Since outgrowing their current space in the West Loop, creative technology agency NEXT/NOW has recommitted to the area by signing a lease for a nearby office twice the size that will contain, among other things, a customized showroom of its experiences where visitors can have “a play day.”
“The West Loop has been a good fit for us,” says Director of Business Development Randy Gress, “as it has grown, so have we.”
The company is leveling-up from its sizable office at 1200 W. Lake St., where it will occupy the entire second floor the brick and timber loft.
NEXT/NOW creates original experiences for brands, events, festivals, retail, and corporate spaces using emerging technologies like VR, AR, gesture control, and projection mapping. Clients include Intel, McDonald’s, the NBA, Mercedes Benz, BP, and Visa.
Since moving to the Fulton Market area in 2017, the company has won 34 industry awards and doubled its staff. In 2018, NEXT/NOW recevied the AdAge Small Agency Award, which honors shops of less than 100 employees for punching above their weight and competing with larger legacy agencies.
“Our clients like it here — lots of hip dining, less congestion, and we’re downtown adjacent, so it’s easy to pop on over,” continues Gress. “And they are in good company. Over the last decade, the West Loop has evolved into a kind of homespun innovation hub for Chicago.”
A bit like a play day
The new space will include an enhanced showroom containing NEXT/NOW’s original experiences.
“It’s basically a digital playground,” says marketing strategist Mark Matthews. “Clients and partners come in and try our favorite original experiences from the field, and since there is often an element of gamification involved in our work, it can feel a bit like a play day.”
The showroom experiences will include “giant LED video walls, immersive racing rigs, augmented reality portals, and a VR experience featuring a real motorcycle,” he adds, noting that, “you definitely can’t do this stuff at home.”
NEXT/NOW projects the move will complete in early March and emphasized that they are available for meetings both before and after to discuss that next big project.
ROOTED IN GREATNESS PROJECTION MAPPING
NEXT/NOW is an award-winning interactive experiential agency, focused on creating next-generation digital/physical activated spaces and experiences for leading brands, retailers, and exhibits. Clients include the NBA, McDonald’s, Intel, Accenture, The Kraft Heinz Company, Audi, Kaiser Permanente, John Deere, Trek, Under Armour, Steelcase, NEC, and United Airlines. To learn more about NEXT/NOW’s unique style of disruptive brand activations, visit their website.