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Boston Post Neocon / July 2017

Allegheny Contract was an extraordinary host for this year’s Post Neocon event. Having been a competitor of Allegheny Contract, this annual event was always a “mystical happening” somewhere in the midst of our efforts to press on with the typical daily demands of our industry. Of course my previous company did a great job at building A&D relationships by implementing other market driven ideas but never did I fully understand the magnitude and impact that the Post Neocon Boston event has with our regional A&D community.

I am told that this was the 19th year of the event but for Sharp Creative, it was our first. We approached this event with great anticipation and fortunately, my partner, Russell Sharp, had previous experience with the show by representing ceramic products for his prior employers. For our organization though, it was important to create a space worthy of our firm’s product lines as well as create a space that was inviting and easy to move through for the vast number of A&D guests attending the event.

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” Albert Einstein

We were actually able to secure two separate locations as part of a plan to offer maximum exposure to guests during the event. The first floor tent space presented the premium product lines we represent as a fully complemented display with three demonstration/conversation podiums featuring Carter fine wool rugs, Totally Carpets and American Biltrite premium rubber and LVT flooring. The second space was a large conference-style room on the third floor which was dedicated to the American Biltrite product lines where more technical and informational discussions could be conducted. All in all, the displays were well received with nearly non-stop activity throughout the evening.

The theme of the event was that of a traditional garden party; booths were bedecked with flowers, palms, trees, and ivy all in varieties of baskets, pots, planters and trellises interspersed throughout the product displays. This theme set a living tone for the evening discussions about products, trends, and color schemes. Additionally, the garden party atmosphere allowed for simply catching up with old friends and acquaintances on a memorable summer night.

Our first floor booth under the big tent was very busy with interest especially in the Carter fine wool rugs, Totally Carpet’s Joule from the Switch Collection and American Biltrite’s Texas Granite solid vinyl terrazzo-look tile and AB Pure rubber tile (the only rubber flooring DECLARE Red List-free) as well as Fuse collection Sumo engineered hardwood flooring.

I spoke with a number of guests about the dynamic options available with Carter wool, silk or cotton and was pleased that this traditional pass machine technology still has a role to play in today’s design world. Carpet in both area rug configuration as well as broadloom up to 17 foot widths is available. Indeed, a number of our younger guests had not known this option is available to them as a design tool.

Those visiting the booth could not but comment and observe the vibrant geometry of Totally Carpet’s Joule relying on a flame stitch tapestry format that kicked up the design flair using metallic and chromatic high points giving the look and luster of woven thread and contrasting silk wall hangings in a modern manner.

And of course, American Biltrite, the benchmark manufacturer for commercial performance resilient flooring, featured two products that demonstrated high performance along with inviting colors and looks.

Although relatively new to the New England market, Texas Granite, a terrazzo-look tile constructed on a solid vinyl, large format, 1/8” gauge platform was a hit. This tile is virtually indestructible, requiring no top finishes and is available in many exciting colorways both in running line and custom “per project” colors. Many were also pleased to learn that this tile, when installed in a lab or healthcare interior, can be heat-welded for seamless flooring requirements and integral coved up wall perimeters. American Biltrite’s “AB Pure” rubber tile and sheet flooring held the floor for conversation equally well, centering on the minimal fade resistance ASTM 1515 comparison with other competitors and the fact that this product is crystalline silicate-free and DECLARE Red List-free, the only third party certified rubber flooring available with these features.

We also featured and presented from our Fuse Collection, “Sumo” synthetic oiled prefinished engineered hardwood flooring. Close your eyes and imagine a project with planks that can be made up to twenty inches wide and thirty feet long. That is what Sumo is all about! Oak, maple, cherry, walnut , all from Europe with solid wood fingered center board and matching back board to the surface lamella.

The evening passed quickly with lively music and passed hors d’oeuvres. I know this feature was a hit with everyone and I can’t forget to mention the awesome candy station for those of us who couldn’t leave their booth for long! There must have been as many as twelve hundred presenters and guests in attendance. I think it’s fair to say that for those of us who attended Neocon in the Windy City in June, that this venue won hands down for ease of attendance and timely, efficient presentation of information from the top product suppliers. The personal company of our local, close knit design community also made the event warmer and more familiar. Sharp Creative took a prize for best booth of the show along with J&J and we are already planning for next year. For me, the mystery has been unveiled and I’ve learned that the value of this show for everyone in Boston is indispensable. It must be finally noted here that Lauren Burke of Allegheny noticeably put her heart and soul into making the event a wonderful experience for everyone, for which I am grateful.

Word of the Week


Terrazzo is a flooring material that consists of chips of granite or marble set in concrete then polished to give a durable, smooth surface.

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