The Impact of NeoCon through the years




Welcome to NeoCon

Furniture makes a statement. NeoCon has provided the world with a platform for ideas that have changed and shaped the way we work. This exhibitor show has been a leader, representing markets ranging from the workplace, healthcare, hospitality, education and public space and government. The first NeoCon (National Exposition of Contract Interior Furnishings) was hosted in 1969, with 750 exhibitors. More than a hundred speakers and moderators participated in the inaugural seminars and lectures between June 22 and 27, 1969. The scale of the event was unlike anything the industry had seen before, and ever since then it has continued to make profound impacts. 

With each decade has come a new wave of change. In the 1970’s, The creation of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) and BIFMA (Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association) in this decade were huge milestones for the contract furnishings industry. Additionally, the multiple energy crisis that occurred during the seventies pushed businesses to look at ways to conserve energy. The 1980’s was a huge decade, with IBM revealing the first personal computer in 1981 and with Postmodernism influencing architecture and design. Ergonomic design made its appearance in the 90’s, due to workers now being seated at desks all day in front of computers. Needless to say, as each decade came, it brought with it a unique set of pro’s and con’s. 

As the industry has continued to change, NeoCon has obviously stayed with the current innovations on the market and continues to do so. Office design is being transformed by coworking and virtual reality, even as big data and smart technologies drive new modes of office planning. Trends in residential, hospitality, health-care, education, and workplace interiors continue to converge and intersect, and human well-being is emerging as a new benchmark for good design, as is inclusivity for people of all abilities, genders, and ages. Through its first five decades, NeoCon has showcased the technological advances, cultural changes and growing ecological changes that are occurring in the world. 

All of that being said, Ghent is happy to be an exhibitor at this conference, and we are excited for the new things we have brewing that we will be showcasing this summer!


Ghent’s Involvement in NeoCon

After Ghent was founded in 1976, it was not until 2005 that Ghent’s products made their way onto the NeoCon showfloor! In 2015, Ghent won Best of NeoCon Silver for Hex, our multi-functional glassboard shaped like a hexagon, that can be used as a communication tool and admired as an art installation, leveraging the average workspace. Since then, we keep aiming higher, for in 2018 Ghent’s showroom made its first debut on the 10th floor at theMart, the world's largest commercial building and design center – as well as being one of Chicago’s top locations for international business. Working alongside IA in Chicago, we designed a showroom that we felt was worthy of showcasing the products we are proud to create. Through the design process of the showroom, our goal was to tell our story at GMi while also showing you how you can tell your story through whiteboards, glass boards, bulletin boards and patient care boards. 

Looking into 2022, we are excited to make a bold appearance at this year's NeoCon event, happening June 13-15 at theMart in Chicago! We have a lot to share, and many new changes happening on the horizon. This year, we received our LEVEL 2 certification for Pointe, Coda, Aria and Harmony Glassboards, which acknowledges our constant pursuit of creating eco-conscious and sustainably created and sourced products. Products that we are creating in our gorgeous and newly expanded headquarters – a 36,000 square foot expansion, at that! With all of this new space to create, we’ve put our own products to use and have been collaborating and brainstorming over what we can bring you this year.

Come join us at our showroom, and discover the products that won us Best of NeoCon Gold this year, discover new ways to lift your workspace to new heights and get brainstorming. 


Contact our team today