"NeoCon in October! But the Event is Still the Job-Change Marker" - 10/13/21 Edition
Stephen Says Column

Dear Stephen,

When NeoCon takes place it is traditionally the time of year when many salespeople and managers from our industry end a job and/or start a new one.  And even for those of us who don’t actually make a job change, NeoCon is a tip-off point that makes us think about our job, and think about our career options.

Many people start work with a new company before or at NeoCon, and just as many people leave their job once Neocon is over.  There’s action on both sides of the week.    Since NeoCon has always been in June, that’s when I have seen this cycle for years.  June is an even more reliable “change job” month for our industry than most other industries where the switch to new jobs is the end of the calendar year and the beginning of the next year.

This year, since NeoCon was held in October, I was waiting to see if the same phenomenon would happen.  Sure enough, many people I know have landed new jobs and they started October 4th,  just in time for NeoCon. 

Do not take my word for it -  look at your own LinkedIn feed and you will see all the job changes. Individuals predictably landing new jobs. Meeting the same cycle I normally see happen when Neocon is in June.  Check out how many times LinkedIn is asking you to  “Congratulate” someone on your feed for changing  jobs. It is no coincidence.  To me it shows the staying power of the NeoCon event.  Companies use it as a benchmark time frame to announce new hires.

The next NeoCon is only 8 months away, beginning June 13, 2022, so here is my two-part question (I can hear you saying “it’s about time!”).  One, do you agree with my view that there was a heck of a lot of new hiring by companies in anticipation of NeoCon and Two, do you think this trend will continue even though the next Neocon is so close time-wise?   


Like Moths to a Flame


Dear Moth,

Great observation. I think you are 100 percent correct.   Our industries cornerstone event means the coming and going of people and jobs!  Many jobs are shed just before NeoCon and many companies want to hire new people and then have them start in time for the famous event. 

It is reflected in your LinkedIn feed and mine.  My readers should take a look at the changes on your feed before and during the week of October 4th.  Some people I did not even know were still alive landed new jobs and started on October 4th.  There is no doubt our industry likes to use this tradeshow to show off their new talent.   Yes, it has been in June, but changing the date to October did not change the idea that this show has clout and it’s the perfect time to introduce new people.  And it doesn’t matter if you are in The Mart or somewhere else in Chicago, or somewhere else in the country, it is the event itself – and it’s called NeoCon - that matters. Where you are located is secondary. A dealer in Ohio? Hire the new sales manager and start her right before Neocon for maximum impact!

As recruiters we see it in our clients wanting new people to start in time for the event.  As far as next June of 2022, I predict the same thing. Maybe even more people changing because by then our industry will be in an even better position to hire and grow. 

Trade shows are milestones in any industry.  For contract furniture it’s Neocon. For residential manufacturers it is Highpoint and in Hospitality it can be spread among shows from Las Vegas to BDNY coming up in NYC in November.  Trade shows are a logical and exciting way of getting the word out fast while showcasing your new talent. 

And a word of caution. I have seen many companies make expensive mistakes because the want to show someone off at NeoCon.  They make rash or bad hiring decisions just to have someone in place at a national or regional level to show off to their customers and their competitors and then they have to change that person before the next Neocon happens.  It’s an artificial timeline I agree, but it does get people to want to make the hire happen.  I have seen it this Neocon, even in October!  Good news for NeoCon sponsors and The Mart, the brand remains relevant.

So in June of next year watch for a new round of hires, fires and quits and I for one cannot wait to see all the action a little before, during, and a little after June 13th, 2022. It is just around the corner!