The other day at work, I got an awesome tidbit of good news. A furniture rep that we’re working with on a project offered to pay for me to go to NeoCon this year. How did I swing this? Well, let’s just say I was in the right place at the right time… which rarely happens for me. Nevertheless, I’m thrilled.
Step back 2 seconds – remember reading “NeoCon” and thinking “what the heck is that?” Well, my non-interior design friends, let me enlighten you. NeoCon is affectionately referred to as “the World’s Fair” and is the largest trade show of its kind in North America. Its inception dates back to 1969 and it takes place in Chicago every year. Basically, it’s a huge building (over 1 million square feet!) that houses over 1,200 showrooms of the latest and greatest things Interior Design related. This includes furniture vendors, fabrics, electronics, architectural systems, carpet – you name it. And I have exactly one day to conquer it. I think I might hurl.
Such big wigs as Knoll (picture above, showcasing their classic designs at a 70 year anniversary display at NeoCon), Shaw carpet, Maharam fabric, etc. will all be at my fingertips for the matter of 7 hours. Maybe I’ll strap on some roller skates so I can whiz around all 4 floors of the Merchandise Mart and see everything that is humanly possible in one day. Most of our product reps share with us what they had released at NeoCon a few months prior, but I’ve always wanted to be at the scene of the crime. The exact moment when the newest and greatest products are revealed to the public for scrutiny or adoration. Can you handle it?! I’m probably alone on this one, but it’s a huge opportunity and honor to be able to attend this event. Whee!
One of the NeoCon GOLD winners last year (ie. top prize) was Idea Paint, a paint product that can be applied to walls to create insanely large and odd shaped marker boards. We jumped on this idea in our office and painted a column to try the product out – pretty cool stuff.
Our local rep for DIRTT (Do It Right This Time) is sponsoring my trip, so I’ll definitely be spending some time in their showroom. DIRTT manufacturers a line of moveable wall systems for office spaces, giving tenants the complete flexibility to alter their space in the case of growth, etc. Their moveable walls come in some great finishes and have so many possibilities for design professionals to completely customize the look of office walls. Plus, their rep gave me a free hard hat and tote bag this afternoon. He must have known I’m a sucker for free stuff – I’m sold.
I’m particularly excited to see the Shaw Contract showroom, my favorite carpet manufacturer. That’s right, I have a favorite carpet manufacturer. Nerd alert. Shaw creates some beautiful carpets that I love to specify and their customer service (ie. our local rep) is downright fantastic. All three of my carpet tiles rugs in my home are Shaw products, so you could say I’m a bit of fan. :)
Pictures aren’t allowed at NeoCon, but I’m going to try and find a way to sneak in some pics so I can share the sure-to-be awesome showroom designs. Anything you’re looking forward to this summer (that’s not quite as dorky)?