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NeoCon East: Vendors showcase broad range of products, designs

November 20/27, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 12

By Lindsay Baillie

 

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 10.33.49 AMPhiladelphia—With roughly 5,000 attendees and more than 150 exhibitors, NeoCon East provided the commercial interiors community another opportunity to engage on the East Coast during the fall season. The two-day show, which took place here at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Nov. 15–16, featured four keynote speeches, more than 25 CEUs and countless opportunities for attendees to network and learn about the latest commercial products.

“Exhibiting companies gained valuable direct contact with key architects, designers and major corporate and government end users, while attending professionals gained insight and access to the latest ideas and innovations in the industry,” said Julie Kohl, vice president, exhibitor sales, NeoCon Shows. “Many exhibitors have already reported strong project leads and business opportunities as a result of the 2017 edition.”

Of the 150 exhibitors, a handful were flooring manufacturers touting their latest and greatest products of 2017. Among them: Altro, Atlas Carpet Mills, Ava by Novalis, Mannington, Patcraft, Shaw Contract and Tarkett. Product introductions ran the gamut from hard to soft surfaces.

For Richard Burn, floors product manager, Altro, NeoCon East provides an important opportunity to show product. “It’s good to be at this show because we get to see customers we do business with and show them the new products.”

Altro highlighted some of its more vibrant products with new concrete, linen, salt and pepper designs. “The market has been very receptive to them,” Burn said. “We’ve had quite a busy year with our LVT and sheet products. We’ve also launched new wood products and expanded our ranges to offer acoustic variances.”

NeoCon East provided Atlas Carpet Mills the opportunity to show off new products and tease new collections currently under development. “We have the Epic collection coming out at the end of this month,” said Sheila Berg, marketing manager. “And our latest collection, Connections, is on the floor today. Our product line now includes broadloom, carpet tile squares, carpet tile planks and area rugs.”

But product is not the only new “news” at Atlas. “We freshened up our logo with a new color and our website has a new look,” Berg added.

Ava by Novalis highlighted its latest introductions, SMPL and SPRK, which are phthalate free and 100% recyclable. SMPL is a high-performance core (HPC) floating floor that has a cork underlayment for improved acoustic performance. SPRK is offered in 38 colorways, has a 20 mil wear layer, 2.5mm overall thickness in an 18 x 18 format. SPRK boasts an antimicrobial coating, increased scratch and scuff resistance and excellent stain and fade resistance. In addition, it is easy to maintain and has a 10-year commercial and lifetime residential warranty.

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 10.33.55 AMMannington focused on commercial intros reflecting soft, sophisticated color palettes with products that are useable in multiple applications. Highlights included: the Portland collection—a 12 x 48 carpet plank product—and its Origami collection as well as new visuals from its Amtico line. “All of the products we’re here today are those we showed at NeoCon in June,” said Heather Kane, commercial product design supervisor. “The focus here was toward a corporate marketplace, more broad-based.”

Patcraft’s booth showcased both hard and soft surface products. Its carpet offerings included collections such as Nocturnal, Backlit and Color Filter, which can be used together or separate to create depth, while included Subtractive Layers, a vinyl flooring line, highlighted the hard surface offerings.

“Subtractive Layers is made from our designer Kelly Stewart, who actually took a painting, blended the colors and used a comb to create texture,” Jeff West, vice president of marketing and product development, explained. “Most people want to feel it because it has all of this texture. It is a 5mm thickness—the same as carpet tile—so you can install it right next to carpet tile without having to use a transition strip.”

Shaw Contract took the wraps off Emergence and Off the Grid. The former—which was illustrated using pixelated rose patterns accompanied by larger rose-patterned images—represents a play on traditional patterns, while Off the Grid was inspired by nature and relaxation. To highlight the product, Shaw Contract’s booth included photographs of mountains, caves and rock formations.

On the soft surface side, Tarkett showcased Color Knit, a new multi-color soft surface, as well as its Powerbond line. “Powerbond performs and lasts,” said Noelle Omer, public relations and social media manager, Tarkett North America. “It is part of our sustainability story in that it helps with indoor air quality and is recyclable.”

For hard surfaces, Tarkett put the spotlight on Transcend, its new loose lay product, as well as its digital print LVT. “Our digital print LVT is what everyone is coming in to touch,” Omer explained. “We introduced digital print last year at NeoCon. With More than Wood we’re showing all that you can do with wood looks. It’s all made in the States and made to order.”

No NeoCon East for 2018
Show officials announced the cancellation of NeoCon East 2018. Instead, the event will resume in 2019. “The team is currently working with key stakeholders and partners to assess and design a post-NeoCon/fall season show that continues to provide a platform to connect the industry while addressing its most current and relevant topics and opportunities,” Kohl said. “New event details including dates and location will be available in the coming months.”

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NeoCon East 2017 connects commercial interiors community

Hig-res-dark-blue_-NeoConEast-Philadelphia-Logo-blue-1Philadelphia—With four powerful keynotes, more than 25 CEUs and over 150 exhibitors, NeoCon East treated the East Coast design community to two productive days of programming, networking and products, Nov. 15 and 16. Exhibiting companies gained valuable direct contact with key architects, designers and major corporate and government end users, while attending professionals gained insight and access to the latest ideas and innovations in the industry. Many exhibitors have already reported strong project leads and business opportunities as a result of the 2017 edition.

“Our exhibitors enjoyed a great turn-out of decision makers from top A&D firms and major corporations as well as several federal agencies and representatives from GSA,” said Julie Kohl, vice president of exhibitor sales, NeoCon Shows. “There were high caliber conversations and connections over the last couple of days. This should result directly in competitive advantage for those companies taking part.”

This year’s show underscores the importance of a fall event to engage the commercial interiors community. NeoCon organizers will return with a revamped edition in the fall of 2019. The team is currently working with key stakeholders and partners to assess and design a post-NeoCon/fall-season show that continues to provide a platform to connect the industry while addressing its most current and relevant topics and opportunities. New event details including dates, location and venue will be available in the coming months.

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NeoCon East previews educational program

Hig-res-dark-blue_-NeoConEast-Philadelphia-Logo-blue-1Philadelphia—NeoCon East, billed as the Northeast’s premier commercial interiors design expo and conference, has provided an overview of the sessions that will take place during the event, scheduled to take place Nov. 15-16 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

“Our aim for the NeoCon East educational offering is to inform, spark conversation, and provide professionals across disciplines a way to effectively and efficiently earn valuable CEU credits in just two days,” said Monica DeBartolo, director of programming. “The 2017 assortment caters to varying levels of practice and covers everything from the application of psychology to built projects and architecting ecosystems that inspire innovation, to exploring livable space efficiency and best practices in designing for the federal government.”

In addition to market-ready solutions from hundreds of companies across sectors and valuable networking opportunities, this year’s conference program will round out what organizers call the “comprehensive NeoCon East experience.” The lineup includes over 25 CEUs offering insight into what’s next in workplace, healthcare, hospitality, government, education and beyond.

Anchoring the program will be keynote speakers: Suzette Subance Ferrier, IIDA, design director, TPG Architecture; Zena Howard, AIA, LEED AP, managing director Perkins+Will, North Carolina Practice; David Insinga, AIA, chief architect, General Services Administration’s Public Building Service; and Alex Gilliam, founder, Public Workshop.

Seminars are $40 each when attendees register online before Nov. 10. After Nov. 10, all registration for seminars is on-site, subject to availability, at a fee of $50 each. Special discounts are available for students and government employees. The full list of seminars is available online at neoconeast.com.

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NeoCon adds new sales director

NeoConChicago—NeoCon Shows has appointed Madeleine Tullier new sales director. Tullier has worked with the Merchandise Mart for more than 10 years and brings seasoned industry experience and recognition within the design community to her new role. She will work closely with Julie Kohl, vice president of sales, in the development and strategic growth of several trade shows including NeoCon and NeoCon East.

b887c05f028e5f2d8f7b539a_1220x1220“With Madeleine’s long-term industry experience and robust network of relationships fostered over the last decade, we know that she will be an exceptional asset to our team,” Kohl said. “If the caliber of our added talent is any indication, we are on a great trajectory as we look forward to NeoCon East this fall, followed by the milestone 50th anniversary year of the NeoCon trade fair in 2018.”
Tullier will continue managing the trade show sales for Casual Market Chicago, where she cultivates relationships with top outdoor furnishings manufacturers. She is excited to merge her experience in trade show sales with her personal passion for design as she joins the contract industry.

NeoCon 2018, the 50th anniversary event, will be held from June 11-13 at the Mart. NeoCon East returns to Philadelphia for the 15th annual edition, Nov. 15-16, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. More details are available at neoconeast.com.

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NeoCon East opens registration, presents keynotes

NeoConEastPhiladelphia, Pa.—Registration is now open for NeoCon East. Held Nov. 15-16 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, NeoCon East will feature nearly 200 companies with products across vertical markets such as workplace, healthcare, education, public space, hospitality, retail and government. Programming will include more than 25 CEU accredited seminars, as well as a group of keynotes.

The keynotes slated for this year include: Alex Gilliam, founder and director, Public Workshop; David Insinga, AIA, chief architect, U.S. General Services Administration’s Public Buildings Service; Suzette Subance Ferrier, IIDA, studio design director at TPG Architecture; and Zena Howard, managing director at Perkins & Will, AIA, LEED AP.

“From varied backgrounds, the 2017 NeoCon East keynotes all share a common thread of inclusive, human-centered design for the greater good,” said Monica DeBartolo, director of programming, NeoCon East. “We are thrilled to showcase these inspirational thought leaders—four influencers over two days—at the 15th annual edition.”

Online registration is free and now available at neoconeast.com. CEU seminar registration will be available online Sept. 6.

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NeoCon East: New innovations, sustainability define the agenda

December 5/12, 2016; Volume 31, Number 13

By Sarah Bousquet

screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-9-05-53-amPhiladelphia—In keeping with its Midwest counterpart, NeoCon East—which took place here recently at the Pennsylvania Convention Center for the second year in a row—drew thousands of influential design professionals from the Northeast corridor. The two-day conference and exhibition also provided a platform for roughly 200 exhibitors to showcase their latest products, services and commercial flooring solutions.

“NeoCon East delivered on many fronts, but most importantly it connected the key players in our industry interested in expanding their knowledge and business opportunities,” said Julie Kohl, vice president of exhibitor sales for NeoCon Shows. “With thousands of new products on display, it is in these connections that business happens and market share is won. These relationships are vital to our industry dynamic, and for this reason NeoCon East will continue to gain momentum.”

Exhibitors and attendees alike agreed that relationship building and knowledge sharing continue to be the linchpins of regional shows such as this.

Ralph Grogan, president and CEO of Bentley Mills, explained that the company’s goals this year were two-fold: Highlight new product and network with an entirely new demographic of attendees. “Yes, we are showcasing Lost Angeles as we did at NeoCon earlier this year, but most people here were not in Chicago,” he said. “Philadelphia has a lot going on, and the people here are excited about business and education. I don’t think we lost anyone from Baltimore—NeoCon East’s previous home—and we’ve definitely increased conversations with people from New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.”

Others agreed. Karen Ostromecki, interior designer, IIDA, LEED GA, from Rochester, N.Y., thinks of NeoCon East as a “hub for collaboration and learning and a great place to network for future project opportunities.” Being able to view the latest products and trends while conversing with other professionals in the field is critical, she added.

screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-9-06-30-amIn line with the collaborative theme of this year’s NeoCon East, it was apparent that manufacturers were looking to answer attendees’ requests for new and different solutions. For instance, Procedo Floorings’ Loom+, which is produced by infusing a durable fabric top layer with an LVT bottom layer, received a lot of attention from booth visitors, thanks to its versatility. “Everybody is interested in our loom-woven vinyl flooring because it’s a different product,” said Brent Fike, sales manager. “It looks like—and has—the unlimited design capabilities of a soft surface but provides the durability of an LVT, which has gained interest from the hospitality, corporate and retail segments.”

Patcraft’s Mixed Materials collection drew similar notoriety for its ability to seamlessly use hard and soft surface flooring side-by-side, alone or in multiple combinations. Tara Currier, communications manager, noted the new product is part of a bigger conversation. “We’ve been meeting with the team to talk about well building,” she noted, explaining that designers are increasingly asking how the products they specify effect the way people work, live and interact. “As a manufacturer, we want to be in pace with designers and even ahead of the curve to help them answer these questions with new solutions.”

Several manufacturers also utilized their booth spaces highlight sustainable design options. For example, Shaw Contract discussed big-picture ideas around diversity in design, sustainable processes and healthy living.

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Novalis previews new AVA products at NeoCon East 2016

ava-booth-neoconeast2016Philadelphia, Pa.—For the second consecutive year, Novalis Innovative Flooring had a few surprises at NeoCon East with its AVA Commercial LVT line.

“Last year, we actually formerly introduced AVA at NeoCon East,” said John Wu, president and CEO of Novalis. “This year, we previewed an expanded product offering for 2017.”

Currently, the AVA brand is made up of three collections, each designed and targeted for specific kinds of installations. AVA DSGN is a range of LVT designed for corporate, retail and hospitality sectors; AVA SNSE was created for education and healthcare, while AVA STYL was made for apartment and condominium living.

New for 2017 will be AVA SPRK, a new tile line for healthcare and education, and AVA SMPL, a High Performance Core (HPC) plank collection with an attached cork underlayment.

“We received extremely positive reaction to these products,” Wu said. “With more to come next year.”

Learn more about AVA at AVAFlor.com.

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NeoCon East announces speakers

Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 3.36.39 PMPhiladelphia—Marc Kushner, architect and co-founder of Architizer, and Ayse Birsel, industrial designer, will keynote this year’s NeoCon East, Nov. 9 to 10.

The northeast edition of NeoCon will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

Kushner will speak Nov. 9 at 11:00 a.m. and Birsel will speak Nov. 10 at 11:00 a.m.

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Bentley wins Best Small Booth at NeoCon East

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 10.21.14 AMLos Angeles—Bentley recently won Best Small Booth at NeoCon East in Philadelphia, adding to the company’s two wins—Best of Competition and Best Showroom in the small showroom category—at NeoCon in Chicago. The recognitions, presented by International Interior Design Association (IIDA) in partnership with Contract magazine, praised Bentley’s design savvy in bringing the company’s Born & Raised theme to life.

“Bentley takes pride in converting ordinary spaces into fashion statements,” said Sherry Dreger, vice president of marketing for Bentley. “It’s what our carpet products are designed to do for our customers. We wanted our Chicago showroom and NeoCon East booth to reflect that same mission, embracing our 30-year legacy and luxe, grit-meets-glamour style.”

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NeoCon East: Exhibitors applaud move to Philadelphia

November 9/16; Volume 30/Number 11

By Ken Ryan

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 4.32.48 PMPhiladelphia—For the first 12 years of the show’s existence, NeoCon East called Baltimore home. During that period, the expo focused largely on government furniture sales and the East Coast design community that couldn’t attend NeoCon in Chicago.

When the Baltimore Convention Center was unable to accommodate the 2015 show dates, NeoCon East organizers relocated the event to the Pennsylvania Convention Center here.

The new venue was a big hit as attendance increased 15% over 2014, according to Merchandise Mart Properties, which runs NeoCon East. “I think there were several factors that probably all came into play,” a spokesman said. “Accessibility of Philadelphia for the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and New York City regions, a strong design industry in the Philly area, new partnerships and relevance for a wide spectrum of vertical markets. There were leading companies who came in with the best in new products and services ready to specify.”

Mohawk Group was one of those companies. It touted its bevy of award-winning products from NeoCon 2015 in Chicago, including Moving Floors, which earned a Best of NeoCon award; Modern Dobby, a new woven broadloom featuring extreme texture; and Mass Appeal, its latest commercial LVT launch. “Our booth was crowded nonstop, and we hosted designers from all over as well as groups of students as part of ASID [American Society of Interior Designers],” said Royce Epstein, director of design, Mohawk Group. “Having been at NeoCon East every year, this was the most invigorating show yet. The buzz in Philly was palpable and local designers were very proud to be hosting NeoCon East in their town.”

Perhaps no flooring company was more at home in Philadelphia than Bentley, the Los Angeles-based mill that considers the A&D community within the Washington to Boston corridor the core of its market. “This is such a strong show for us; it’s really the sweet spot of our market,” said Ralph Grogan, president and CEO of Bentley. “The move from Baltimore to Philadelphia allows for more designers from New Jersey and New York to attend.”

Bentley introduced two new lines to its Curio collection, Trance and Magnetism, which are heavier textured products that combine multiple dye and luster levels with varying yarn-processing methods. Trance is available in carpet tile and broadloom, and uses mixed denier yarns and luster levels to create a boucle-style loop texture. Magnetism is modular only.

Despite its reputation for high-end goods, Bentley has adapted its offerings to meet all designer needs and price points. “You can put Bentley in your building for $20 a yard,” said Sherry Dreger, vice president of marketing. “But our aesthetics at that price point are still innovative.”

Drawing from its heritage of classic, chic style, Bentley introduced three products to its Black Book portfolio: Anarchy, Anthem and Soundtrack. Anarchy is offered in 18 x 36 and 24 x 24 carpet tiles and broadloom. Anthem and Soundtrack are made from Antron Legacy type 6,6 nylon. Anthem, featured in seven colors, is available in NexStep cushion tile and Afirma hardback tile in 18 x 36 and 24 x 24 options. Soundtrack also comes as a broadloom (12 feet x 6 inches) and area rugs.

“We are known for creating fashion for the floor,” Dreger said. “Now we’re pushing even further and indulging in the heavier weights, modern style and limitless color flexibility our clients crave.”

Philadelphia Commercial, a Shaw Industries company, introduced its Simple Mechanics collection of carpet tile. Offered in 14 neutral colors that can blend iScreen Shot 2015-11-12 at 4.33.17 PMnto any palette, Simple Mechanics includes two 18 x 36 carpet tiles: Straight Shift and Shifting Gears. Straight Shift is an open weave pattern made of vertical and horizontal lines that come together to create subtle movement. Shifting Gears is Philadelphia Commercial’s interpretation of the uncomplicated inclined plane, according to Debbie Houston, R&D creative director, who explained that diagonal elements are balanced by irregular striping to create shapes and angles like those used in modern architecture. “Designers want high style and high performance carpeting for even the most budget-restricted projects.”

Quentin Quathamer, commercial brand and marketing manager for Philadelphia Commercial, said the company works closely with both designers and end users to create flooring solutions for all markets and applications. Acknowledging that designers are operating under tighter budgets these days, Quathamer said Shaw’s commercial divisions are working to provide “clean, simple aesthetics that are durable yet affordable. Value doesn’t mean you are compromising. We are very cognizant of managing our resources.”

After skipping last year’s show in Baltimore, Beaulieu Commercial returned to NeoCon East in Philadelphia with a large booth presence. “If someone wants to find us, they’ll find us,” noted Rob Cushman, executive vice president, marketing and design.

Beaulieu Commercial continues to focus on carpet tile, which now makes up 50% of its soft surface business. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see 70% of our business in carpet tile in five years,” said Steve Hillis, president. Its Bolyü brand showcased Thread Count, part of the Level Collection, which replicates the design of close-knot fabrics. These 24 x 24 modular tiles include a minimum of 70% post-consumer recycled PET and are 100% recyclable.

Novalis Innovative Flooring used NeoCon East as a platform to debut AVA, its commercially specified luxury vinyl flooring line. AVA is offered in 64 SKUs of planks and tiles across three collections.