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New furniture industry leases begin at THE MART as NeoCon announces “Design Takes Shape” and registration opens

Plans are taking shape for the 55th edition of NeoCon to be held June 10-12 at THE MART, Chicago, the leading platform for commercial space design, as show management announces a power-list of thought-provoking speakers, dynamic activations, best-in-class brands, and the newest movers and shakers impacting the built environment. The three-day event offers unparalleled opportunities to connect, learn, and experience the latest trends and innovations across verticals, from office to healthcare. Attendees, who hail from large enterprise companies to design professionals representing markets ranging from Workplace, Healthcare, Hospitality, Retail, Real Estate, Education, Public Space, and Government., can register now.

Building on the momentum leading up to the show, THE MART has reported brisk leasing activity throughout 2023 and into the first month of 2024, underscoring the building’s value as an important year-round destination and a source for design discovery. “We have completed 66 lease transactions for a total of 174,000 square feet. Notably, 45 of those transactions were within the contract industry — 17 of them new showroom spaces, including Bulo, Nevins, Fomcore, Akkouo by Sedia Systems, and Ergocentric. This achievement sets the tone for a robust show this coming June,” says Byron Morton, vice president and co-head of leasing.

In addition to the brands on display in more than one million square feet, this year’s conference program will serve as a global stage for the world’s top visionaries. Headlining NeoCon 2024 are three provocateurs who push the boundaries of their respective craft from architecture to art to fashion. Presented by IIDA, Gensler’s Global Entertainment Leader Bob Weis will kick off the show on Monday morning with a talk entitled “Leveraging the Power of Storytelling in Commercial Design.” Tuesday’s keynote, presented by ASID and sponsored by Momentum Textiles & Wallcoverings, will feature British-Nigerian multi-disciplinary artist and designer, Yinka Ilori, in a discussion co-moderated by ASID CEO Khoi Vo and IIDA’s Executive Vice President/CEO, Cheryl Durst, entitled, “The Power of Affirmation: Yinka Ilori in conversation with Khoi Vo and Cheryl Durst.” Finally, two-time Academy Award-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter will take the stage as Wednesday’s keynote speaker with her presentation, “Designing Afrofuturism: The Art of Storytelling through Costume Design,” presented by AIA Chicago. 

Gensler’s Global Entertainment Leader Bob Weis

In addition, the schedule will feature a series of presentations, interactive workshops, and CEU seminars as well as special activations across show floors, offering insights on trending topics affecting how we design, build, and live. An installation spotlighting emerging designers and curated by Jon Otis, Pratt Institute professor and Principal & Creative Director of Object Agency (OIA), will showcase the perspectives of student designers, ensuring the future of design is both celebrated and nurtured. Fan favorites, including the coveted Best of NeoCon Awards, the NeoCon Podcast Studio and ART on THE MART are just a few of the interactive activities and immersive experiences.

Show registration is free for all attendees. To register, head here. Programming registration for keynotes, featured presentations, CEU seminars, and workshops will open on April 3, 2024. For showroom, exhibitor, and general NeoCon news, images, and real-time information, follow NeoCon on: Facebook  (@NeoConShows), Twitter (@NeoCon_Shows), Instagram (@NeoCon_Shows), and LinkedIn (@NeoCon-Shows).