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Episode 118 Show Notes


Byron Morton is the VP and co head of leasing of the Merchandise Mart. The Mart has evolved over the many years that it has been hosting showroom businesses and NeoCon conventions and they are excited to announce new amenities offered by the facility at NeoCon this year.

Providing a common center of gravity for the tenants that lease space in The Mart, these amenities provide a collaborative environment for meeting rooms that can accommodate groups of all sizes as well as work/life balance amenities such as a fitness center and a streetscaped park in the front of the building. With new restaurants on the second floor, it is surely an experience that the tenants of The Mart are loving.

Bringing commercial companies into a space that had mostly been used for showroom purposes in the commercial interiors industry has shifted the industry of the merchandise mart. Now known as the center of tech in Chicago, the Mart is truly multifaced, serving multiple industries while still maintaining a full commitment to showrooms and a variety of tradeshows. 

NeoCon continues to grow, expecting around 400 vendors and 300 of those being in the office interiors industry. The excitement coming to NeoCon 2023 is not only the new amenities offered by the Merchandise Mart but the trending growth that is beginning to feel more like pre-pandemic events that came before.

The pandemic continues to stunt the return-to-work rates in our industries, causing businesses to evolve to hybrid work as it becomes more common. Byron and I talk about some of the best ways to encourage return-to-work rates in the commercial interiors industry. By offering amenities and more inclusive hybrid work options, we can cater to the post-pandemic way of life while returning to a sense of normalcy.

There is no substitute for in-person work in our industry and the community and collaboration that NeoCon brings to our industry pushes us to evolve for the future. Listen in to this episode to hear more about NeoCon 2023 and the wonderful things you can expect to see this year. 

In this episode:

[01:38] Welcome to the show, Byron!

[02:50] Byron shares his background

[04:12] What are some of the things we can expect to see in The Mart this year at NeoCon?

[07:18] Details about cab pickup and drop-off locations for NeoCon.

[08:30] New Restaurants on the second floor

[09:44] Bringing tenants into the showroom space transformed the Mart

[12:14] The tradeshows that The Mart does throughout the year.

[13:04] What is causing some brands to leave The Mart?

[16:10] How many vendors will be present at NeoCon this year?

[17:11] Some of the things that Byron is most excited about for NeoCon this year.

[19:59] The seventh floor is a hidden gem that is less traveled. It has been redesigned this year.

[23:12] The most important things to keep in mind about NeoCon 2023.

[25:02] The future of NeoCon.

[27:26] Amenities in the workplace are key to encouraging return to work as well as increased inclusion of hybrid workers. 

[29:44] There is no substitute for in-person work.

[30:16] The best way to get in touch with Byron

[31:00] Thanks for listening!

Links & Resources:

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