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It's Going To Be A Really BIG NeoCon This Year!

Dear Stephen,

I’m excited for #NeoCon this year. Last year was busy, and I remember it well, because as soon as I got back from Chicago, I got COVID! I’m not expecting that to happen again this year, however.

What do you think the vibe will be like this year at NeoCon? What are you expecting for NeoCon in 2023? You always know all the “tea”, so let’s talk shop.


See You In Chicago

Dear C.U., 

I just finished visiting a very busy #ICFF2023 at The Jacob Javits Center in New York City. ICFF was full of architects and designers from all around the country. There were exhibitors from all around the world. Lots of U.S. based brands but with an emphasis on international manufacturers – it reminded me of #Salone! I’m feeling the vibe and it’s feeling good. I want to share with all of you that read “Stephen Says” that it’s going to be a BIG NeoCon this year! With COVID restrictions officially ended, people are taking a deep sigh of relief, and a deeper dive back to work and they are headed to Chicago in June.

Manufacturer’s Leadership: Don’t forget to attend the #BIFMA Breakfast on Wednesday the 14th at 7:00 a.m.! It’s a great event for staying connected to your manufacturing peers and vendors. You do not need to be a “member” to attend. It is a great networking event, great for big shots to see one another and connect, and even better for the want-to-be bigshots as well.  

As far as NeoCon week, be sure you make your lunch and dinner reservations early. The good restaurants are going to be booked out - if they aren’t already. 

Manufacturers are looking forward to seeing many customers from the A&D community, end-users, and of course, all the dealers that sell these wonderful contract products. The programs in The Merchandise Mart look exciting to me, and the separate showrooms participating in #DesignDays have plenty for you to see too, and Design Days allows you to get a flavor of a different part of Chicagoland.

I’m always excited to visit the 7th and 8th floors of The Merchandise Mart to see new products, including those coming from our friends overseas. The energy and commotion on those floors remind me of shopping at a flea market, where you never know what new products or goods you will see or know where it is coming from -- you just know it is different and interesting -- which is a good thing!

I’m partial to being in The Mart and looking forward to seeing the #Haworth and #Steelcase showrooms. And who doesn’t love #Davis? #Halcon should be good too, now part of Steelcase, but remember; the Halcon showroom is still on the 10th floor. My personal suggestion is that EVERYONE should see the #GlobalFurnitureGroup showroom in The Merchandise Mart, especially dealer folk because this year’s Global showroom will be fantastic. So that’s the “tea?” Global is the place to see.

As part of #DesignDays, at Fulton Market, I can’t wait to see the #Teknion showroom. And, of course, #MillerKnoll is a must. I remember all the #HNI brands -- #HON, #Allsteel, #HBF, oh! And let’s see how HNI works in #Kimball, now at Fulton Market too.

At the risk of repeating myself, be sure your nametag is visible if you want to be noticed, avoid being hungover at all costs, and be sure to say hello to me if you see me walking the halls or discretely recruiting in your showroom. And it’s easy to spot me in one of the crowded elevators - I’ll be the one still wearing a mask!

I’m excited for a very, very BIG NeoCon! NeoCon is the #Coachella or #BurningMan of the contract furniture industry, and I’ll see you there. Ask to take a “selfie” with me and post it on your social media. I guarantee your boss will give you a raise!