When I went to my first IWF show in Atlanta more than two decades ago, it was daunting to take it all in. Since then, I’ve learned to better manage the show experience, but what
you get out of it depends a great deal about your expectations.
If you’ve never been to I WF before, be prepared to be
overwhelmed. The best preparation is to study the exhibitor
list and educational offerings, highlighting companies and
topics of interest. Build your schedule around those and don’t
worry about the rest. Make it your show.
If you’ve done I WF before but haven’t been in a while, take
a similar tack. Add in stops at your regular suppliers to say
hello and touch base on what’s new. If you are in the market
for particular equipment or supplies, let them know you’ll be
by. That helps them prepare specific information for you.
If you are a regular attendee at I WF, you probably have a
well-worn show strategy. But remember that every show is different. This year, the hall configuration has changed, so you
might not see exhibitors you expect to see in the places you
expect them. Take a closer look at the show maps.
Newbie or veteran IWF attendee, pay additional attention to the education offerings.
Besides seminars during the
show, there are all-day symposia
the day before the show officially opens. We are sponsoring
a Finishing Symposium, CNC
Symposium, Closets Symposium,
and our Leadership Forum.
Finally, prepare for serendipity. My best discoveries at IWF
have all been surprises. Keep
your eyes and ears open for new
information and developments
you don’t expect. ;
NeoCon exhibitors showed off a variety of new designs and innovation to mark the 50th ver- sion of the annual event for the commercial design industry.
Some 500 exhibiting companies were part of this year’s
show, on multiple floors of Chicago’s famous Mart building.
Some of the products on display continued existing trends,
including height-adjustable everything, and more uses for
recycled materials. And they’re still working on more ways for
you to charge your device from any table or chair.
Office and contract furniture features many different
materials, including some solid wood and veneer. But the
ever-expanding appearance and feel of laminates continued
to grow, displayed to good effect in the Materials Pavilion.
The growth in open plan offices has continued to lead to
two product areas: acoustic materials to dampen noise and
the privacy booths that resemble something from Star Trek.
There were plenty of acoustic products, sound-absorbing
panels, and new privacy booths.
Another continuing trend was blurring the line between
home and office.
One thing I noticed in 2018
that I hadn’t seen at past NeoCon
exhibitions was that many desks,
shelves and chairs seemed smaller. Are people getting smaller? If
so, that’s a trend I had missed.
Later, I was set straight. It was
explained to me that the smaller
sizes reflected more of a feminine, minimalist design.
What do office workers want?
“They want to feel differently at
work,” one man told me. In that,
the industry has succeeded.;
by William Sampson
by Karl D. Forth
the big show
NeoCon draws on
50 years of design
; Follow Will
online at www.
; Follow Karl
online at www.