Thought Leadership

Review: NeoCon 2022 with Craig Jones

Neocon 2022 beckons, a trip to Chicago always warms the hearts and minds but not necessary the legs and feet. What will we see this year?
Insights Neo Con Review Mart

Jul 20 2022

Review: NeoCon 2022 with Craig Jones

With the separation of the event and some of the big guns moving to Fulton Market what will be the impact of this divergence. As Fulton Market gains traction with new members, it is an opportunity to explore another part of the city that 20 years ago you would not have dared to risk a visit! That said Chicago is a wonderful city with the amazing river walks, Lake Michigan, architectural wonders and of course the Merchandise Mart. A brisk walk up the river prepares you for the mass of furniture connoisseurs trawling the halls and then, the exit for a cold beer by the river, preparing for dinner with clients, friends, suppliers & new introductions.

On floor 3 Haworth & Steelcase demand an audience so expectations of crowded isles were indeed realised. However, with 10 & 11 having some booths closed and with some of the big guns departed there was a sense of calm and you could actually see product and were not being ushered and buffered out of the way by groups rushing for the next product demonstration. For the SME businesses this could be a good or a bad thing with more space and focus on their niche, but potentially drastically less footfall. Were people who wanted to review the Fulton Market going to make the effort to summit 10 & 11 with the likes of Miller Knoll & Teknion having moved on. The groups of people we talked with did make both journeys, and there was a sense of excitement of Fulton Market becoming more established and other businesses joining the race for the shiny new buildings.

Insights Neo Con Review Fulton Market


Fulton Market has a great vibe with its cafes, bars restaurants and music pumping into the streets. As the sun shines, we walk along the developing area with the noise of cranes and jackhammers. Now we have Hay, Humanscale, Kvadrac, Miller knoll, Teknion in the area it made for bustling streets and lots of Neocon badges blowing in the wind.


The talk around the streets of Chicago is the owners of the Mart want it to be a tech hub and therefore if the transition is to Felton Market, then it will probably migrate over a five-year period. This will I guess depend on complexed discussions around leases, property development etc. Also as the Merchandise Mart owns the Neocon brand a new show name will be up for grabs if this mass migration is to happen.

Images by Craig Jones and Katie Fosdick for Neocon

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