19 November 2021

How a commitment to sustainability stood out at NeoCon 2021

Every year, for more than 50 years, 50,000 professionals in the commercial interior design
industry gather at Merchandise Mart in Chicago for NeoCon.

The Merchandise Mart or “The Mart” as Chicago ‘ins call it, is the “world’s largest commercial
building, largest wholesale design center and one of Chicago’s premier international business

The annual NeoCon event serves as the mecca for innovative design, highlighting thousands of
new products and services in categories such as furniture, textiles, flooring, interior building
products and technology.

HMTX Exhibiting at NeoCon 2021

Nimlok Chicago has been fortunate to have a ten-year relationship with Metroflor Corporation,
one of the HMTX Industries brands. This year HMTX choose to have a permanent presence in
The Mart with a 1,000 square foot showroom on 11 th floor. The space would be used to
spotlight all their brands; Aspecta, Teknoflor, Metroflor, Halstead and Vertex.

From a marketing perspective each brand lives independently and has their own customer
base. What the brands share are the core values of integrity, sustainability, transparency and
most importantly, “People Before Profits”.

The Goal

The goal at NeoCon 2021 was to highlight two of the HMTX brands, Teknoflor and Aspecta,
while also tying in their core values.

“It’s in our DNA”

The layout for the showroom was strategic. The project consisted of multidisciplinary teams of
flooring professionals, electricians, carpenters, painters and installers.

The design elements of the space were subtle, letting the flooring speak for itself. The clean
lines, earth tone samples and baseboard lighting elements set the mood of the entire space.

The Challenges
The first challenge was creating a fantastic experience from a show room that had exposed
electrical wires, an uneven concrete floor, and no storage space, in 6 weeks!

The second challenge was leveling the floor, and for Director of Corporate Communications
Tiffany Davis, “The flooring had to be perfect.” So flooring partner PCI Flortech poured a new
floor, leveled it to perfection and installed the HMTX flooring.

With a rapidly approaching October 1 st deadline, Peter Crouch and the Nimlok Chicago team
stayed on course creating custom rollaway cabinetry to cover the unsightly radiators,
collaborated with contractors to frame and drywall, directed electricians and even added two
storage closets.

“The biggest surprise was walking into the show room, it actually looked bigger than I
expected,” said Davis.

A popular feature was the large interactive samples tray. Visitors enjoyed the sensory aspect of
popping out product samples to feel and hold.

The balance of beauty, functionality, and care for the environment are apparent the moment
you enter. Attendees were able to clearly see product innovation and quality, while
demonstrating the brands dedication to sustainability. This included declare labels that
provided product ingredients.

Davis said her favorite feature was the lighting effects, “Something we will ramp up for future
shows.” Along with adding sound barriers.

Due to Covid and capacity restrictions, HMTX didn’t have great expectations for Neocon 2021.
Davis was told attendance would be down about 40% from 2019. She thought this would
probably be a trial run for Neocon 2022.

Even with only 20,000 attending NeoCon this year, the lead count and quality were better than
expected. Attendees were excited that HMTX had their own showroom. It offered the perfect
presentation of the brands to new and existing customers.

Why Nimlok Chicago
Nimlok Chicago partnered with HMTX to create a showroom with an environment
conducive to deepening relationships with clients and prospects. The result was an
open, friendly design that does justice to the brands and their core values.

Designing and fabricating showrooms, office environments or tradeshow exhibits that
exceed client expectations is part of our overall goal. We provide clients with the most
innovative design elements, logistics coordination and installation services available. On
time and on budget.

24 February 2021

How do you pivot a real-world event to a world-class virtual one?

The show must go on. As more trade shows, conferences, and events are going virtual, your face-to-face marketing does not have to be on hold.


Organizations that host trade shows have had to scramble to adapt. Some have cancelled. Most have switched quickly to virtual environments, leaving marketers to figure out how to deliver an experience as authentic, personal, and engaging as possible – 100% online.

Building leads, interacting with contacts from the industry and increasing ROI is a top priority for Summit Industries, LLC and Nimlok Chicago was the “partner that could not only see our vision, but also help mold that vision into something that was professional and made a statement”. Kevin Lucas, Regional Sales Manager, Summit Industries LLC.

Summit Industries is a leading supplier and manufacturer of x-ray and imaging equipment distributed through an elite long-standing network of dealers.  Summit has been our client since 2013.  They will admit that they have always struggled with little to no marketing internally but knew exhibiting at RSNA was always important.  With limited budget constraints, stretching the dollar was never so relevant so Nimlok built rental structures around their equipment to help their sales team tell their story onsite to dealers.

When the pandemic hit March 2020, no one expected to have RSNA scheduled in November to be anything but a face-to-face tradeshow so when it turned virtual it was more than disappointing.  Considering this was Summit’s annual time to showcase their products, reinforce relationships and start new it was a devastating blow to them.  Live events account for a significant part of any companies marketing budget because they are effective.

Maria Valdovinos, Senior Account Executive at Nimlok Chicago, spoke with Kevin of Summit Industries very early on about a virtual sales/marketing tool that provided unique 3-d immersion experiences that were 100% customizable.  So, when RSNA turned virtual, it was time to take a deeper look.  Standing out as an exhibitor on a virtual platform was important but being able to have a tool that sales could use for presentations and live on their website convinced Summit’s chief officers to move forward.

Kevin asked, “Will the booth look just as good as at RSNA?” and Maria answered, “It will look better!”


With only 6 weeks, Maria and the Nimlok Chicago team jumped into designing the space, incorporating Summit’s products, redeveloped PDF’s, designed graphics, coded, and managed their profile on RSNA’s virtual platform. 

“Our initial challenge was getting noticed, and trust me, we are getting noticed now!” Kevin Lucas


Working with Nimlok Chicago at various tradeshows and more recently in the virtual world (Virtual trade show), has put Summit on the map as a real player in their industry. Their customers are taking notice as well as their competitors.

“We had a vision, Nimlok made it come to life. We had lots of input, never in the dark on anything. That is a true partnership! And we requested a lot of changes and not once did Nimlok ever tell us no. They worked with us, over and over again. Nimlok helped us stay on course. Giving us a detailed timeline so we would always be on course. And when our tradeshow upped the timeline, Nimlok kicked it into high gear and still made it happen. Bigger and better than ever. Our business is a B2B model, and our distributors have praised our new virtual display, citing that it was one of the best they saw this year at RSNA2020, which really speaks volumes, because we play with some of the biggest companies in our industry. Our management team was floored by the finished product. Stunned at how AWESOME it turned out. Exceeded everyone’s expectations.” Kevin Lucas, Regional Sales Manager, Summit Industries LLC.


Being a part of Summit’s growth has been tremendously exciting and Nimlok Chicago cannot wait to see what their future holds!

From creation, to training, booth support and more, Nimlok Chicago knows what it takes to succeed in the virtual world.  Our highly interactive virtual exhibit spaces are completely customizable and can give a similar look and feel to a physical exhibit.  Do not wait, call for a consultation today or learn more on our website at https://www.nimlok-chicago.com/virtual-exhibit-program/

5 October 2020

As cold weather approaches, Nimlok Chicago works with Walker Bros.

Walker Bros. The Original Pancake House, is a family owned business with seven restaurants serving Chicago’s northern suburbs for 60 years. They’re known for having the best breakfast in the area including their signature apple cinnamon pancakes.


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4 August 2020

Tradeshows Are Going Virtual

How the Event Industry has temporarily pivoted

Nimlok will provide monthly analytics to show where users are going within the space and what enriching information is being downloaded or read

The impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is being felt by businesses around the world, especially, the event industry. Although we know virtual tradeshows will never deliver the same value to their in-person equivalents, there are still many reasons to be excited!

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6 April 2020

Outdoor Signs & Banners

Let your customers know you are still open for business! Here are a few ways to use Nimlok Chicago’s outdoor signs & banners for your business:

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3 March 2020

The Nimlok Brand Turns 50 Today!

Nimlok Chicago wishes the Nimlok brand a happy 50th anniversary!

On March 3, 1970 fifty years ago, Nimlok began as a small display kit in London, England and today Nimlok has grown into a full-service exhibit house in 56 countries with 200 distribution partners.

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22 August 2018

How to Create Social Media Buzz at Your Trade Show Booth

“Buzz.” It makes attendees visit your trade show booth, but how do you even get it in the first place? These three simple steps can help garner attention and get attendees talking about your brand well before your show even begins.

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21 August 2018

Attracting Media Coverage to Your Trade Show Exhibit

It’s no secret that media coverage can be a huge boost for your brand. Building strong relationships through honesty and thoughtfulness is a great way to start inviting media professionals to cover your trade show exhibit. While not an easy feat, you have the best chance of getting covered by making your booth as “newsworthy” as possible and engaging the press consistently. Here are four tips on how to keep coverage coming.

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2 November 2017

Nimlok Chicago Exhibit Wins Best of Show at AARC 2017

We are thrilled to announce that one of our trade show exhibits has won “Best of Show – Exhibits 200 sq. ft and Under” at the American Association for Respiratory Care’s (AARC) 2017 International Respiratory Congress. Our client, Aerogen, is the world’s leading manufacturer and distributor of higher-performance aerosol drug delivery technologies.

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28 June 2017

3 Ways a Small Trade Show Booth Can Make a Big Impact

If your company is holding back on exhibiting because of its small budget—think again. There are plenty of ways to make an impact at your next event, even with a small trade show booth. Through exhibit layout, networking, and marketing promotions, you can catapult your brand ahead of the competition without breaking the bank.

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2 May 2017

Nimlok Chicago Wins EXHIBITOR Magazine’s Portable/Modular Award

We are elated to accept EXHIBITOR Magazine’s award for “Best Island Exhibit” in the 600-1,000 square foot category as part of the 2017 Portable/Modular Awards. The exhibit was selected by a panel of ten judges for its quality design and excellent use of a modular system.

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25 April 2017

Engaging Your Audience: Interactive Event Technology

One of the most important assets an exhibitor can have at a trade show is attention. That’s why it’s crucial for brands to provide unique engagement opportunities to impress attendees, interact with their audience, and ultimately, win over their business. Here are four trade show trends that use social media, cutting edge technology, and some creativity to “wow” attendees, leaving memorable impressions that’ll last well after the show. Skip the usual, be extraordinary.

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2 February 2017

Nimlok Chicago named one of 2016’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work for in the Nation

We are thrilled to announce that for the first time ever, we have been recognized as one of the 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work for in the Nation. The award recognizes similarly sized companies that are advancing in their fields and have a steadfast commitment to enriching the workplace environment for their employees. We have also been recognized locally as the Best and Brightest in the Chicago-land area for two consecutive years in 2015 and 2016.

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24 October 2016

Do’s and Don’ts of Trade Show Budgeting

Trade show budgeting and planning are not something to take lightly. The process can take several months (if not longer) and requires meticulous detail in preparation. There are plenty of hidden costs associated with exhibiting that can be easily overlooked. These dos and don’ts will help you prepare for the tedious process, ensuring you stay within your budget and minimize any “surprises” along the way.

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15 June 2016

Is Trade Show Exhibiting Really Worth It?

Trade shows can be draining. From the time spent planning, to the actual cost of the booth, we often see clients become overwhelmed with it all. Is it really worth all the time, money, and effort? We think so—and here’s why.

For all companies, the success of the business depends on the communication it has with its market. Despite the obstacles and costs, trade shows serve as great opportunities for brands to openly interact with prospects, customers, and vendors.

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22 April 2016

10 Tips to Keep Your Trade Show Exhibit Sustainable

Companies are increasingly taking more initiatives to influence social and environmental change. While sustainable practices often take a lot of effort, the long-term benefits stretch far beyond just reducing your carbon footprint. A recent study by the National Marketing Institute found that consumers are 58% more likely to purchase from a company that is mindful of its impact on the environment. Putting these practices into action at your next trade show exhibit can make a big difference for your brand’s marketability and its bottom line.

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23 February 2016

Nimlok Chicago Gives Back: The Harbour

Growing up in even a normal environment can be full of challenges. But life can be even more hectic for youth that struggle to have even their basic needs met. Threatened with homelessness and hunger, they have little places to turn. Fortunately, organizations like The Harbour exist to help these struggling teens get back on their feet. Operating in the north and northwest suburbs of Chicago, the organization provides emergency housing and supportive services to homeless youth ages 12-21.

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28 January 2016

Takeaways from CES 2016 and What They Mean for the Trade Show Industry

The Consumer Electronics Show is one of the biggest events when it comes to revealing cutting edge technology. We look forward to getting a sneak peek at the awe-inspiring innovations every year, and this year’s show certainly didn’t disappoint. As trade show professionals, we thought we’d recap some of the CES tech that will have the biggest influence on modern marketing and the trade show industry.

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15 January 2016

2016 Visual Trends to Incorporate in Your Trade Show Display

2016 trends to incorporate in your trade show display

The new year has just begun and we’re already seeing an influx of fresh design trends that’ll shape the way both brands and consumers perceive and connect with one another. These top 5 trends will be central to 2016—and we’ve got ways to bring them into your brand’s space.

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7 January 2016

preparing for a trade show with Nimlok Chicago (video)

Our very own Joe Guerrero shares his insight on preparing for a trade show using three easy steps: budget, goals/expectations, and design.

Not sure which trade show you want to exhibit at yet? Use Nimlok’s handy trade show directory to search for a list of upcoming shows for your industry.

18 December 2015

winning over business with your LinkedIn profile

Win over trade show leads with your LinkedIn

With over 380 million users, LinkedIn is the top social media networking tool among professionals. Furthermore, it’s a great platform for trade show exhibitors to connect with their leads, customers, and business partners. As an exhibitor, you are a representation of your business, so it’s essential that you optimize and polish your LinkedIn profile to reflect your brand. We have a few ways for you to enhance your profile in order to make a good impression on your business connections.

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4 December 2015

office interior design and the success of your business

Your office interior design may make or break your business

The corporate environment is often an overlooked detail when shaping the success of a business. However, there are many reasons why organizations should take their office interior design into consideration when planning for growth and success. Here are a few ways that your business can benefit from a thoughtful design.

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12 November 2015

influencing people at your trade show booth: top 5 sales books to consider

Read up on these sales books before heading to your trade show booth

Making a sale is the ultimate goal for trade show exhibitors. Although several aspects like branding, marketing, and a streamlined design all contribute to your end goal, the most important factor comes down to effective selling techniques. We’ve compiled a list of the best influential sales books to help sales professionals (of all levels) brush up on their skills.

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5 November 2015

Ways Pinterest Can Add to Your Trade Show Exhibit and Brand

Be "pinspired" at your next trade show exhibit

The trade show industry relies heavily on visual perception. Booths, signs, banners, and numerous other exhibit aspects require strong visual messages, so it’s essential to always keep an eye out for sources of inspiration that you can later incorporate in a design. Pinterest is perfect for this exact purpose. We recently started our very own Pinterest to channel our creative drives and we had no trouble finding reasons for every exhibitor to have one as well.

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29 October 2015

The Challenger Customer – the findings will surprise even seasoned sales pros

Increasing sales potential via The Challenger Customer

Recently, our marketing team attended a BMA Chicago event where author Brent Adamson hosted a sales and marketing seminar promoting his new book, “The Challenger Customer” –  a follow up his first book, “The Challenger Sale.” Would you be shocked to find out that personalizing your content to potential leads can actually decrease your chances of making a sale? The research behind Adamson’s work shed a new, refreshing light on purchasing behaviors that’s sure to surprise even the most seasoned sales professionals.

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22 October 2015

the myth of multitasking


As babies, we’re encouraged to master one task at a time. Sitting up, crawling, and then walking. In school, we focus on one subject at a time, devoting our energy to that until it’s time for the next class.

This makes it all the more strange that multitasking has become a source of pride for many adults, who list all the tasks they’re working on at once as if each is a badge of honor. But dividing your attention is not the best way to get things done.

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15 October 2015

how to win friends and influence people – at your trade show exhibit

Influencing people at your trade show exhibit

An eye-catching display can bring traffic to your trade show exhibit – but an engaging and knowledgeable staff can keep them there long enough to have an impact beyond the visual.

But how can you make sure the staff you select is trained adequately? Here are a few key areas you should focus on.

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8 October 2015

best things to do in Chicago


When you’re in town for a trade show, it can be tempting to stay close to McCormick Place. However, Chicago is so easy to get around and has so much to explore that doing so would be a waste. Here are just a few things to do in Chicago when you are in town attending or exhibiting at a show.

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1 October 2015

the best places to eat and drink in Chicago

Chicago Skyline

Chicago is known for its incredible variety of amazing restaurants and bars. Although the city is famous for its pizza, there’s so much more than that to indulge in (though you should). When you’re in town for a trade show, be sure to take a break from exhibiting to check out what the city has to offer.

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24 September 2015

exhibit design: virtual reality and the Consumer Electronics Show

technology like Razer's 200 VR headset could add innovation to your exhibit design

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is the show that sets the consumer trends in the technology industry. The hottest thing on the trade show floor is almost guaranteed to be the hottest thing on retail shelves.

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21 August 2015

it’s time to start planning for the upcoming IMTS 2016

get your trade show displays ready for IMTS 2016!

Nimlok has designed trade show displays for over 12 exhibiting companies at the past International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), held in September at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois.We have earned the experience so you don’t have to. Ready to hit the pavement with your preparation for upcoming IMTS 2016, but not sure where to start? Keep reading for more information to get you started.

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13 July 2015

motion matters: how your exhibit design can “move” your audience

LIGANOVA at Euroshop 2014 from LIGANOVA on Vimeo.

Motion attracts, motion startles, and perhaps most importantly, motion appeals. When it comes to impactful exhibit design, an element that moves in a meaningful way will attract positive attention to your booth. Here are some tips for creating appropriate and attention-grabbing custom trade show displays.

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13 July 2015

is a rental exhibit right for your next trade show?

examples of exhibit rentals

Renting vs. owning isn’t just a question for your home. This query can be posed before setting up camp in an exhibit hall too. When trade show planning, exhibit rentals can actually be an upgrade in a lot of ways. Here’s a few of the key benefits to help you decide it’s for you:

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25 June 2015

branding and psychology of color

The power and psychology of color

Recently we have attended a really thought-provoking webinar hosted by the Pantone Color Institute on the power of color and how it related to branding. The first part of their webinar took us through the psychology of color choice and the second part informed how to pick the right imagery for your future campaigns.

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12 June 2015

how to turn your ineffective booth staffers into dynamic sales force


Nimlok Staff at Exhibitor Show in Las Vegas.

Nimlok Staff at Exhibitor Show in Las Vegas.

This topic has come about quiet organically. Recently, one of our clients came to Nimlok Chicago looking for effective exhibit design options, but walked away from that initial meeting having discovered that they had much bigger problems than design on their hand. They had sales staff that did not do the design justice.

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29 May 2015

exhibit design: international brand’s first time in the US

Our creative exhibit design for Systemair

For an international company, exhibiting for the first time in a North American trade show presents exciting opportunities — and challenges. The greatest hurdle is adapting to different rules and practices that impact exhibit design; what applies on one continent may not apply on another.

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11 May 2015

client reviews – Kevin at Summit Industries

We spoke with Kevin Lucas at Summit Industries on what he thought about working with Nimlok Chicago To sum up what he said in three words: Creativity. Ease. People. We first asked how Summit narrowed down their choices and chose to work with Nimlok Chicago. We were also curious how the experience was working with us day-to-day. Lastly, we asked what else makes Nimlok Chicago so great.

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15 April 2015

hello from peter crouch

Introduction video to Nimlok’s monthly newsletter covering marketing, design, architecture, technology and trends. All you have to do to become an expert exhibitor, marketer, and creative leader is read.

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31 March 2015

10 biggest trade show trends in 2015

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31 March 2015

key takeaways from BrandSmart: keeping your brand relentlessly relevant

As a marketer, you always need to stay on top of current going-ons and trends in marketing. One way to do this is to go to industry conferences. Ones specific conference that is small but gets you up-to-date is Brandsmart hosted by Chicago AMA. This conference offers a full-day schedule of presentations by brands of different caliber and from different industries. This year’s BrandSmart offered a fresh line-up that got me thinking about branding and more specifically about brand relevancy.

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30 October 2014

Graphics 101: Guide to Enhancing Your Trade Show Booth

Graphics 101

Why is having effective graphics important? We can think of a few reasons. The most obvious, if you are planning a trade show, is because your graphics attract attention and generate interest to your booth. It also reinforces your brand and provides a quick definition of who you are.

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