NeoCon 2015: Work Tables Dominate a Powered Up Office
June 14, 2015 | 6:34 pm CDT
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Harden Contract in Booth #10-164 is showing a solid wood Live-Edge Conference Table program offers several wood species and custom options for unique conference table option.

Photo By Harden Contract

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Dempsey table Goebel & Co. Furniture, St. Louis, in Booth #7-4105. Dempsey is created for seating at any location, ideal for library and conference. Minimalist aesthetic and solid hardwood construction softens harsh commercial environments.

Photo By Martin Goebel Furniture

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Cross Arper Booth #339 at NeoCon 2015: the Cross table can serve as a temporary meeting ground for group gatherings or a communal work station with room to share.
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Molo of Vancouver returns to NeoCon 2015 with its cantilever paper table based upon a honeycomb structure that flat packs when not in use. Now available in a sitting height and standing height versions, cantilever paper table can be topped with any solid surface, such as Corian®, glass, marble, etc.
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Germany's CP Furniture shows its Cegano Meeting suite, a new product range that ranges from simple electrification of furniture for video conferences and telepresence to the Cegano SmartTable shown here that works without cables. CP Furniture Systems belongs to the Christmann & Pfeifer Group that was founded in 1925 and has a yearly turnover of around 180 million euros and employs over 1000 people at home and abroad.
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PREMIO Smart Conference Table from CP Furniture Systems Inc. at NeoCon 2015, Booth #10-166 PREMIO combines a wireless system with flexible connection options for wired devices, enables wireless smartphone charging and data transfer compliant to all state-of-the-art standards.
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Corridor Media Cabinet BDI at Booth #7-7070 at NeoCOn 2015. CORRIDOR 8179 is four-compartment media cabinet with solid walnut louvered doors and micro-etched glass top. The center doors open to a wide compartment with adjustable shelf for a range of components.
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Gazel Koleksiyon at Booth #7-1130 in NeoCon 2015. The profile of the Gazel Executive Office series is a bold and well-crafted executive line that includes executive desks, meeting tables, credenzas and unique wood-framed executive sofas.
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Framery O in Booth #7-5060, 7-5080 at NeoCon 2015 is a single-person phone booth with superior sound insulation and acoustics, aimed at an open office environment for employees seeking a quiet and private space for phone or web chat.
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Parker from HBF in Booth #387 at NeoCon 2015. HBF says its mantra “design is in the details” shows in its latest collection: the Parker Table.
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Cheval from HBF at Booth #387 in NeoCon 2015 is a bench-table hybrid that provides an adaptable solution to meet the ever-changing needs of its user in any environment.
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Doug Mockett & Company, Inc.'s SDH1 - Sliding Door hardware is at Booth #7-8030. This Sliding Door Hardware is a luxurious space-saving alternative to traditional hinged interior door hardware. Turns a shared space into a partitioned sectional. Or give your space an elegant rustic feel.
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Cami Bond, sales manager at Darran Furniture, High Point, NC, shows a live edge table at NeoCon 2015.
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Dempsey table from Goebel Furniture at NeoCon 2015. In Booth #7-4105, it was designed by Goebel for the corporate conference tables of Tommy Bahama. Elegantly simple lines and solid wood construction are 100% American designed and made.
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Opus bench by Goebel & Co. Furniture is at Booth #7-4105. Designed to be used singularly or in series, the curved Opus bench footprint makes up a 60 degree arc. Interior and exterior use is encouraged. Opus is fabricated in steel and hardwood
Work tables dominate at NeoCon 2015, lending adaptability and collaborative capabilities, just right for the way knowledge workers get things done today - collaboratively, and requiring office space able to shape shift continuously.
 
Three key trends identified by exhibitors in the evolution of workplaces, especially to welcome next generation workers, are  a focus on health and wellness (desks that lift and lower, ergonomic seating, healthy materials);  an uptick in demand for flexible workspaces (so workers can work together on projects, then separate for tasks); and the rise of the remote worker - a function of employees seeking more flexible work arrangements (work from home, flexible hours) and the legions of contract workers formed during the downturn. 
 
"Companies are consistently looking at ways to drive new levels of engagement and collaboration in the workplace," says John Hernandez, Vice President and General Manager of Cisco Collaboration Market and Solutions Development, which is working with Tekion on office technology integration. "Tighter integration of technology and interiors is critical in making that happen."
 
Visitors are seeing desks replaced by tables at NeoCon 2015 - the show runs June 15-17 in Chicago - and a crossover between home style furnishing and the office. 
 
As the office shifts to a mix of work-at-home and contractors, flexible spaces that let workers get together, but separate to concentrate, are the order of the day. In addition to tables, as seen in these first views of the exhibits, systems to create quiet areas and personal refuge from open loft offices are also in demand.
 
The cubicle is giving way to an upholstered nook, not unlike a businessclass airplane sleeping compartments. 
The three-day business furnishings, flooring, and contract furniture fair marks its 47th anniversary as it dominates the 7th and 8th floors of Chicago's Merchandise Mart with over 700 exhibitors will celebrate its 47th anniversary as America’s largest contract design exposition and conference.

Held from June 15-17, it is global in stature as a platform for designers and interiors architect. Many of the businesses with have permanent showrooms at the Merchandise Mary such as Hafele and s business in the commercial segments.  and covers the spectrum of vertical markets including corporate office, education/institutional, environmental/sustainable, healthcare, hospitality/retail, lighting and stone/tile.

● A seminar series includes keynotes from top design industry influencers including Patricia Urquiola presented by Haworth & IIDA, Jason Silva presented by OFS Brands & ASID, and Martin Lesjak and Anastajia Sujic presented by Mohawk Group and AIA Chicago.

● Over 100 CEU seminars, tours, association forums and special events both on and off-site.

● Festive events on the new and improved South Drive of the Merchandise Mart including the HiP at NeoCon Party on Tuesday, June 16 from 5-7PM http://hiphiphooray.splashthat.com, and a daily taste of Chicago with a selection of the Windy City’s premier food trucks.

● Showroom parties on floors 1, 3, 10 and 11 from 5-7PM on Monday, June 15.

● Cocktails, conversations, and connections on Floors 7 & 8 from 3-5PM on Tuesday, June 16.

● Showroom/exhibitor giveaways and interactive social campaigns including a LIVE from the show floor Tweet Chat on Tuesday, June 16 at 3PM.

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About the author
Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for WoodworkingNetwork.com, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for WoodworkingNetwork.com.

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.