General Information


NeoCon® (National Exposition of Contract Furnishings) is the largest commercial design show in North America, taking place at The Mart in Chicago since 1969. This year we expect 50,000 A&D professionals to attend the show.

NeoCon today remains the premier platform for connecting, learning and doing business in the industry. The three-day event attracts 50,000 design professionals. With nearly 1 million square feet of exhibition space, 3 floors of showrooms and 1 floor of temporary exhibitors, the show launches thousands of new products every year–satisfying a wide range of specification needs including building products, contract accessories, floor coverings, furniture, lighting, outdoor products, technology, textiles, tile, stone & other surfaces, wallcoverings and more.


The exhibition is complemented by first-class educational programming featuring over 100 accredited seminars, special programs and keynote presentations. The programs are organized under 14 educational tracks that represent the products, designs and services of the show.  Each program is $60 per session for attendees who register online before June 9 and $70 each for those who register on site.  Show management will file your program for CEU credit with IDCEC and AIA.

Industry associations may participate by hosting a “Special Event“ or Tour during NeoCon.  Each association is responsible for arranging the content, logistics and speakers for their event or tour.  MMPI provides these groups with meeting space and registration services.  These programs are listed separately and are not produced by MMPI.


  • Internet access is not available in seminar rooms and WI FI is not 100% reliable throughout The Merchandise Mart.  Therefore, please do not rely on this service for your presentation.We strongly recommend that you provide handouts and/or materials to distribute to attendees at your seminar.  You may contact us mid-May to obtain the pre-registration numbers (an estimate of the number of attendees that have signed up for your seminar).  This will help you in planning the number of handouts you need.
  • Please plan your presentation for 60 minutes including a brief time for Q&A.  All seminars must be presented within one hour and should start and end as scheduled.  Please be respectful of the speakers who are presenting after your session by allowing them access to the room on schedule.  Other seminars will take place in the room before and immediately following your presentation.
  • NEW! Please create your presentation in PowerPoint.  Each seminar room will be equipped with a PC laptop. Plan to arrive with your presentation on a USB Flash Drive.   Presenters’ personal laptops will only be used in case of an emergency.  PowerPoint Presentations should be created in 16.9 ration format.  We encourage you to create a PDF version of your presentation if you are concerned about special fonts.  Laptop audio will be patched into each meeting room’s sound system.  An Audio Visual (AV) tech will be on-site and available get you started.  Additional AV requirements are addressed here.
  • MMPI will submit your program content for continuing educational credits. We plan to obtain 0.1 CEU for interior designers and 1 LU for architects who attend your seminar.  As a presenter, you will receive 0.1 CEU or 1 LU credit as well.  Paperwork pertaining to the educational units will be available on-site from the door monitor.


  • Upon arrival to the show, all speakers must check-in with us / the Show Organizer at the Speaker Ready Room on the 14th floor, Lounge 1447.
  • All rooms are set theater style to capacity with a podium and screen at the front of the room.
  • Following your presentation, please ask attendees to evaluate your program via the NeoCon® App. More Information on the App is forthcoming. Our office will compile the evaluations and will maintain a copy on file for CEU credit requirements.  You will receive a copy of the evaluations within 60 days of the show.
  • As a speaker, you may have access to your Seminar Room 30 minutes prior to your presentation.  A door monitor will be there to assist you, as well as check- in the attendees and distribute your handouts, the NeoCon® evaluation APP, and CEU materials.  An AV Technician will aid you in setting up your computer and microphones. Please use the microphones  to ensure that everyone can hear your presentation.  (Order your AV here).

Eligible Speakers are those speakers who DO NOT represent or are employed by a publication, manufacturer, or an exhibiting company and are traveling from outside the Chicagoland area.  Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. (MMPI) will pay for (through direct billing) the Eligible Speakers’ travel / airfare.  Eligible Speakers will be reimbursed for 1 night’s lodging (per speaking day). Additionally, MMPI will reimburse Eligible Speakers for ground transportation, provided you follow the guidelines outlined in this packet and submit the Hotel/Transportation Expense Form.

Monica at or 312.527.7055


Eligible Speakers are those speakers who DO NOT represent a publication, manufacturer, or an exhibiting company and are traveling from outside the Chicagoland area.  Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. (MMPI) will pay for (through direct billing) the Eligible Speakers’ travel / airfare.  Eligible Speakers will be reimbursed for 1 night’s lodging (per speaking day). Additionally, you will be reimbursed (if an Eligible Speaker) for ground transportation, provided you follow the guidelines outlined on this sheet and submit the Hotel/Ground Transportation Expense Form.


The NeoCon® Official Travel Agency, OnPeak, will coordinate your travel needs to and from your home/office and Chicago and direct bill MMPI for all Eligible Speakers.  You  must submit your travel form by May 2, 2017.  To book your air travel, please complete the travel form and email it to OnPeak Travel Services at SPEAKERVIP@ONPEAKEVENTS.COM. There is a dedicated Travel Agent for speakers. Please identify yourself as a “Speaker.” NOTE: Any voluntary changes to your airline reservation after ticketing are subject to an exchange fee imposed by the airline and are your responsibility.


A block of rooms have been reserved for NeoCon® speakers.  All Eligible Speakers  need to confirm their hotel room with their credit card and will be billed directly. If you are billed, MMPI will reimburse all Eligible Speakers* for 1 night’s lodging (per speaking day).   You may, of course, stay at your hotel more than the 1 night at your own expense and OnPeak Travel Services will be happy to make those arrangements for you.  Please have your credit card ready when making your reservation to guarantee late arrival.  You must book your hotel by May 2, 2017 through OnPeak using the form here within in order for MMPI to reimburse you for your accommodations.  To book your hotel, complete the hotel form  and email to OnPeak Travel Services at SPEAKERVIP@ONPEAKEVENTS.COM.  A list of NeoCon Host Hotels for speakers can be found here.

Room assignments are pre-booked at the discretion of OnPeak, and all efforts will be made to keep you and your co-presenters (if any) at the same hotel.

NeoCon Exhibitors, Mart Tenants, Manufacturers, and Industry Publications: 

Although your travel and hotel accommodations are not paid for by MMPI, we hope you will take advantage of the services provided by our Official Travel Agency, OnPeak Travel Services.  By booking your accommodations through OnPeak you will receive a discounted rate from hotels as well as airlines. You may complete the hotel / travel form and email it to OnPeak at SPEAKERVIP@ONPEAKEVENTS.COM.


As outlined in the Speaker Agreement, MMPI will also provide ground transportation reimbursement to Eligible Speakers for up to $140.00.


Ground transportation to and from The Merchandise Mart (from airports or hotels) will be reimbursed up to $140.00.  The average cab ride from O’Hare International Airport and Midway Airport to the downtown area is approximately $50.00.  In addition to taxi service, the CTA Elevated Rail provides a convenient, fast, and economical link at $2.25 one way.  You can also take Continental Airport Express from O’Hare for $28.00 and from Midway for $23.00 one way.  You may contact Continental Airport Express at 1-800-284-3826 for more detailed information on ground transportation.

For ground transportation reimbursement up to $140.00, save your original receipts and submit them, along with the Expense Form, to Monica DeBartolo by July 14, 2017.



As a speaker you are automatically registered for the show and the seminars. You will be provided with a speaker badge when you arrive in the Speaker Ready Room.. If you wish to participate or attend any special events, please register for those events as an Attendee here.


The first thing you will need to do when you arrive at NeoCon is to pick up your badge in the Speaker Ready Room located in The Mart on the 14th floor, Lounge 1447.

Your badge will have your name, title, and company on it.  If any of the information you have provided to us has changed or if you want to double check spelling, etc., please contact Monica at  As a NeoCon® speaker your badge will have a speaker ribbon on it, allowing you admission to any of the one-hour CEU program sessions, provided there is room available in the session. Again, if you are interested in any of the special events you must register for these events separately online at


As a speaker you may bring two guests (co-worker, boss, spouse, etc.) to attend your session.  You should make sure your guests are registered for the show and have an attendee badge.  You may register your guests as attendees here.  Two guest passes allowing your guests to attend your session will be mailed to you in advance of the show.  Group discounts of guest passes can be purchased at a discount rate for your distribution to your clients, staff or associates.  Contact Monica for more information on group discounts.

SPEAKER READY ROOM (14th Floor, 1447)

The Speaker Ready Room is available for your use throughout the three days of the conference.  This room is a resource for you to rehearse your presentation, meet with your co-presenter(s), or just to relax before or after your session.

You must check in at the Speaker Ready Room on the 14th Floor in Space 1447 one hour prior to your session.  More details on the location of the Speaker Ready Room at The Mart will be forwarded to you in mid-May.

Please be sure to check in with us in the Speaker Ready Room during the hours listed below to pick up your badge and get an update on the number of attendees in your session.

The Speaker Ready Room will be open:

Sunday,   June 11               1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Monday,  June 12                8:00 a.m. –  5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, June 13                8:00 a.m. –  5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 14          8:00 a.m. –  4:00 p.m.



NeoCon is a wonderful opportunity to let your colleagues and clients know you are participating in the show.  It’s an opportunity to showcase your work and expertise in the field.  Here are a few suggestions to help you promote your session.

  • Add your client’s email addresses to the NeoCon marketing e-blast list to ensure that your clients and associates will be included in all the information about the show. To add your clients, please forward an Excel file containing the email addresses to Lindsey Martin at The addresses you provide will be used to promote NeoCon only and recipients will be provided with an opt-out option.
  • Link your web site to so visitors can read more about your presentation at NeoCon.
  • Add the NeoCon Speaker Logo Button to your Email signature or website.


In an effort to promote the caliber of NeoCon programs and speakers, we encourage you to send us your personal bio. All bios received by April 7, 2017 will be included in the NeoCon® app and “Media Packet” and will be made available to the press members post-show.

Please comply with the following guidelines when submitting your bio:

  • Submit a brief, 1 page maximum bio with information you deem appropriate.
  • Bios with a high-res photo must remain within the 1 page maximum. No exceptions will be made.
  • Include your contact information such as address, phone, fax, e-mail, and/or website address.
  • Send your bio as an electronic file such as a Word document to: Monica at by April 7.
  • Questions? Call 312.527.7055 or email