Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Best of NeoCon 2009 [#NeoCon09]

This post is not about furniture and finishes. There were so many great products at the show that I would have a hard time choosing which ones to declare the best. And besides, the official awards have already been given. I have my own categories. These cover all the little extras that are not often acknowledged, but should be. These are the things that enhanced my overall experience.

Friendliest NeoCon Vendor

Doak Walker from CanvasPress didn't just let me take pictures of his booth. He asked me to take a picture of him, too.


And then we talked about cameras and photography for a while and he told me about some great projects he was working on, too. I had the pleasure of meeting a lot of very friendly vendors at the show, but I really enjoyed my conversation with Doak.

Friendliest Showroom Sales Rep

Jennifer from Bentley Prince Street carpet didn't just greet me when I stopped by the showroom. She welcomed me in and immediately took me to see all the new products they are carrying. She was friendly, personable, and very enthusiastic. I wish that more of the sales reps in the showrooms at Merchandise Mart could be like her. She can teach them a lot about customer service.

Best Fashion Tote Bag

This one is difficult. HON made a beautiful bag this year, and so did Crypton, but I wasn't able to get either of them. So I can't attest to their sturdiness or their capacity. And while I love the one Momentum Textiles gave me, I'm afraid it will get dirty too easily because it's made of white canvas. So I am going with the one I picked up from E.S. Robbins because it's not just a tote bag, but a purse that zips up. And it was sturdy enough to get me through 3 solid days of carrying brochures and magazines across town and all over the Mart.

Best Green Tote Bag

Benjamin Moore's
green bag is just the right size for grocery shopping, and seals shut with Velcro at the top. I know I will get a lot of use out of it.

Cutest Promotional Item

Of course, it's the adorable little plush monkey from MDC Wallcoverings.

mdc monkey takes a ride on the metra 2 #NeoCon09

I heard they gave out 4000 of them. The one I picked up is going to a new home soon, and I am sure that Iris will take very good care of it.

Most Environmentally Friendly Promotional Item

To demonstrate their commitment to going green, during the career exchange the recruiters from Steelcase gave out only one thing: a card made of biodegradable fibers with wildflower seeds embedded in it.

steelcase card [#NeoCon09]

So it doesn't just biodegrade, it creates life! And we all know how good plants are for the environment. Well done, Steelcase.

And now we come to the food category. Free food is always important, especially when you are visiting a show at the Merchandise Mart, which spans two city blocks. Walk around 2 floors and you've gone half a mile! You have to refuel yourself so you can keep going. The following vendors were aware of this and went above and beyond to fulfill that basic need.

Best Free Candy

Sherwin Williams
' free m&m's came in an array of appetizing custom colors.


Although the candy wasn't customized to match their new paint colors like they did last year, it still made for a nice display. And they even provided little containers so you could take a snack with you for later.

Best Free Coffee

I mentioned the free espresso I had yesterday, but I didn't post a picture of the elaborate contraption used to make it.

DSC02468 #NeoCon09

Benjamin Moore went all out with a skilled barista, flavored syrups, biscotti, and even an iced coffee option. There were other vendors with free espresso, but Benjamin Moore thought of everything!

Best Free Lunch

This award goes to Janus et Cie, who provided not only a healthy lunch that covered all the food groups, but also delivered it in a stylish metal lunchbox.

Thanks to all of you for making this year's show such a great experience.


  1. Love the wrapup post! And yes, I agree, the Canvas Press dude was awesome, did you see the video he made about the Tweefle Wall?

    It was great meeting you and thanks again! We'll be in touch.

  2. I just watched it. Thanks for sharing the link. He was actually editing a video while I was at the booth. He did a great job. And so did you. Nice interview!


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