The 43rd annual NeoCon, June 13-15 at The Merchandise Mart in Chicago, drew 42,899 industry professionals, a 4 percent increase from 2010.

More than 700 showrooms showcased products in more than one million sq. ft.  of space on 10 floors of the Merchandise Mart. Additionally, the 2011 Best of NeoCon competition saw more than 325 entries and thousands of new products presented at the show.

Exhibitors were pleased with the uptick in attendance.

“This year’s attendance reminded me of the old days. Everybody was filled with optimism, a great outlook on the upcoming year and an all-around good feeling about the industry,” said Rob Lazarus, evp sales and marketing, AIS.

“I’m hearing from our company and many of our competitors that business is up. We’re excited and hearing great things. It’s nice to see attendance from some markets we haven’t seen in a while,” added Charlie Bell, president, HBF.

“The traffic is phenomenal-we are very pleased. We scheduled so many appointments and a lot of people are coming in to learn more. A lot of international meetings are taking place, which is so important and one of the main reasons we took a permanent space at The Merchandise Mart. Our international business is about 50%--and we are very happy,” noted Jim Stelter, ceo, Vanerum Stelter.

“It’s exciting to see that the show is growing again. We won a Best of NeoCon award which we’re excited about. NeoCon has been really rewarding for us this year,” said Alan Morse, president, SIS-USA Inc.

NeoCon included more than 140 CEU accredited seminars for attendees. Programs included keynotes from five industry leaders: Matt Peterson, president and CEO of Global Green USA; Ed Begley Jr., actor and environmentalist; Henrik Fisker, ceo of Fisker Automotive; Amy Wells, film and television set decorator; and Margaret Russell, editor in chief of Architectural Digest.

NeoCon World’s Trade Fair 2012 will take place June 11 - 13, at The Merchandise Mart in Chicago. For more information about NeoCon, visit www.neocon.com or call (800) 677-6278 (MART).