40th Annual NeoCon Attracts Thousands

July 1, 2008

CHICAGO - Recently held at The Merchandise Mart in Chicago, the 40th annual NeoCon® World's Trade Fair—North America's largest conference and exhibition for interior design and facilities management—earned rave reviews from exhibitors and attendees from around the world.

Total attendance for NeoCon 2008 was approximately 50,500—a 4 percent decrease from the 2007 show.

"This year's NeoCon proved that the furniture industry is strong and is investing heavily in new product introductions," says Mark Falanga, senior vice president, Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. (MMPI). "With only a slight dip, NeoCon's attendance was still up 15 percent from 2005, which is very impressive. With more than 1,200 exhibitors and 352 Best of NeoCon products unveiled, NeoCon has remained the show for the industry."

Leaders from throughout the contract industry offered strong praise for NeoCon 2008, hosted from June 9-11 at the world-famous Merchandise Mart:

"Our industry has seen an amazing amount of change in the four decades since the first NeoCon fair. NeoCon and The Merchandise Mart have provided a stable anchor in the midst of this change. Steelcase is excited about this year's event as we are showcasing a number of extended development ideas which speak to these dramatic changes in customer needs and interests."—Jim Hackett, president and CEO, Steelcase.

"NeoCon has played a vital role in the evolution of the workplace and the growth of our industry. Herman Miller's Action Office was publicly introduced at that first NeoCon, and the years since have proven the event continues to be North America's premier showcase for innovative, problem-solving design."—Brian Walker, CEO, Herman Miller.

"Traffic is very strong this year. We've had a terrific response from buyers and sellers.  We've won a few Best of NeoCon awards ... we're elated!"—Peter Brunelle, president and CEO, Inscape.

In addition to the show room, NeoCon assembles groups of industry experts, leaders and innovators to provide insight into different areas to keep attendees on the cutting edge of their industries. This year's stellar line-up of keynote speakers included: Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics; Robert F. Kennedy Jr., environmentalist and author of the New York Times bestseller Crimes Against Nature, and Scott Wilson, former global creative director at Nike and design director at Motorola.

NeoCon World's Trade Fair 2009 will be held June 15-17, at The Merchandise Mart. For more information, visit www.merchandisemart.com or call (800) 677-6278 (MART).

NeoCon® World's Trade Fair is a registered trademark of Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. (MMPI), a trade show and property management firm specializing in managing buildings devoted to wholesale showrooms and commercial office space. MMPI produces more than 300 trade shows, market events and conferences each yet. For more information, go to www.merchandisemartproperties.com.

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