Chicago Here We Come – NeoCon 2010
By LuAnne Silvia
Every year in June for three days the commercial furnishings industry unveils the latest and greatest at NeoCon World's Trade Fair at The Merchandise Mart in Chicago. The largest trade show of it's kind, it started in 1969 and has grown over the years to be the place to visit for inspiration and energy packed furnishing industry related events. It is a central meeting spot for trade professionals to come together and celebrate the industry through product seminars, keynote speakers, special events, networking, CEU accredited seminars and of course getting a sneak peak at the newest product innovations on the market.
This year our professional organization American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) national leadership training conference was held in Chicago at the same time. With Lisa Peck currently serving as President-Elect of our local chapter of ASID, Lisa and I headed to Chicago. Lisa's weekend was jam packed with great information and networking opportunties with other chapter members. On Monday I joined her for the day to explore the Merchandise Mart. We started on floor 18 and worked our way down. The Merchandise Mart is Chicago's version of International Market Square here in Minneapolis, only larger. It was built with the vision of creating a single, national wholesale center under one roof. The first and second floors are open to the public and are full of inspiration, including the Dream Home and The Luxe Home Boutique Showrooms.
Line up of vendor trucks outside of the Mart
Welcome and registration inside the Mart
NeoCon showrooms open for browsing
View from a showroom in The Merchandise Mart
Fashions created from Brentano textiles inspired by historical costumes