We are back from NeoCon and with a round trip that was supposed to be c.18 hours stretching closer to 40 hours we are still pleased to say it was worth every single minute.
Before heading out we expected to see a more European slant on designs being presented into the American market and this was proven to be true with the launch of more European brands and products into this sector. Some like Boss and Senator setting up home and some sharing influences in partnership deals.
On landing (all be it nine hours later than planned) we were pleased to discover that Thinking Quietly had won HiP Best Workplace Desk, awarded by Interior Design Magazine. We're obviously biased and think the award is well deserved, but almost everyone we spoke to across the three days mentioned just how impressed they were with this and Diva (also designed by Jones & Partners for Thinking Works). It's fair to say, although we are humbled by it, these products were a roaring success.
We are in awe of Darran Furniture and what a great job they are doing demonstrating the benefits of the products. Their knowledge of the market and key drivers in decision making aligned with the features of TQ was incredible. It is so good to find a hard working and knowledgeable distributor, and these Americans really know how to sell!
Out-with Thinking Quietly, the challenge of acoustic discomfort is not being addressed in the U.S. as readily as other territories and with our Whitepaper research conducted we are well placed to solve the myriad of spaces and problems identified.
It was also fantastic to see Aircharge finding a good home in the U.S. and finding successfully distribution. The multi-product, wireless charging solution is just right for the evolving US market where the Samsung Galaxy and Microsoft Lumia smartphones’ usage continues to grow. But with their "swiss army knife" solution, no matter what device you have, the chances are there is a Jones & Partners' designed Aircharge enabling you to get some juice into your device.
Finding stands like Andreu World was also a nice surprise - showcasing excellence in their design detailing. The “big four” had snippets and bite size offerings. Steelcase, with the now added textile division, demonstrating some intriguing lattice works.
Obviously, we also had an eye on some potential emerging trends. With the evidence noted, theories being developed and exciting opportunities for commercial successes being discussed – who? – some exciting announcements to follow.
Before heading back, and through the mist of evening parties, downtown bars and restaurants we managed to cover the floors of the MM seeing some great innovation and meeting with our industry colleagues. There seemed a real optimism in the US that lends well to the innovation being created (and led) by European designers.