, designers, end-users, design organizations and media. The three-day event showcases game-changing products and services from both leading companies and emerging talent -- providing unparalleled access to the latest and most innovative solutions. A robust educational program of keynote presentations and CEU sessions offers world-class expertise and insight about today’s most relevant topics as well as the future of commercial design. Visit to learn more.

About theMART

theMART (formerly The Merchandise Mart), located in the center of the sought-after River North submarket, is interwoven into the fabric of Chicago as an innovator in business, technology, culture, art, media and more. As the largest privately held commercial building in the United States, it is one of the world’s leading commercial buildings, wholesale design centers and the preeminent international business location in Chicago. Encompassing 4.2 million gross square feet, theMART spans two city blocks, rises 25 stories, and is visited by an average of 30,000 people each business day and nearly 10 million people annually. Offering continuous innovation and creativity from leading manufacturers and design forward showrooms, theMART serves as the home to Chicago's most creative and technologically innovative companies.
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